The Spanish property market has many quirks, and it pays to do your research before buying a home in Spain.
The process of buying a property in Spain usually runs as follows. First, the buyer makes an offer, usually through the seller’s estate agent. If this is accepted, then the buyer and seller sign a preliminary contract (contrato privado de compraventa) and the buyer pays a deposit, typically 10 per cent of the purchase price.
The buyer then arranges any mortgage they require, although they should have already discussed their needs with the mortgage provider. The contract of sale (escritura de compraventa) is usually signed in front of a notary, at which point the full sale price, taxes and other costs become due.
The services of a notary are not legally required to complete the sale, but it is advisable and required by many mortgages.
The seller is responsible for hidden defects in the property, even if they are not aware of them. However, in practice gaining restitution for such defects can be difficult and costly.
Paying the costs and taxes associated with buying a home can be completed by the buyer or their agent. It is the buyer’s responsibility, however, to ensure taxes are paid.
The buyer is also responsible for registering the property. The notary may provide this service for a fee, and/or may notify the registry office that the sale has taken place, without completing full registration.
Costs are primarily paid by the buyer, and vary across Spain. Many are negotiable – there are no fixed fees for lawyers or estate agents.
Costs paid by the buyer include:
Property transfer tax 6–10 per cent(existing properties) /IVA at 10 per cent (new properties);
Notary costs, title deed tax and land registration fee 1 to 2.5 per cent;
Legal fees 1 to 2 per cent(including IVA).
The estate agent’s fees are usually paid by the seller, and this is typically their only cost. Estate agents usually charge a percentage, typically around 3 per cent of the final sale price.