Spanish Property – Buying Advice
Purchasing a house in Spain is a very exciting step! Let the team at HomeEspaña guide you through every stage of the process. We know what it’s like to purchase, move and live here, as our staff live locally and have done for many years. You tell us what you want, and we’ll show you how to find it.
Step 1: Decide your budget
Before beginning your property search, establish your budget. Typical British buyers start with their funds in Sterling, so will need to calculate their budget in euros according to the £/€ exchange rate.Remember that the rate available on the day you agree a purchase price will be different to the rate available on the day you complete, so be prepared for your final Sterling cost to rise or fall.
Equally important is to factor in the buying costs that come with a Spanish property purchase, to cover purchase fees and taxes (see ‘Completion day’ below for more details). Costs vary depending on whether you are purchasing in Alicante, Valencia or Murcia. Typical costs as follows:
Alicante & Murcia: fees will be 13% – 16% of the purchase price
Valencia: fees will be approx 15%+ of the purchase price
*These figures are for approximate guidance only and can change depending on circumstances – your customer representative will explain in more detail the breakdown for your particular purchase.
A typical purchase of a resale property takes 8-12 weeks, from the point of making a successful offer to the day you get the keys to your new home. (A New Homes purchase will be dependent on the date of property construction).
Step 2: Organise your ‘team’
HomeEspaña will match you with your ideal property and offer guidance throughout the purchase process. In addition, you will need to appoint an independent bi-lingual lawyer to protect your interests and, if required, act as power of attorney.
You should also open an account with a currency exchange firm. Find time to discuss with them your options for transferring euros to Spain, including ways to minimise your exposure to fluctuations in the exchange rate.
If you intend to buy with a mortgage, talk to our sister company HomeFinance as early as possible and ideally secure a mortgage in principle.
Save time by appointing these specialists before you find your property.
Step 3: Find your property
Let HomeEspaña know in advance when you’d like to come and view properties. Before your trip, send us links to listings you’ve seen on our website and we’ll give you honest feedback about them. Part of our job is to do all the groundwork for your visit, so we’ll organise viewings for your preferred properties but also suggest others that might interest you.
When you find a property you’d like to buy, speak to our agent about making an offer. We’ll guide you on the vendor’s expectations and what price we believe is fair and achievable.
Offer accepted, often you’ll be expected to sign a reservation contract and pay a reservation deposit. Typically, this is around €3,000 – €5,000 and will count towards the agreed purchase price. Once done, the property is reserved for you and should be removed from the open market.
Step 4: Sign the sales contract
Once your property is reserved, your lawyer will begin the preparation of a private purchase contract (Contrato de Compavent) between you and the vendor, which should be signed within 30 days of reserving the property. During this process your lawyer will do all necessary due diligence on the property and liaise with you over any specific conditions of the sale and clauses in the contract.
For a resale property, a buyer is expected to pay a deposit of around 10 per cent of the purchase price on signing the purchase contract. New Build properties are slightly different, you might need to pay up to 50% before completion.
Remember, our team is here to help you right the way through the purchase process and beyond. We have a dedicated Aftersales team, who are on hand to answer any questions you have, keep you updated and do whatever is needed to ensure your sale proceeds smoothly. Your Aftersales contact will help you open a bank account and apply for your NIE (your fiscal identification number) – two key things you will need to organise.
Step 5: Completion day
The final stage of the buying process takes place in the office of the local notary, who will oversee the signing of the title deed (Escritura de Compraventa) by the vendor and buyer, or their legal attorneys. Only deeds authorized and signed by a registered notary are legal.
Your lawyer will prepare everything and liaise with our agent to arrange a mutually convenient day for completion, when both will accompany you to the notary’s office.
On signing the deed, the buyer will be required to pay the remaining balance of the purchase price and all relevant taxes and fees, which include: ITP transfer tax for resales (10% of the purchase price in Valencia region, 8% in Murcia), the notary’s own fees (0.5%-1%), Land Registry fees (€500-€1,000) and lawyer’s fees (€1,500-€2,000). Buying with a mortgage will attract additional charges from the bank.
ITP tax is not levied on new/off-plan properties, but they will attract VAT (IVA) at 10 per cent & 1.5% – 2% for stamp duty
Step 6: Post completion
Once your new deed is signed by all parties and ‘notarised’, you are the legal owner of your property! While you celebrate, your lawyer should register your deed at the local Land Registry office, ideally the same day as completion or as soon after as possible. They should also register you as the new property-owner with the local council tax office, your utilities companies and, if necessary, with your community of owners.
Don’t forget, even at this point HomeEspaña’s service doesn’t end. We’ll assist with anything that arises after you’ve moved in, from helping you change the locks to guiding you to local GP’s surgery.