We absolutely recommend that all Purchasers utilise and instruct an Abogado, a Spanish Lawyer and member of the Spanish Bar Association, the Colegio de Abogados.
The Abogado will deal with all matters relating to the conveyance including checking that all the statutory documentation and the requisite certifications are in place and in order and that the title is free of any debts or encumbrances.
The Abogado will also ensure that the current utility accounts, for water, electricity etc, plus the annual IBI charges ( annual property tax ) and Basura charges ( annual rubbish tax ) and, if applicable, Community Fees are all paid to date and, if necessary, will retain an amount to cover these contingencies.
As a purchaser of a Spanish property you will require an NIE number, a fiscal identification number and this will be arranged by your Abogado.
With the assistance of your Abogado the purchase will proceed to completion and the freehold title will be registered in your name at the Land Registry. The Abogado will arrange for the transfer of the utility contracts into your name, plus the contract with the gas company and if required a telephone connection.
- Reservation agreement prepared and signed by the vendor and purchaser with their individual details and the details of the property. The agreement will show the agreed purchase price, any particular inclusions and stating the agreed completion date. At this stage the purchaser pays a small holding deposit ( Between 3000 & 5000 Euros ) upon which the vendor agrees to take the property off the market.
- Normally within two weeks of signing the reservation agreement, a Private Purchase Contract is drawn up by the buyers Abogado, detailing the purchase price and any relavent terms and conditions regarding the transfer of the property, together with the agreed completion date. This contract will contain a clause requiring the vendor to convey a Public Title Deed ( Escritura Publica de Compraventa ) to the purchaser upon receipt of the final payment.
- The Private Purchase Contract is signed by both the purchaser and vendor and at this stage the purchaser pays a 10% non-refundable deposit ( less the initial reservation deposit ) to the vendor. In some instances the Reservation agreement and the Private Purchase Contract are drawn up as a single document.
- At a date agreed between the parties, the completion transaction proceeds to the Public Deed, so called because it must be prepared and signed before a Public Notary who attests to the identity and signatures of the parties involved. The Public Notary is a government appointed independent lawyer who ascertains the legality of the contract and all ancillary documentation and title deeds, prior to dealing with the administration issues.
- Upon signing the Deed and making the final payment for the purchase and all the fees and taxes due, a simple copy ( Copia Simple ) is handed to the purchaser, with the original document passed on to the Property Registry of the district in which the property is located for inscription in the name of the new owners. After inscription the Deed is passed into the ownership of the purchaser.
- New build projects can be in the form of an initial and separate purchase of the plot allied to a separate building contract, or as a complete package incorporating the plot and the building works, with payments in stages as the works proceed, all concluding in the signing of the Escritura and the legal procedures as previously described.
Expenses relating to property purchase
- Tax levy, known as IVA ( VAT ) is applied to the purchase, to be paid prior to the transfer of the Title Deeds into the new owner´s name, calculated to be 10% of the declared value plus Transfer Tax calculated at 1%. The declared value is the officially stated purchase price recorded in the Title Deeds, the Escritura de Compraventa.
- Fees raised for registration at the Land Registry plus fees charged by the Notary for preparing and formalising the Public Deed and for presiding over the signings etc and as an example a purchase of 300,000 € would attract overall charges in the region of 1,500 €.
- Plus Valia Tax, in essence comparable to Capital Gains Tax in the UK, being a tax on the estimated value of the actual plot of land, rather than the building thereon in the period since the previous transfer of the title. However this tax is the liability of the vendor, not the purchaser and this is to be so noted in the contract
- Abogado fees are variable relating to the value of the property and the work involved, these fees would be agreed upon issuing instructions and for illustration purposes we would suggest a provisional allowance of 2,000 €