Our property specialists, here at Lock & Key, have a wealth of knowledge and experience in real estate on the coast. Not only can they help to find your ideal property, they can also recommend independent legal and financial advisors – who will guide you easily (and successfully) through the buying process in Spain and ensure you feel comfortable throughout.
Step 1: Reservation contract
Once you have found a property you like, and wish to move forward with the purchase, the first step is to draw up a ‘reservation contract’.
The reservation contract is standard procedure when buying a property in Spain – used to reserve the property for a specified period of time (whilst your lawyer conducts due diligence). Typically, it sets out the basic terms and conditions of the purchase and includes information such as the:
During this time, you may also wish to arrange a mortgage.
Step 2: Private purchase contract
Having conducted a full and thorough due diligence, your lawyer will inform you of their findings and – if you still wish to buy – discuss moving forward with a private purchase contract. This is a contract between you (the buyer) and the vendor, which again, sets out the terms and conditions of the sale.
Typically, it will be prepared by your lawyer and include:
What are the buying costs in Spain?
Buying costs in Spain vary depending on several factors, including the purchase price, whether it’s a new build or re-sale property, and whether you’re a cash buyer or buying with a mortgage.
Generally, you can expect to pay 10-13.5% of the purchase price, broken down as follows:
- 10% IVA (Impuesto Sobre El Valor Añadido; or Spanish VAT) on new properties, 8-10% IVA on re-sale properties, depending on its specific price category
- 1% notary fee (notarisation of the property cost)
- 1% legal fees (a fee charged by your selected lawyer to conduct due diligence)
- 1.5% stamp duty tax (charged to make documents legally effective on the new property)
How much is stamp duty in Spain?
Stamp duty can vary slightly depending upon the region – and, when you find a property that you like, it’s worth doing a little research and finding out the specific rates for that location.
Here in Andalusia, if you wish to buy a new build property, stamp duty is currently set at 1.5% of the purchase price. For re-sale properties, you won’t be expected to pay any stamp duty – but you will need to pay transfer tax (i.e. Impuesto Sobre Transmisiones Patrimoniales) instead. This is typically 7% of the purchase price. However, it can vary, with some regions applying rates as high as 11%.
How long does it take to buy a property in Spain?
This is one of the first things that people want to know when buying a property in Spain. How long will it take to become the owner? But the answer isn’t as straightforward as you might think.
It depends on the complexity of the purchase. If all paperwork is in order and finances are in place, the buying process can take as little as 3-4 weeks. If a mortgage is required, it can take around 4-8 weeks. When problems arise and various bureaucratic processes are necessary (e.g. registering the property), it can become a very time-consuming process that lasts for 8 weeks or more.
It’s often impossible to predict a specific timeframe for your purchase. But in our experience, once the private contract has been signed, completion is likely to occur within 4-6 weeks – and, here at Lock and key, we always strive to make the buying process as quick and efficient as possible.
How much deposit do I need to buy a property in Spain?
As a general rule-of-thumb, a small deposit of €6000 is required to buy a property in Spain. This is paid when the reservation contract is signed – used to reserve the property at the agreed price. You can either pay it via credit card or bank transfer and it can be held either in the Lock and Key company client account or with a lawyer of your choice, until due diligence has been completed.
If your lawyer finds any legal impediments pertaining to the said property, the deposit is fully refundable. If you decide to continue with the purchase, it will be put towards the purchase price.
What tax do you pay if you sell a property in Spain?
Plusvalía – this a municipal tax payable to the local council. The amount you’re expected to pay will depend on the cadastral value of the land and the number of years since you bought it.
Capital Gains Tax (CGT) – this is approximately 19% of the profit made from your sale. Certain exemptions apply. For example, you won’t be expected to pay CGT if you’re over 65 or have lived in the property for at least 3 years. But, in most cases, the Spanish Tax Authority will withhold 3% from the sale (taken directly from the purchaser) and you will then need to pay the rest.