Buying Guide

Buying property in Spain can be a fairly straightforward affair. However, it can become a lengthy and difficult process if shortcuts are taken at an early stage. Therefore it is important for prospective buyers to do their research and solicit the advice and expertise of professionals.

Before searching for a property, potential buyers should give some thought to what kind of property they are looking for. This means knowing the ideal size of property, the area, necessary nearby amenities and most importantly the budget available. When the buyer has settled on these factors it is time to speak to an agent that knows the area. An agent will be able to assess a buyer’s needs and help them to find a property that best matches the requirements and preferences.

An agent can then set up viewings on potential properties. When a buyer has found a property they like it is important to set up a second viewing. At this point the buyer should raise any queries of worries with their agent to make sure it is the right property for them. If a buyer is ready to make an offer then they should do so through their agent. The agent will advise the buyer how much to offer but this is ultimately a decision for the buyer to make and the buyer will have the final say. If the offer is accepted, the buyer will be asked to pay a deposit to secure the property and to sign a sale agreement. It is at this point that both parties will agree on a completion day, generally between 6 to 8 weeks from the point of signing the sale agreement.

Costs

If you are buying property in Spain you should bear in mind that there are additional costs on top of the property price. Additional costs are generally between 10 to 11% of the purchase price.
The biggest expense you will face when buying a property is the Transfer Tax, which is about 7% of the purchase price but only affects resale properties. An additional 4% of the sale price will also be set aside to cover legal costs and advice such as notary and land registry fees.

F.A.Q.: Frequently asked questions about buying a house

  • Why buy property in Spain?*
    There are many reasons why buying a property in Spain could be the right decision for you. Here are just a few reasons:

    • Good weather: The Costa del Sol enjoys around 320 days of sunshine a year
    • Cost of living: There is no two-ways about it, you get more for your money in Spain. Be it food, clothes or property, your money goes further. Not only can you get more property for your money but the cost of living is significantly cheaper
    • Close to home: For British and Irish expats on the Costa del Sol, a trip home is just 2 and a half hours away from Malaga or Gibraltar airports. There are several flights a day at reasonable prices. Indeed, Malaga airport has become an international hub with flights to most European destinations available every day
    • Quality of life: The good weather, the Mediterranean diet and a relaxed pace of life culminate to provide a quality of life missing from other countries

  • How long does buying a property in Spain take?
    The time frame for buying in Spain depends on the specific conditions of your purchase but it usually takes between four to 10 weeks from acceptance of the offer to completing the transaction. However the buying process can be as quick as two weeks if the sale is straightforward and the buyer doesn’t need financing. If the buyer needs to take out a mortgage then the usual time frame is between six to eight weeks.

  • Do I need a lawyer to buy a property in Spain?
    There is no obligation to solicit the services of a lawyer when buying a property in Spain. However, we strongly recommend using a qualified lawyer who specialises in property law to advise you and to take care of the paperwork. Using a lawyer should avoid any complications post sale and gives the buyer peace of mind.

  • Are there any other costs on top of the property price?
    There are additional costs on top of the property price which generally vary between 10 to 11% of the purchase price.
    The biggest expense you will face when buying a property is the Transfer Tax, which is about 7% of the purchase price but only affects resale properties. An additional 4% of the sale price will also be set aside to cover legal costs and advice such as notary and land registry fees.

  • Can I obtain a mortgage in Spain?*
    There is a wide range of mortgages available in Spain offered by banks or through mortgage brokers. It is important to research the market to find the best possible deal. Most of the mortgages on offer are variable-rate but you can also find fixed-rate or interest-only mortgages and the typical length of a Spanish mortgage is 20-25 years. Using a broker is the easiest way to access all the mortgage options available to a buyer.

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