A guide to buying property in Spain
At the present time, there are no significant restrictions to a foreign national
buying property in Spain. Indeed, foreigners
are able to purchase and invest in nearly any type of property to be found
for sale within that country -- commercial, residential or other types of investment
When it comes to making the purchase of property in Spain,
many experts maintain that a person is well served is he or she takes the time (and
spends the money) to hire a lawyer to assist in managing and overseeing the legal
affairs associated with the successful purchase of real estate in Spain.
Once a person identifies a piece of real estate that he or she is interested in
purchasing, the first step in the purchase process (after an oral offer to purchase
has been made by the buyer and accepted by the seller) is the creation of a preliminary
or initial contract for sale. In Spain, it is highly recommended that a person makes
absolutely certain that the ownership of the property and any encumbrances on the
property are clearly identified before this agreement is signed.
In most instances, a preliminary contract is a fairly substantial and a firm legal
agreement. Along with the agreement itself, a buyer will need to put down a deposit
of at least 10% of the total purchase price. Under the real estate laws of Spain,
the buyer has a more significant burden than is found in some other countries to
ensure that the title to the real estate has a title that can be conveyed to the
buyer at the conclusion of the sale (clean title). Thus, there are instances in
which a title proves to be imperfect, in which the ultimate transfer of ownership
cannot occur, and in which the buyer may lose out on the deposit he or she paid
because they simply did not carry out the correct checks at the outset.
Many people who have experience in dealing with the buying and selling of property
in Spain suggest that foreign nationals should retain the assistance of a capable
lawyer at this juncture. While Spanish real estate laws are not particular confusing
or difficult to understand, a person seeking to buy a property in Spain bears a
greater due diligence responsibility early on in the real estate buying and selling
process than do buyers in some other nations.
During the period following the signing of the preliminary or initial contract,
the buyer has the opportunity to obtain financing and a mortgage loan to consummate
the sale and actually purchase the real estate.
Again, as referenced earlier, the buyer of real estate in Spain has a bit of a stiffer
burden to make certain that the title to real estate in Spain is clear before he
or she makes a purchase. Additionally, a buyer bears a greater burden than buyers
do in other countries when it comes to making certain that there are no mortgages
or liens from other lenders on a particular piece of property. While in most other
countries the world over, the burden for "clearing title" generally rests
nearly exclusively with the seller, such is not the absolute case in Spain.
Unlike in some other countries the world over, the laws governing the buying and
selling real estate in Spain generally are uniform across the country. There really
are no regional or local differences. (There are some local differences when it
comes to matters relating to municipal taxes.)
The final task in the sales process is the payment by the buyer of the amount due
and owing under the terms of the initial contract and the conveyance of the deed
and possession of the property from the buyer to the seller.
Property Abroad always recommends using a Solicitor
or Lawyer when considering buying a property in Spain