What should you watch out for when buying property on the Costa del Sol? Much will be familiar to you, because it will resemble the property market in your home country. But there will surely be differences as well. We will therefore offer you buying guidance through the entire process of purchasing your property in Spain. As you may be interested to know more about this process before you start your property search you will find the seven steps you go through on this page.
An apartment with sea views? A luxury five bedroom villa? Or an authentic finca in inland Andalusia to refurbish for use as a bed & breakfast? We will gladly assist you in clarifying your exact wishes. At this stage it is also important to know your financial possibilities. Don´t forget the 12% costs of buying a property for instance – and that full mortgage financing is rarely possible. As a rule keep in mind that you should be able to finance the purchasing costs and at least 30% to 40% of the purchase price yourself. If you clearly know your financial possibilities beforehand, this prevents unnecessary disappointment later on.
Once we are clear about your needs and possibilities, we will start searching for suitable properties. You will receive a proposal by e-mail after which you can indicate whether the proposed properties appeal to you. If we have we not found the right property for you right away, we will use your feedback to further refine the search. Of course you can also always consult our online database. And do not forget to sign up for our newsletter to stay informed of new properties coming on the market!
Have you seen one or more properties you like? Then we will liaise with you to make appointments with the selling estate agents to view them. We will accompany you at these viewings and think critically about whether the properties really fit your search profile. A clear blue sky, the sun and a nice view can sparkle your enthusiasm, but that may make you forget what you are really looking for. Our professional and critical eye can ensure that you make the right decisions in the long run. If you come to Spain especially to view properties, we can arrange a property tour for you and you can stay in one of our holiday apartments at a discounted rate (subject to availability).
Have you found your Spanish dream home? Then we will start negotiating on your behalf as part of our buying guidance. At this stage it is important to have a NIE. For new developments you should be aware that it is almost impossible to negotiate a discount. With existing builds it depends entirely on the seller. Does the seller need money quickly? Then you can make a low bid. Is the seller not in a hurry? Then chances are you may have to pay the asking price – or just a little below. We will of course do our utmost to get the necessary background information from the selling estate agent in order for you to make an appropriate offer.
If the seller has accepted your offer, the selling estate agent will make up a reservation contract to take the property off the market. You as a buyer will then get time to apply for a mortgage (if needed) and to get a lawyer who verifies if all permits are in order and if there aren´t any unpaid debts resting on the property. Depending on the purchase price you will make a down payment of € 3,000 to € 6,000 at this stage to take the property off the market. This amount will be paid into an escrow trust account, usually of your own lawyer. After everything has been approved, the amount is transferred to the property owner or project developer as a first deposit. If you have not proposed any condition clauses with regards to the sale (for example about a mortgage being approved) and decide not to proceed with the purchase, you will usually not get this amount returned to you.
After signing the reservation contract a purchase contract is usually drawn up within a month. This contract describes all obligations for both parties. At this stage you will sometimes be asked to make a second payment, especially if the completion date lies further in the future. You will then increase the initial amount you have paid to 10% of the purchase price. Your lawyer will contact the selling estate agent to discuss any outstanding debts such as taxes, unpaid service charges, mortgage debts and electricity and water bills. If there are any outstanding debts these will be settled at the completion date at the notary’s office. This ensures you will buy your property completely debt-free.
You can generally sign the deeds of your new property at the notary’s office within two to three months. If all parties co-operate it is possible to speed up this process. We shall be present at the notary’s office as well as your lawyer and the estate agent and the lawyer of the seller. If you have arranged a mortgage a representative of the bank will also be present for signing the mortgage. The notary then handles the registration of the deed in the registry. He reads the excerpt of the deed (the escritura), arranges the financial settlement and then gives you the keys to your Spanish home. As part of the buying guidance the estate agent of the seller will usually help putting the electricity, water and other matters in your name but we are of course happy to help you as well. Your Spanish dream is now a reality!