How will you ensure your purchase and investment is safeguarded?
Once you have decided on your ideal property and agreed the purchase terms then you should instruct an independent lawyer to carry out all the necessary checks and searches to establish clear and unencumbered title. You should choose an independent lawyer to represent your interests and your estate agent will be able to advise you of several independent lawyers for you to choose from.
What will you need to do when you have chosen your property?
Once you have decided on your ideal purchase you will need to secure it whilst the buying procedures are carried out. This will normally require signature of a Reservation Agreement outlining the terms of the purchase and also payment of a reservation deposit – generally 6.000€.
If you are buying a resale property then this may be paid either into the Client Account of your real estate agent or your lawyer and in either case, it will be protected subject to legal searches. The Reservation Agreement will also specify the timetable and amounts of further payments.
If buying a resale property, it is usual to sign a Private Purchase Contract and pay 10% of the full price – normally within 15 days of paying the initial reservation deposit. This allows time for your lawyer to do the necessary searches and for you to arrange the transfer of funds. If you will need loan finance to complete your purchase, then the period before signature of the 10% may take a little longer. That is why it is so important to already have obtained “pre-approval” from your intended lender.
If you are buying a new build from the developer under construction, then the reservation payment will generally be made direct to them and is protected in the same way. Thereafter, the next payment will typically be 30% – 40% of the full price with the balance payable on final completion and handover of the keys.
If you fail to place a reservation and deposit on your chosen property then the seller will be free to sell to another buyer and you are in danger of losing out with the resulting frustration for all in involved!
You do not need to return for the signature of the Private Purchase Contract or to attend the final completion of your purchase at the Notary, provided you have set up Power of Attorney for your lawyer to sign on your behalf. Arranging for the Power of Attorney is best done whilst you are in Spain but can also be arranged for signature in your own country – although the costs of doing it that way are higher.
Your lawyer’s service will also include assisting you in obtaining your fiscal identity number ( NIE ) a legal requirement before you can actually buy your property in Spain and in setting up a Spanish bank account.
In addition to handling the conveyancing of your purchase, your lawyer will also be able to advise you on inheritance issues and fiscal responsibilities.
As well as registering your ownership with the Land Registry they will also arrange for all the utilities to the property to be put into your name and also register you with the local town hall for payment of your local taxes.
Using a good independent lawyer who comes well recommended will ensure your purchase is handled smoothly, that your money is protected and that all the necessary registrations are done correctly.
That should give you the peace of mind you deserve for having successfully completed your buying project!