Having this wonderful weather all year round certainly makes owning a home an attractive proposition, but where should you start? These days, there is a lot of information online about buying a property in Spain. Unfortunately, this can lead to confusion and can be somewhat overwhelming. This article aims to help unravel some of the bewilderment and give you six clear steps on how to buy a house in Spain.
How to buy a house in Spain in 6 steps
1. Independent Lawyer
At Ábaco Advisers we encourage potential property purchasers to contact us as soon as they decide to buy a property in Spain. We have many years of expertise that allow us to answer any questions or clarify any lingering doubts.
This prepares the potential purchaser well when they actually come to Spain and start viewing properties. They have us there in the background, waiting to offer our services when they do find that perfect property.
2. Property legal check
Otherwise known as due diligence, property legal check is carried out by our legal team. One of the seven lawyers we have at Ábaco Advisers will oversee this. This is an extensive check that we carry out before a property changes hands. It gives the purchaser peace of mind before committing to paying a deposit or signing any kind of binding contract.
This check is very important because it establishes who the genuine owners of the property are and if they are legally permitted to sell the property. It checks whether there are any outstanding debts or charges that need to be cancelled before the property changes hands. The legal check we perform also looks into planning issues. This is to ensure that structures such as an added swimming pool, outbuilding or glazed balcony have legal planning permission.
3. NIE and bank account
We’ve completed our checks and the property has got the green light from our legal team. We are well on our way to being able to buy a house in Spain. Now, we can prepare the contract which will establish when the property can be sold. This will establish the all-important signing date at the notary, a signal that things are well on their way. At this time, we also confirm the sale price and any other conditions that we need to include. Once these are all established we can obtain the NIE number.
The NIE number is a tax number that the government must issue to all foreign purchases, a bit like the National Insurance number in the UK. Usually, property buyers obtain this number by using the Power of Attorney. This is a legal document giving us permission to act on the client’s behalf for the rest of the sale. This is one thing we can help our customers with, either here in Spain or back in their home country. Using the power of attorney, we can perform tasks for the client such as obtaining the NIE number and opening a bank account.
4. Utilities and currency exchange
Having completed the legal checks on the property and opened the NIE number and bank account, we move on to checking the utility services. This is to make sure that everything is correctly connected to the property and that there are no horrendous outstanding bills. If there are, the seller needs to pay these before completion of the sale. At this point, we prepare the final balance and advise our clients on how to send the funds to Spain. Clients often ask us the best way to transfer their money so we can then direct them to our currency exchange partners for advice.
5. Signing purchase deed
This is the big day; the big event. After signing the purchase deed the property becomes yours. This will take place at the public notary. The notary presides over the transaction ensuring the legal correctness of the proceedings. We will be there by your side every step of the way, guiding you through the process and making sure everything turns out as expected. This is also the point where you hand over the funds in exchange for the keys to the property. You can either be there personally or if you have assigned us to be the power of attorney, we will complete it on your behalf.
6. Taxes and Spanish wills
The property is now yours and we are sure you are enjoying every minute of it. However, our services do not end there. We can help you to pay your obligatory annual taxes. They are not particularly expensive but it is essential you keep on top of them and make every payment. Furthermore, we can help you through the process of signing a Spanish will. If you have these two things covered then you will be left with complete peace of mind and the freedom to enjoy your property in the Spanish sun.
We are with you each step of the way
We want you to know how to buy a house in Spain. Therefore, we hope that this article showing the process we make, step by step, was helpful. If you have any further questions about the process of buying a house in Spain, about Spanish taxes or the inheritance process in Spain, please do not hesitate to get in touch via this form, and we will offer you a free consultation without obligation.