Buying a house in Spain

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In the first case, a mediation contract with an agency will mean paying out an extra amount, which in some cases can range from 3 to 6-7%, of the agreed purchase price. On the other hand, this service offers you a certain guarantee as regards the conditions of the property and a specific firm to which you can direct complaints should the case arise. The estate agencies or estate agents you hire will carry out all the following steps on your behalf.

If, however, you decide to purchase property on your own, you must check out a number of issues regarding the situation of the property and this begins with ownership, its real surface area and any existing encumbrances on the property.

In order to do this, you must go to the Land Register Office (Registro de la Propiedad) - there is at least one of these offices in every provincial capital - where you ask for a copy of the registration of the property. This document states: details of the present owners of the property, its surface area, the existence of possible encumbrances on the house, for example, mortgages, loans, or credits of any kind; and the situation regarding tax.

It is also advisable to ask the seller for a copy of the receipt for council tax (Contribución Urbana) for the last 3 years.

Another important document needed when purchasing property is to ask the property administrator for a certified report on the financial situation of the house within the association of owners: that all payments are up to date, the existence of possible extra payments or agreements taken at meetings, which could affect the house, ... etc.

Once these points have been checked, you must then go to a solicitor (notario) in order to legalise the sale correctly, and provide all the above-mentioned documents for their inclusion in the contract.

Likewise, when signing the contract, you must not forget that the seller must undertake –in writing- the obligation to pay Capital Gains Tax.

Finally, and before completing the purchase, you must take into account legal costs, such as the tax for documented judicial acts, the solicitor’s fees and registration in the Land Register Office, which all together amount to 10% of the price agreed with the seller. This amount will have to be added to your budget.

Read more about getting your future home ready,equipped and furnished in Spain.