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Property Purchase Procedure

“Living in Spain is fantastic”. That’s our belief and we feel that you can experience that belief too. Buying a property in Spain has been reported to be a nightmare, however if you follow the simple rules and processes of purchase, which in a lot of ways are very similar to purchasing in the UK, then you shouldn’t go far wrong.

Property Selection

Prior to your arrival we will have discussed what type of property you are looking for and will have a portfolio of properties for you to view. When viewing keep your “Wish List” in mind, better still, write your wish list down and keep it with you. We will try not to overload you with too many properties in one go and we will move at your pace.

Feedback from you is also very important. If there’s something you don’t like about a property then tell us, after all we don’t want to waste anyone’s time viewing properties that may not meet with your specific requirements.

Making an Offer

As with resale properties in the UK there may be a “little bartering” before you and the vendor reach a mutually agreeable price. This negotiation will take place through us until both parties agree.

Reservation Deposit & Contract

When you have decided on the property you want to purchase you will be required to pay a 3,000€ Reservation Deposit and sign a Reservation Contract. The deposit is usually paid in to a solicitors' client account and is non refundable if you change your mind and decide not to proceed with the purchase.

This contract removes the property from sale for approximately two to three weeks whist your solicitor makes the necessary searches to ensure that the property can be legally sold.

If your legal representation finds any problems with the paperwork, the legality of the property and the sale, your deposit will be refunded and the contract is cancelled. If the vendor withdraws from the sale you will receive 6,000€.


Appoint a qualified solicitor.

We can recommend reputable independent solicitors that speak English as well as Spanish. This is very important as you need to know the legal issues that will affect you and your purchase and they of course will have to deal with the many non-English speaking people involved in the purchase.

If you are not going to be in Spain at the time of the completion of your purchase then this would also be a good time to appoint your solicitor “Power of Attorney” so that they can finalise everything on your behalf.

Your solicitor will also be able to arrange for the application of an NIE number or Fiscal Identification Number that you will need to complete the purchase. The NIE is a “one off” application and once the number is registered in the tax office (which your solicitor can do for you) the number will be yours for life.

Option to Buy Contract or Purchase Contract

Once your solicitor has completed the searches and you have your mortgage offer approved you will need to sign the “Option to Buy” or “Purchase Contract”. This second contract will state the purchase price and date for completion. On signing the contract you will be asked to pay around 10% of the purchase price to the vendor. (This is normally 10% minus the €3000 reservation deposit). If you withdraw from the purchase the 10% is non-refundable however if the vendor should withdraw they will have to refund your 10% plus a further 10%.

On new build properties the “Stage Payments” can vary. Having paid 10% when signing the Purchase Contract you may be asked to pay a further 30% in 90 days and then the remainder on completion. Some companies may want 30% when signing the Purchase Contract. This can be negotiable but will be detailed in the Purchase Contract.

Cost and Taxes

Costs and taxes normally add up to around 11% of the purchase price for re-sale properties and 13% for new build. They are broken up as follows:
Notary Fees – Approximately 1% of the purchase price (plus IVA).
Solicitor’s Fees – Approximately 1% of the purchase price (plus IVA).
Property Transfer Tax (ITP) – This is paid on a re-sale proprety and is 8% of the purchase price or Catastral Value.
Property Purchase Tax (IVA) - is paid on a new property and is 10% of the purchase price.


On the day of completion you will be required to attend the Notary (unless you have already signed Power of Attorney to your solicitor) to sign the new title deeds – “Escritura de Compraventa”. A lot of speed reading takes place and you will be asked if you understand everything – hence the need for bi-lingual solicitors! We will be there too and will help explain anything that you may not be certain of.

The “Escritura” states that you will be the new owner and that the property is free from debt. You will be required to make the balance of payment in full and then the property becomes yours whilst the remaining administration, payment of Notary taxes and your copy of the Escritura may take up to two months to complete. In the meantime the property is yours for you to enjoy.

In Conclusion

If you follow the rules and use qualified, trusted and knowledgeable professionals the buying process can be quite straight forward. If you don’t, well, we tried to warn you!