My name is Sheila García from G&G solicitors based in Playa Flamenca on The Orihuela Costa. I am a Spanish lawyer and LilyPad Properties have asked me to introduce myself to you and help explain the process of buying a property here in Spain.
Here is an explanation of the buying process as I believe it will be much easier to understand if you have it in writing before arriving, you are more than welcome to contact our office anytime if you do have some more questions or need advice on any other aspects of your purchase.
The first thing you will need is an NIE number which can only be obtained at the police station here or at the Spanish Embassy in your country. You will also need to have a Spanish Bank account in your name, this is very easy to get also, and we can get this done for you in a day or so if you ae purchasing a Spanish property.
The Process Of Buying A Property In Spain
The process of buying the property you have chosen starts with the deposit contract. You must sign this and transfer the reserve amount that has been agreed at point of sale. This is in most cases is 3000 euros. This is done to secure the sale and obviously, to take the house off the market, because until this is done, the house will still be for sale. Most properties for sale in Spain are not exclusive to one agent so please keep this in mind. The buyers will lose the money in case they don’t fulfil this contract or they will receive double the money they have paid in the case the sellers don´t fulfil their side of the contract.
After this has been done, a full search is made on the property to make sure that It is all in place and the property is in order, What we need to check is: water bill, electricity bill, Property Tax, see if the property has a habitation certificate, community fees (in case there are debts…), also if there is a mortgage or any other sort of encumbrance on the property that has to be cancelled before buying. The day we go to the Notary, for the completion, we will have to provide proof that it is all in place, as well as a certificate showing that the property is absolutely free from charges and up to date with all the taxes.
As you are probably a non-residents, you will need a translator and a fiscal representative for the completion, but we can do this also. So basically, we check the property and when it’s all in place, we go to the Notary to sign the Title Deeds (the document that proves the property is yours). The balance of the monies has to be paid there, and that is why, all the remaining funds for the final payment plus the taxes needs to be in your Spanish bank account before completion date.
As a lawyer, I am absolutely liable for everything I do, which means I will need to make sure that it is all perfect before proceeding. I have a civil liability insurance that covers me for 1.4 million euros in the event I miss an unseen problem. Even after all my years in practise this has not had to be used. Any client can have a copy of the policy should they wish.
Completion Of The Sale
Once the sale has been completed and the money paid, you will receive the keys (exchanging money for keys in the notary), the property at that stage will be yours. On the same day (when attending the notary for completion), the notary and land registry office fees will have to be paid, also the 10% stamp duty tax on top of the price of the property. All this done at the same time.
I will then deal with the Taxes and will take the Deeds to the Land Registry Office for its registration. We can then also arrange the house insurance so that the property is covered from the first day, the day after completion, I will also be putting all the contracts in your name and set up the standing orders. Water and Electricity.
Each property comes with community fees that are usually paid annually for the up keep and maintenance of area, includes, pool cleaning, life guards, gardening, street lighting and general cleaning of the walk ways and communal areas.
Suma tax is another annual fee that is paid once a year and is paid to the local Council to pay for street cleaning, refuse collection, pavement and road maintenance
As UK clients are now not in the EU, this does not stop you buying a property here in Spain, there is an additional piece of paperwork you need, the same for US, Russian, Australian clients etc, this is the CRB certificate which is needed from your home country, Criminal Record Bureau. This can be done online and takes 3 to 10 days for you to receive the hard copy by post, I will then submit this on your behalf to the relevant department here in Spain, this takes 4 to 12 weeks to get the clear here in Spain.
If You Need A Mortgage
Regarding mortgages, if you need to apply for one, just let me know and I explain what I need to prepare it all. First thing you need to take into account if you are getting a mortgage, is that there will be a few more costs involved like the opening commission (it´s normally 1% of the money you are getting, but it depends on the Bank), valuation fees (350 € approx). The Bank will also require to have a life insurance and the house insurance with them. So bear in mind that the obtention of a mortgage will be around 3% more on the price of the property.
Please notice that you can do it in person with me by your side or that I can also prepare a power of attorney to be signed in Ireland or UK if this option more suitable for you.
Although it can seem difficult to understand, it is very simple if you do things well from the start. Always try to get advice from the beginning and remember not to sign anything, until you are absolutely sure of what it implies. Im sure LilyPad Properties can help you on your journey and find you your dream home, we are happy to assist you with the rest.
By Sheila García Parra – Solicitor/Consultant
LEGAL PARTNER G & G CONSULTANTS/ SOLICITORS
Conveyancing and all Legal Advice. Independant Lawyer
Playa Flamenca, 03189 Orihuela Costa, Alicante