The 5-step guide for buying a property in Spain with full guarantees.

When buying your property, there are a series of steps which will enable you to make your purchase with full guarantees.

If you decide to select us as your agents in the process of buying a property, we will take care of every single step so it is just for you to choose your dream home property in the Costa del Sol.

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There are documents that certify that a house is completely legal in Spain, as the first occupancy licence or the property registration certificate, that you shoud have before purchasing a property. Once you have those documents you must continue with the following steps:

1- Check the legal position of the property by contacting the Property Registry

The Property Registry is a state body and the Registrars are civil servants who provide you with verbal information free of charge and who have the power to issue certificates concerning the legal position of the property.

Every property we advertise in our webpage and portals have an updated simple note that proves all the data we have is correct. The simple note is a document detailing a brief description of the property, its position, surface area, the amount under common ownership in an apartment property, the administrative system that may affect it (e.g. whether it is subsidised housing); any existing mortgages on the property, when they are due to expire and capital, interest and costs.

2- Study the existing mortgage charges

In addition to the legal requirements, it is important to pay attention to whether the property you are going to acquire has a mortgage (if this is the case, it will appear in the Property Register). If so, we recommend that you:

  • Ask the vendor for a bank certificate with the outstanding amount to be paid.
  • Negotiate a better interest rate with the bank. You are not obliged to assume the mortgage loan contracted by the vendor under the same conditions; rather you may demand its cancellation or obtain a new loan with another institution.

We will advise you if the property has a mortgage. Most of properties with it have the mortgage cancelled by the moment of the purchase, having no cost for the buyer.

3- Go to a notary to carry out the purchase and sale

Notaries are also independent public officers who have the authority to attest documents and who are obliged to counsel parties at the time of the sale, informing them about the law that applies to them. Furthermore, they are in charge of drawing up the contract in accordance with the parties’ wishes and adjusting it to the law. The contract takes the form of a public deed.

The public deed is essential in order to register the sale in the Property Register and to benefit from the security it gives you, as explained in point 5.

Before he or she authorises the sale, the Notary shall request a non-certified extract from the Property Register. You may therefore review the legal status of the property again at this point.

In Spain, the Notary acts at the time of the sale, but he or she may also advise you in advance, just as lawyers and agents do in your country of origin.

4- Make sure you pay the corresponding sales taxes

Purchasing and selling property in Spain implies payment of certain taxes:

When buying a new property, you must pay VAT to the vendor.

When buying a used property, you must pay the Tax on Capital Transfers through one of the banks recognised by the Government.

In both cases, if you buy via a mortgage you must pay the Tax on Documented Legal Acts to a Tax Authority account through the collaborating banks.

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5- Register as owner of the property in the Property Register

Once the sale has been carried out and the taxes have been paid, go to the Property Register corresponding to the property’s location to register it. Registration is not an obligation, but if a purchaser does so he or she shall be fully protected as the proprietor:

What appears in the Register is presumed to be true and can only be modified by a judge.

Nobody may dispute your right regarding the property that has still not appeared in the Register at the time of carrying out the sale and if someone wishes to register a document he or she may only do so with your consent or by legal procedure to which he or she has been party.

You shall be protected against the vendor’s creditors and against any charges that may occur which have not been entered in the Register. You shall be protected even if a judge were to decide that the contract through which the person who sold you the property originally acquired it is void, for reasons that do not appear in the Register.

In Andalucia realty we know that buying a property is a very important step and a happy moment that can involve a lot of time and resources. For buyers wanting to avoid any future problems and unnecessary complications, our company has already check every detail of each property we advertise, making sure all is up to date and according to the law.

Therefore if you are looking to buy a property in the Costa del Sol, we will gladly advise you and assist you through all the process.

This document is an extract of the text Safely Purhasing a House in Spain, available in the webpage of the Ministery of Public Works Transport and Housing of Spain.

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