Whether you are buying in Spain or any other country the most important step you can possibly take is to engage the services of a LOCAL, INDEPENDENT lawyer that speaks YOUR language.
We at Euro Property Spain want to make sure your purchase is safe and secure, even though we have carried out due diligence on our properties prior to marketing them, we would still strongly advise you to use a lawyer to review it again.
Just think about it for a second, would you buy a property in your home country without engaging the services of a lawyer!
FREE INDEPENDENT FINANCIAL ADVICE IF REQUIRED.
How does it all work in Spain?
The purchase process in Spain is relatively simple, albeit different to the way in which you may be used to in your home country, buying a property in Spain is safe providing you take the appropriate steps.
No system is fool-proof and yes, there have been a number of stories publicised about things not going according to plan, however, these remain a small minority and the vast majority of transactions go through smoothly and thousands of people are enjoying their holiday home, investment or new permanent home in the sun.
Once you have identified the property you wish to purchase, you must take it off the market to show your serious intention to purchase. This is done with a small reservation deposit which is always subject to all documentation regarding the property being correct and in order. This deposit will be held in a client holding account and the vendor will not receive any payment until your lawyer is satisfied with all legalities regarding the property.
The legal searches take between fourteen and twenty one days.
Once all the legal checks have been completed, a Private Purchase Contract (PPC) is drawn up and a date for completion is set. It is at this point in which the vendor will receive a percentage of the money, normally 10% of the purchase price.
When drawing up a Private Purchase Contract, it will include a clause in which it will clearly state the responsibilities from vendor to purchaser and purchaser to vendor as well as any possible penalties incurred for failure to fulfil the agreement.
Should any loans or mortgages be attached to the property then your lawyer will ensure that the relevant people are present at Notary to be paid and a certificate to this effect will be issued.
Money for any debts regarding a property is paid directly to those concerned and not to the vendor, the amounts outstanding are withheld from the vendor so you know that all debts will be paid off directly.
Completions in Spain are carried out in front of a Notary.
A Notary is a legal representative acting on behalf of the government who will oversee the work the Lawyers have carried out, demand to view all documentation regarding the property as well as ensure all relevant people are present for completion as well as checking their ID’s (passport, ID card etc).
Once the Notary is satisfied all has been carried out in accordance to Spanish law, he will then proceed to explain to you about the documentation you are about to sign. In some instances Notaries speak English, if not, then an independent translator will be required.
Once you have been explained the documentation, you, the vendors and Notary will sign as well.The vendors are then given the 90% remaining (remember you already paid 10% earlier on) and they then hand you the keys.
CONGRATULATIONS you are then the proud owner of a property in the sun.
What Formalities must a buyer fulfil when buying a property in Spain?
In order to purchase a property in Spain you must have an N.I.E (Numero Identificativo de Extranjeros) similar to a UK National Insurance Number. This is a fiscal reference number all foreigners must have in order to make any significant purchases in Spain, whether it is a property, a car or even to work in Spain.
Obtaining your N.I.E is pretty straight forward and your Lawyer will in most instances provide you with the necessary form for it. Once filled in, you will need to present it at the Local Area Police Station, normally within the vicinity of where you are purchasing. It varies greatly as to how long it will take for an N.l.E to be generated, anywhere between 48 hours to 21 days.
Second formality is opening a Spanish bank account. Generally speaking, banks are all pretty much alike, just ensure that you open an account with a bank that has a local branch to where you will be spending most of your time.