Spain Explained

Selling your home? Prepare your paperwork

If you are thinking of putting your house on the market in Spain you want to be ready for when a prospective buyer appears.

The presentation of documentation is an essential part of the selling process. Some paperwork you should already have to hand. For example, you will have had to have had a NIE (tax identification number) when you bought your property in the first place. However, other documentation may not be quite as easy to find and you would be well advised to think ahead and reapply if you don’t already have what’s needed.

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Habitation certificate

To begin with, you will need to provide the purchaser of your property with a habitation certificate or cédula de habitabilidad. This certificate means that your property complies with the town hall’s requirements for a dwelling. It is your responsibility as a seller to pass it on to the buyer and the buyer’s solicitor will expect you to be able to provide it.

The habitation certificate is valid for ten years, after which time it needs renewing. If your property is brand new then it will have been issued as a first occupancy licence or Licencia de Primera Ocupación. This licence is then replaced at a later stage by the habitation certificate. Many people find that when they come to sell their property they do not have this certificate. If this is the case for you, do not worry. You may have initially had a first occupancy licence and this was never changed. If you have never had one at all or you can’t find it then you can apply for another one. A solicitor can help you obtain one or a replacement from the town hall.

It is an important document that shows that the property is registered correctly and fulfills all requirements to prove the property is habitable. It is issued by the Local Town Hall and is also required to enable the registration and changeover of the utility services. It is renewable after 5 or 10 years and is later known as a Certificate of Second Occupancy.

Energy Efficiency Certificate

Sellers must provide a CEE (Energy Efficiency Certificate). This is a legal requirement when renting or selling property and rates the energy consumption of the property from ‘A to G’ with A being the most efficient and G the least. A note is made of the energy that is consumed and the emissions.  The certificate must be signed by a qualified technician or architect and takes account of the level of consumption of electricity, water and gas.

If you have advertised your property then the results of your CEE should have been included in the advert. Any advertising material is expected to show the allocated energy label including billboards, posters, on the internet and brochures.

Other documents

If you bought your property without the help of a mortgage then you should have a Title Deed which shows that you are the legitimate owner. If you have a mortgage the bank will have retained the mortgage Deeds.

In order to ensure a smooth transfer on everyone’s behalf, then there are a number of other documents that are beneficial for your solicitor to have too. Providing examples of your utility bills will make it easier to change the name they are registered in.  You also need to have an official certificate from the community administrator to prove that there are no outstanding community fees.

Resident sellers will need to prove their fiscal residency status with a certificate issued by the Spanish Tax authority. This will avoid them having 3 % of their sale funds retained to cover possible capital gains tax payment obligations. They will pay any due tax the following year.

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Don’t worry

If you do find that you are missing some of these documents, Ábaco can help you to obtain them or deal directly with the necessary agency so that the the sale is not delayed. It can seem like a rather intimidating list. It needn’t be and with Ábaco to help you, there should be no unpleasant surprises.

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