Abogados, gestorias, asesores, inmobiliarias, notarias, economistas… the list of Spanish professionals you might come across when buying and selling your Spanish property, just goes on. Which would you use and what might the equivalent be in your home country? This glossary can help you get to grips.
Abogado – The Solicitor
An Abogado in Spain is a professional Spanish lawyer who will be involved in most legal transactions. You can buy the services of an abogado in order to represent you in relation to:
* Property and urban law
* Disputes and litigation
* Divorce and custody
* Other legal matters
Some work independently or in offices that specialise in lawsuits. Others might be based in an advisors or asesores along with other professionals.
Asesores – Advisors
Alongside abogados in Spain you will see a range of companies advertised as being ‘asesores’ or ‘advisors’. An asesores can combine a number of different legal and tax services and may well have one or more abogados employed as part of the team. However, they might also provide some services similar to a gestoria (see below).
Using the services of an asesores in Spain can be beneficial as one department can compliment another with the legal functions being supplemented by tax advice and other property services.
A fiscal asesor deals in financial matters and you might use one for:
* Tax advice and information
* Accountancy services
* Fiscal representation
* Other financial matters
An Spanish economista’s activities are fiscal and they are professionals who are experts in financial planning, policy and practice. They might be involved in managing company accounts and those of the self-employed.
A gestor is a difficult word to translate directly as many countries do not have a professional in this kind of role. A gestoria largely deals with state-related paper work and bureaucracy. Something that Spain can seem to be overrun with on occasions. Most gestorias are able to communicate in more than one language and can be a very helpful assistant when it comes to sorting out your documentation.
You might use a gestoria for:
* Applying for residency
* Issues to do with your driving licence
* Arrangements on the transfer of a car
* Self-employment and social security matters
Inmobiliaria – Estate Agent
Property is usually placed on the market through an estate agent. You should be aware that estate agents in Spain are not regulated by law. If the estate agent is a small enterprise then they should be a member of a professional association such as Agente de Propiedad Immobiliaria (API) or Expertos Immobiliarios. You can ask to see the agent’s registration number and have it checked if you are not sure.
Estate agents can be persuasive and you should not feel under pressure to buy a property. Visit the property as many times as you need to before making your decision. When it comes to buying your property your solicitor will want to confirm that the estate agent is properly authorised to act on behalf of the seller.
In some cases the seller might have more than one estate agent in Spain dealing with the property. This is not unusual and you should check that the different agents aren’t advertising at different prices. You will want to be sure that you are purchasing at the lowest price advertised.
Notaria – The Notary
The notary’s main role is to certify Spanish documents to make sure that private agreements fulfil certain legal criteria. A notary in Spain uses a stamp and signature to verify documentation and most important transactions such as house sales, making a will or taking out loans or mortgages must be authorised by them.
The Spanish notary does not act on behalf of a client in the same way as a lawyer might. Instead they:
* Advise parties of formalities and procedures
* Draft documents
* Certify facts, acts and agreements
In most cases you can choose who you wish the notary to be provided it is within a specified district.
A procurador in Spain is a legal expert who works with a lawyer in preparing and presenting documents to a court.
If you want to know more about what’s involved in buying a property in Spain, access our conveyancing handbook; ‘Buying a property in Spain’: