What Not to Do When Buying a Property in Spain
Many articles on buying in Spain are full of the positives, enticing you to go ahead without forewarning of any potential problems.
Buyers cannot expect in a different country, even if another European country, to have the same legal system and processes as their own country and it is essential to use a professional, experienced conveyancer in order to avoid mistakes when buying a property in Spain.
We list below some of the pitfalls to avoid:
- Firstly, do not fall for the age-old trick of there is someone else interested, about to put a deposit down, that sort of pressure. That is very rarely true and designed to get you to sign a contract and put a deposit down. In this area, the most common deposit asked is for 3,000€ and once you have signed a private contract and put this down you cannot usually pull out (changing your mind) without losing this or even double; 6,000€.
- So try to avoid putting a deposit down before you have spoken to a professional legal representative who can obtain an extract from the Land Registry to check what is legal and what is not legal with the property. Otherwise you may find, for example, that they are marketing a property with a swimming pool that you can never be legalised.
- What you must remember is that in other countries an initial payment is not usually made until checks on the property have been done for some time.4 Never make a commitment assuming you will be able to get a mortgage in Spain. Yes, it is possible, but it is always best to have had the bank confirm they will assist first.
- If you have already paid a deposit, do not worry, it is quite common in Spain, but do not just proceed without a professional doing the legalities of the purchase for you.
- Do not sign a contract or put a deposit down without having checked with a legal firm all you are going to have to pay to purchase (the total with costs). Some estate agents are excellent at knowing
what to inform you regarding purchase tax and other costs, others are a little more vague, shall we say. Do not enter into a major commitment without knowing what you are letting yourself in for.
- Along the same lines, make sure you are aware of the ongoing costs of owning a Spanish property before committing yourself. You need to be aware of how much you will need to pay for non-resident
tax if you are not living in Spain, annual property tax (IBI or SUMA) and any community fees.
- If you provide power of attorney to a firm (and don’t worry about this, it is normal) then remember it cannot be used for anything that you have not instucted or that would be illegal. But having instructed them, you need to know it is done. So if they have completed for you at a Notary ask for a copy of the deed. Make sure the deeds are in your name even if you have to wait for the final copy registered with the Land Registry (which is usual).If you have any further queries regarding buying a property in Spain, especially in the Southern Costa Blanca or Murcia areas, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.