Most Spanish property purchasers recognise the importance of having good legal representation. However, not all Spanish property sellers are as aware of the need. Although the buyer’s solicitor will take the lead during the buying and selling process in Spain, you do need your own representative to ensure that your interests are protected too.
As you might expect, the sale will not happen overnight and there are a number of stages to it. In this article we look at what those stages are and how you, as the seller of Spanish property, can help speed up the process.
The first stage in the process is ensuring that you have the right legal representative who you can communicate clearly with and who has a good reputation.
There are a number of documents that the solicitor in Spain will ask you for. It is important that you have these ready to supply to cut down the time taken in preparing documentation for the sale. You need:
- Purchase Title Deed
- Local Rates and Council Tax receipts
- Latest water, electricity and gas bills
- Receipt for the payment of the Community Fees
- NIE number
- Certificate of habitation
- Installation certificates for electricity, water and gas
- Income tax declarations from the previous year
- Certificate from your bank showing your full name and account number
A good solicitor in Spain will help you locate or replace anything that’s missing. However, the more you can supply yourself, the swifter the process will be – a very important factor when you are lucky enough to have found your buyer.
Proving you’re debt-free
Some of these documents are needed to demonstrate that your property does not have debts held against it. Any unpaid bills that might have remained hidden until now will suddenly come to the surface and will need to be settled prior to the sales transaction being complete.
Proving you’re a fiscal resident
This is one time when residents realise that making an annual tax declaration in Spain has its uses. If you are a resident and wish to avoid the Tax Authority retaining 3% you will need to demonstrate that you are a fiscal resident in Spain. Without this proof you might still find yourself three per cent poorer when the money for the sale comes through.
Seven steps to selling and buying
There are seven main steps to buying and selling a property in Spain:
- Ensure documentation is in place
- Draw up the private contract
- Search for any debts held against the property including contacting the bank to cancel any remaining mortgages
- Sign the contract
- Organise the signing at the notary and methods of payment
- Sign the deed
- Manage the tax payments associated with the sale
Although the purchaser’s solicitor will take the lead, it is important that the seller’s solicitor keeps an eye on the process and the interests of the vendor in view. This is particularly vital during the final stage of signing in the notary’s office. If there should be any anomalies during the procedure, having your own representation will mean that you are not reliant on the purchaser’s solicitor or the estate agent for translation or negotiation purposes.