Spain has become a popular place for expats from everywhere to buy real estate, due to its weather and general lifestyle. There are many cosmopolitan cities, along with attractive Mediterranean properties. It is one of the most popular European Countries to invest in property. Spanish real estate laws are fairly straight forward, but they place more responsibilities on the buyer than laws do in other countries, so it is usually recommended to hire a lawyer to purchase real estate in Spain.
Attorneys and Real Estate Agents
It is highly recommended to hire an attorney who is well versed in Spanish real estate law to help you with this process. They will help you with overseeing legal matters when buying your property. You will also end up working with a notary when signing contracts.
You may work with a Spanish real estate agent, but not necessarily. Agents can help you research the property in your best interest. However, many people choose to sell their properties themselves.
Rules, Regulations and Restrictions
There are no restrictions on the foreign ownership of property in Spain. Foreigners have the same rights as Spanish nationals. There are hardly any regional differences around Spain; laws are practically uniform around the country. Just keep in mind that there are many burdens on the buyer in Spain to conduct legal research.
First, you should settle on a property. Then you should make an oral offer to the seller.
If the seller accepts this offer, then a sales contract should be put together by a Spanish notary, which you both will sign. The contract should contain information about the agreed payment deposit, final purchase price, information about paying the outstanding balance, as well as any additional information. After you sign this contract, you should put down a 10% deposit of the final cost.
After you pay the deposit, it is on your behalf to determine that your property has a clean title. It is also your responsibility to figure out if there are any outstanding mortgages or other payments on the property. Your attorney can help you with this research. You should then work on obtaining your mortgage loan, if you wish to purchase your property this way.
The next step, if all of your research turns out satisfactory, is to pay the remaining balance of the property cost to the seller. The seller can then arrange for the deed transferred into your name.
Once the property is transferred into your name, you should have it registered with the Spanish Land Registry. You will end up paying additional fees for your property and all of these transactions, which will work out to be about 10% of the final purchase price. These include stamp duty, notary fees and land registry fees.