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Buying a property in Spain may seem a little daunting but the Spanish process is not that dissimilar to that of the UK. Needless to say, there are some differences that you need to be aware of when planning your Spanish property purchase, but don’t worry the tips I have included in this guide will help you with your research. Now, let’s get started so you can get on with buying your dream home in Spain.

Before you start

So, you’ve made the decision to buy in Spain. Before you go about looking for properties, get a feel for what it is that you’re looking for. Spain has 17 regions, which span over 50 provinces, so there’s plenty of variation to fit your needs. If it’s nice wine or peace and quiet you’re looking for, the region of La Rioja houses over 500 wine bodegas. Or perhaps its warm weather all year round and golf that piques your interest? Check out the south-eastern region of Murcia.

To buy a property in Spain you will need to apply for an NIE (Número de Identidad de Extranjero) – an ID that allows you to buy a property and open a Bank account in Spain (although some banks will allow you to open an account without an NIE).

Buying Spanish property

Finding a Spanish property and estate agent

Finding Spanish estate agents is usually an easy task and with so much choice online, you’ll be hard pressed not to find one that deals in English if Spanish isn’t your forte. There are plenty of property sites which will showcase the houses available all over Spain, with pictures and details for you to take a look at. From here you can enquire with the estate agent or property finder. This saves you from taking unnecessary trips, although you will need to plan a trip once you have a few properties in mind.

Be sure to check out a wide range of properties and websites to get a feel for the prices, and do your own research to ensure you are not paying too much.

Planning your viewing trip

When planning your trip, make sure that you have narrowed down the number of properties you wish to view, and allow for plenty of time between viewings to explore the area.

It’s generally a good idea to limit the number of property viewings to a maximum of 5 a day, as this helps to keep the details of each property fresh in your mind.


Getting to know the area

Getting to know the area and what it offers will help you make a more informed decision. Knowing the local supermarket is only a 5-minute walk away or the nearest hospital is within a 10-minute taxi ride will help tick boxes and narrow your search criteria at the property viewing stage.

Speak with the estate agent or property finder as they will have in depth knowledge of the local area.

It may be important to learn what travel links are in the area, Google maps is a handy tool for learning about the different transport options and it will even provide time tables and travelling duration.

In most cases, you can expect to pay 10-12% of the purchase price in fees to acquire your new property, but check with the estate agent as some these fees may already be incorporated within the price.

Choosing your property

Choosing your dream Spanish property is up to you… you’ll know when you’ve found it. Now it’s time to put in an offer.

Fees: What to look out for

The fees that are applicable when buying a property in Spain are similar to the UK, but it helps to know exactly how much you will be paying in fees as they are not necessarily included in the price of the property. Check with the estate agent beforehand.

Below you will find a breakdown;

  • ITP (Impuesto de Transmisiones Patrimoniales) is a national tax that differs slightly from region to region. In most cases its 7% of the sale of the property. The rate is set yearly by region so check before going ahead with your property purchase.
  • IVA is the UK equivalent to VAT and is only payable if the property is a new build.
  • AJD (Actos Jurídicos Documentados) is the UK equivalent to stamp duty and will vary depending on the region you’re buying in.
  • Notario fee (Notary fee) is fixed by law and depends on the sale price of the property, make sure to check with the estate agent.
  • Solicitor fee will differ from solicitor to solicitor as well as what work they undertake for the purchase of the property.
  • Surveyor’s fee is only applicable if you require a surveyor.
  • Property registration fee is payable for getting the names on the deeds changed.

In most cases, you can expect to pay 10-12% of the purchase price in fees to acquire your new property, but check with the estate agent as some these fees may already be incorporated within the price.

Buying Spanish Property

Putting in an offer

Great, now that you have a property in mind the next step is to make your offer through the estate agent. In Spain, as it is in the UK, your offer is made to the estate agent who will then discuss it with the seller and negotiations are common before a final offer is accepted.

Once the offer is accepted the seller’s solicitor will then draw up a private contract - you will be expected to pay the deposit before the final contract is drawn up.

Before you go ahead and sign the initial contract, be sure to check that your solicitor has made all of the necessary checks on the property, and that all debts on the property have, or will be paid upon completion of the final contract, as this will be inherited by you if it isn’t!

Buying Euros

You will also need to consider exchange rates if you plan to buy Euros with a foreign currency, talking through your requirements with a currency broker may save you money, as they have extensive knowledge of the markets and what affects rates - buying your currency through a brokerage as opposed to a bank could save you a considerable sum. You can get a quote for the currency exchange here.

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