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Under no circumstances should we sign a document that we do not understand; even more, in matters such as the purchase of a property, it is essential to check everything with a lawyer.Once you have found a property of interest, the first step to take is to go to the Property Register. There you will get a certification of the property, in order to know who the owner is, if the property has any tax burden (mortgage pending, embargos, claims on title ...) and any other information of interest, such as its surface area, building permissions, etc. Be sure of all these matters before signing any contract. Your estate agent or your lawyer can carry out this entire process, without you having to come to Spain.
The purchase contract should be signed in a private document and which then later has to be made public in a deed formalised by a notary public, or directly in the presence of the said notary. It is the notary public who includes in a document who the seller is, who the purchasers are, the details of the property and the price, but a notary does not provide legal advice.
Nevertheless, and in order to register the property, a public deed is essential. This deed should be registered in the Property Register, so you can be protected. This will ensure that nobody can sell your property to third parties, so between the signing of the deed and the register there should be a minimum amount of time possible.
Be careful if you are going to buy the property yourself, or with your partner as co-owner or in the name of your children. It is advisable to take these cases into consideration, taking into account the possible future transfer of ownership of the property, and that in Spain inheritance tax is relatively high.
The price of the property should be paid, at the latest, upon the signing of the deed. The seller, who up to this moment is the owner of the property, pays the notary fees, although the parties can agree to the contrary. The purchaser should pay for the copies of the deeds necessary for the settlement of the corresponding taxes and other processes, such as mortgages.
To the previous expenses the payment of the Property Transfer Tax (Impuesto de Transmisiones Patrimoniales) should be added. The amount of this tax should be calculated on the value declared in the public deed. This depends on the autonomous region where the property is located, but it is usually 6% or 7%.
In short, we calculate that to the price of the property between 8% to 10% of the declared value should be added to cover transfer concepts.