Frequently Asked Questions.
Before you purchase a property in Spain, it is vital you are very clear about the buying process – this is why you should always deal with an agent who speaks your language completely fluently, and also why it s important to hire an independent English-speaking lawyer.
This page deals with some questions frequently asked by visitors to our office who are thinking about buying a property in Spain.
How do I find a reputable, professional Real Estate company?
You may or may not be aware that the Spanish Real Estate industry is unregulated, so basically anyone can act as a Real Estate agent as long as they abide by Spanish Contractual law. This means that for any prospective buyer (or seller) the market can be a real minefield. Please find below a few questions to ask yourself when choosing a professional company;
Does the agent have a landline number ?
Does the agent have an office they are based in ?
What is the condition of the office ?
Is the agent a member of a professional body eg. AIPP - Association of International Property Professionals ?
Does the agent offer refundable deposit subject to legal checks ?
Does the agent use branded vehicles to show property ? and what is the condition of the vehicles used ?
If you can answer YES to all the above questions then you are well on your way to working with a reputable, professional company.
Will I receive a Guarantee with my property?
Yes, all properties receive a 10-year structural guarantee. With resale properties it will depend on the age of the property. . For example, if the property is only 2 years old, there would be 8 years left of the structural guarantee. This would be transferred to you.
How safe is my money ?
With new build purchases bank guarantees can be requested. With resale property, this will depend on the agent you choose to work with. Some offer reservations subject to legal checks like ourselves. Some do not, consequently if there is a legal issue with the property you will lose your deposit.
What additional costs can I expect to pay when buying a property in Spain?
To cover all the additional costs of buying a property in Spain we suggest you add 13% to the purchase price of the property. This is to cover 10% IVA (tax) and 3% for legal fees, notary fees, stamp duty and the connection of water and electricity. For a more detailed breakdown of buying costs please check out our page which covers this subject specifically 'Guide to Buying'
Could I buy my new property cheaper elsewhere?
The Developer sets the prices not the agent, so we can guarantee that you cannot buy the same property cheaper elsewhere. If you compare prices you should check to see if all the additional costs are included and remember to check the rate of exchange if prices are quoted in Sterling. Also, please be aware that some agents will quote the price of the cheapest property in the new build development which invariably is sold. When purchasing a new build property spend time to find an agent that is both knowledgeable and professional.
What is the payment structure for a new build property?
A deposit of 3.000€ to 5.000€ depending on the property will be required to secure a reservation. Staged payments during construction normally deal with up to 60% of the balance of the purchase. The remaining balance will be settled on completion once you have inspected your property
What is the payment structure for a resale property?
A deposit of 3.000€ will be required to secure a reservation and to take the property off the market. Generally the balance of 10% will be paid within 28 days with the remainder payable on completion. Vincent Real Estate offer a secure reservation subject to legal checks. Consequently if there are legal or debt issues with the property that cannot be resolved the reservation fee is refunded.
Who will be my solicitor?
If you do not have your own solicitor, we have a panel of legal advisors that can carry out the purchase process for you. The solicitor’s fees will be heavily discounted due to the large number of transactions they perform for our clients. You still have the option of using your own solicitor if you prefer.
Is Buying A Property In Spain Complicated?
No. Buying property in Spain is actually a lot simpler than buying in the UK. In the UK you often find yourself as part of a chain, and it can take months before you can sign the deeds and move into the property. In Spain, generally speaking, properties are listed when they are empty of occupants, and therefore sales can go through very quickly. Of course there is paperwork involved; for starters you will need to open a bank account with a local bank and apply for a residency permit before you can buy a Spanish property. An estate agent or “Gestor” can help you with this, even if you are in the UK and not able to travel to Spain to do it yourself.
Can Anyone Buy Property In Spain?
Yes. In 2013 the Spanish government approved a long-awaited residency law which became known as the Golden Visa. This allows non-EU investors to buy a Spanish property and also attain a residency permit allowing them to stay for as long as they wish in Spain. Residency is automatically given to European Union nationals.
If I Buy A Property As A Holiday Home Can I Rent It Out?
Yes, if you buy a property that you only intend to use yourself for holidays it is a good idea to earn extra cash by renting it out when you are not in residence. You will have to register the property with the local town hall and pay tax on your income. You should also consider that will need to employ an agency or an individual who takes care of meeting the renters to give them keys, clean on changeover days, and be on call should any problems arise. However, even give you will have these expenses, during the high season you can demand good rates so you can still see a healthy profit after your costs.
How Do I Buy Spanish Property Safely?
Although one hears many horror stories of Spanish property deals going sadly wrong from the buyer’s point of view, you have to remember that hundreds of thousands of sales go through successfully without problems for UK buyers every year. Providing you use a reputable estate agent and make sure that everything is checked over by a lawyer, there is absolutely no reason to expect things to go pear-shaped.
Can prices increase before I get to Spain?
Once a reservation has been made the price is secured. However, until such time as a reservation fee is paid the property is available for sale. If you see a property that is ideal we recommend a reservation subject to viewing within 7 days. This holds the property for 7 days giving you first refusal. If you do not wish to reserve in this manner then we suggest a viewing trip as soon as possible in order to secure the property of interest.
How long will I have to wait for my property?
It depends if you buy a new or a re-sale property. You will have to wait between 6 and 18 months for a new build property. However, some developers have key ready stock available which are new properties that have not been sold. The resale market is also very strong where the timescale is a lot shorter. Timescale for resale properties is generally down to legal checks and finance approval where required. Resale completions can be within 4 weeks or up to 6 months depending on the agreement of the buyer and seller.
What Are The Best Areas For Spanish Property?
It depends largely on your circumstances. It is a very different scenario if you plan on retiring in Spain or if you will need to earn an income. If you can work remotely online, you can basically live anywhere, but you will need to make sure the area you choose allows you a reliable broadband connection as in rural areas this may not be the case. Larger cities like Barcelona and Valencia offer many employment opportunities for foreigners, but in smaller towns you may find you are limited to working in a hotel or bar – and in most cases this is only seasonal work.
Popular investment areas are the Costa del Sol and the Costa Blanca, and due to the number of tourists visiting these regions every year, there is plenty of demand giving you the opportunity to rent your property when you are not in residence.