Why would you buy with us?
Strange as it sounds, it is because we do not sell properties. What we do, is help you to find your perfect new home in Spain. If we can do this, you will buy with us. Buying a new home in Spain is exciting, yet can be daunting at the same time. Selecting properties to view, the trip(s) to Spain to see different locations and look at properties is the exciting part of the journey. In that respect, we listen. Not knowing the buying process and legal aspects, is the daunting part. Making sure that your new home has all of the correct paperwork, is our number 1 priority. In this respect, we guide you.
Buying a property in Spain
This brief guide explains the process of buying a Spanish property. Some things you may already know, however, the information will serve as a good checklist. It covers all aspects, from making the initial enquiry through to taking ownership of the property. In particular, we advise that you read read all the information relating to legal details, carefully. Don't make the same mistake that many buyers have in the past (and have found to their cost) by not taking the correct legal advice.
Preparing to buy.... the things you should have in place
Long before you get to the stage of making an offer on a property, there are a number of things that you are advised to have in place first. Buyers who leave these key aspects until the stage where they are ready to make an offer often end up making mistakes (usually costly ones) because they are forced into rushed decisions.
Find an independent, English speaking lawyer, in the location where you want to buy. You don't have to engage their services straight away, however you can find out how much they charge, what they will do for you and have them prepared to act as soon as you are ready to make an offer.
Obtain a foreigner identity number - NIE (Número de identidad de extranjero). You will not be able to purchase a property in Spain without this. Your lawyer can arrange this for you.
Open a Spanish bank account - you will need an NIE prior to opening an account
Shop around, find one who has staff that speak English and get them to spell out their charges
Pay particular attention to the costs of making transfers
Be aware, most Spanish banks levy heavy charges when you deposit money into your account from overseas, however, there is a way to avoid this.
If you need to exchange your funds to buy your property into Euros, you will always get the best deal using a currency exchange rather than a bank. There are many companies who provide this service.
The best that we have found is Moneycorp. The majority of our buyers have chosen to use them.
The initial enquiry
Once you have identified a property that is of interest and are ready to make an enquiry, think about what information you want to find out before you complete the enquiry form. Try to be specific about the questions you would like to ask us. The more information you give us, will help us to make sure that you only view properties that suit your needs. By far the best way to find out what you would like to know is to talk to us on the phone. All you need to do is let us know when is most convenient for you.
We recognise that buyers prefer to look around a property on their own. That way, you can discuss together what you like / dislike about the house in your own time. We will show you all of the key aspects of the house and then leave you to take a 2nd look on your own. We will be on hand to answer any questions you may have. Before you arrive to view a property, it is useful to have some questions ready to ask the owner. Some examples include;
- How long have you lived here?
- Why are you selling?
- Why did you choose this house / location?
- What are your average monthly running costs?
- Have you made any alterations to the property?
- Can you tell me about the local amenities?
- Where is the nearest medical centre?
If your initial impressions of a particular property are good, don´t be afraid to ask to take another look on your own. Take photos and notes to help you later.
Making an offer
When you are ready to make an offer on a property, we are on hand to give you help with this. Amongst other things, we will appraise you on the sales of similar recently sold properties in the area. If you really like the property, offer a price that is below the asking price but not too low. The market is past its lowest point now with signs of modest growth. Once you have verbally agreed on the price, we will liaise with your lawyer to prepare a Purchase - Sale contract.
Completing the purchase
The 1st step is for us to arrange for the paperwork for the property to be passed to your lawyer. With this information, they will then complete the legal checks, searches and due diligence for you. At the same time, you lawyer will prepare the Private Purchase - Sale contract (in Spanish and English). This contract outlines the details of the property you are buying, purchase price, deposit and payments schedule and your completion date. It is important to note that the initial deposit that you will pay (usually 3,000€) is given and held by your lawyer until they are satisfied that the paperwork is all correct and you can proceed to completion. If there are any issues with the paperwork meaning that you cannot complete, this deposit will be returned to you. A 2nd deposit (10% less the 3,000 already paid) is due once your lawyer is satisfied that you can proceed to completion. The remaining balance is paid by bank transfer or certified cheque on the day of completion. The completion date at the Notary (the day that you take possession of you new home) is mutually agreed by both parties. If needed, it can be changed providing that both parties agree.
Sometimes overlooked at the start, you need to be aware of what additional costs you can expect in buying your new home in Spain. These vary between each region.
Purchase Tax - paid to the regional government. Currently, this is 10% in Alicante & Valencia and 8% in Murcia
Notary - Land Registry - Lawyer. These should be around 2%-3% of the purchase price and should not vary between each region.
In summary, if you are buying in Alicante or Valencia, allow 12% - 13% on top of the purchase price. If the property is in Murcia, allow 10%-11%.
After you have bought
Some useful things to know and give you extra peace of mind
- will change the utility and annual rates bills into you name
- will pay all of your taxes for you
- collect the Title Deeds when they have been inscribed at the Land Registry
- we are here to help you with any questions as you settle in to your new home
How to apply for healthcare in Spain
Sometimes overlooked by foreign nationals buying a property in Spain, this guide shows you what you need to do to ensure that you are covered when using the Spanish health system.