If you have already searched thoroughly and have found the property in the perfect city and the right place, it is time for you to prepare the purchase of your property, because, although it is a cheap transaction, it will take a few days due to legal procedures.
The buying and selling process is different in each country because each one has its respective regulations, therefore, as a foreigner who wants to move to Spain, you should know the procedure in this nation.
Next, we explain the different contracts that are made in Spain, the negotiation and the topics that you should discuss and prepare with the lawyer you hire for the operation. Pay close attention to these details. You don’t want to get it wrong at this point of the game!
Negotiation of the purchase of your property
A very important step when buying a property of any kind in Spain is verbal negotiation. For the seller, it represents the moment to establish a price and make their property a desirable product; for the buyer the opportunity to get a good deal.
It will not be enough with a phone call and some messages on WhatsApp, you will have to make an appointment with the owner and talk about the interests of both.
Keep in mind that when negotiating the maximum price to pay will be the sale price and that you have to offer a payment similar to the minimum price accepted by the seller. During the negotiation, a price is established between both quantities, that is, an agreement will be reached.
Sellers generally value their properties at higher prices than they are really worth, because they are prepared to talk to the buyer and usually give discounts. Try not to haggle too much, otherwise you will make the other person believe that you consider that their property is not good enough.
In addition to the price of the house, you will also need to establish the end date of the deal and the content of the offer. Do not make a binding commitment until you have spoken with your lawyer.
What issues do you need to discuss with the attorney?
Make sure that the conversations with the lawyer are as profitable as possible, write down on a sheet of paper or in the notepad of your smartphone all the doubts you have and consult him when you meet him.
In theory, the attorney you hire should help you:
- Examine the Property Registry and verify the descriptive details about the property are correct and that the seller has the legal right to the transaction.
- Check that the property has no tenants. If a family is in the residence they should leave it as soon as possible as the laws protect the tenants in the long term and it can be difficult to evict them if they have children or elderly people.
- Demonstrate that there are no rights of first acquisition; that is, that the buyer does not ask you for a price that he had already agreed with a third party also interested.
- Check for restrictive covenants.
- Check that buyers can make remodels to their liking, such as extra rooms, swimming pools or terraces, as long as there is enough space and it is within the limits of their property.
- Check that the developer has obtained a New Construction Certificate and a First Occupancy License from the City Council for the construction of a new building.
- Demonstrate that there are no charges (due to debts) associated with the property.
Types of purchase contracts
Real estate agencies create for their clients a standard contract that is signed by both parties and is safe, however, they are very general and do not always fit the buyer’s needs so it is a good idea to have the help of a lawyer.
Regarding the types of contracts, this professional will advise you to choose one that is convenient for you, but it is good that you know at least which ones exist.
Reservation contract: It is done to reserve a property for 15 or 30 days; for this you have to pay a deposit that ranges between 3,000 and 6,000 euros. If you withdraw from the purchase during or at the end of this period, you will lose the money invested. In case the seller delays the transaction, he will be duly penalized.
Option contract: In this agreement, the seller suggests a price to sell his property and together with the buyer they establish a period to conclude the contract. You pay 5% to 10% of the sale price of the property, as a deposit.
Advance contract: Neither party can withdraw from the agreement unless they obtain mutual permission to do so. It is similar to a deposit agreement.
Transfer of ownership
The transfer of ownership refers to the procedures related to the purchase of the property and revolves around a deed that receives the name of property title.
Spanish laws require a notary public to carry out at least one of the property transfer procedures, for example, drafting the deed or witnessing the signatures of those involved in the transaction.
You can also hire private notaries, but there must always be the presence of a public one. In any case, the activity of this official is not to verify the accuracy/legality of the documents, nor to provide protection against fraudulent activities. He will only do his job.
This is why buyers should verify with a lawyer the details of the contract and the acquisition or not of debts.
Under Spanish law, the seller is obliged to repair all major defects on the property that have remained hidden within six months. However, do not rely too much on this provision because there is a possibility that the seller will disappear.
Final review by the lawyer
Your lawyer will have to do a final review of the property to make sure that there are no changes since the final review, that there are no other debts and the transparency of the document.
If he discovers some problems that were not there before or that something is missing, you can request a quick resolution of these problems in a time that should not exceed the time of the purchase of your property.
The property transfer process will end at the notary’s office. The notary will make sure that all the conditions of the contract have reached a satisfactory conclusion and will ask both parties to sign the official document.
After signing the deed and paying the remaining installments, you will become the new owner of the property. They will give you a copy of the deed, as well as the keys to the house. You have 30 days to pay taxes, once this time has elapsed you will have to pay very expensive fines.