Property Conveyancing Spain

What is Property Conveyancing?

Conveyancing involves transferring ownership of a home from the seller to the buyer. The conveyancing process begins when the buyer chooses the home or property and agrees on the price, and ends when they receive the keys to the home and pay the price to the seller.

The conveyancing solicitor will represent you from the start and will have the information on every step of the conveyancing process. One of our main objectives is to have excellent communication, a fundamental key for us which must be clear and flow appropriately from the beginning. Please do not hesitate to contact our team whenever you need to, so that you are informed at all times.

Our team of professionals will always advise you to safeguard your interests in the best possible way. The lawyer will contact all the parties involved in the conveyancing process – buyer, seller, lawyers, real estate agencies – and this exciting adventure of buying or selling a home in Spain will begin right away.

Conveyancing process when buying a house

The real estate agency plays a vital role in the conveyancing process; without them, it would be complicated to carry out the operation. We recommend that you choose a local agency to help you buy or sell your home. They are very professional, they know the area and can advise you on the search of your dream home.

Once the reservation contract with the real estate agency has been signed, the lawyer, architect and tax advisors come in to review all the documentation for the home, which consists mainly of the following inquiries:

  1. To check that the property is registered in the Property Registry correctly, its description and boundaries with the help of a Spanish Nota Simple
  2. To check that the property is free of charges and mortgages and current on all kinds of taxes
  3. To check that the house is free of tenants
  4. The architect will also check if you have any urban planning file and planning licenses
  5. If the house is located in Andalusia, and specifically on rustic land, they will verify if the SWOT or AFO certificate have been granted, in a process that consists of the regularization of houses located on rustic territory
  6. To check that the property is registered in the Land Registry
  7. To check that the IBI or tax property is paid and that there are no pending receipts
  8. To check that all the supplies are correctly registered and up to date in the last year’s payments
  9. That there are no outstanding debts with the community of owners
  10. They will check that the house has obtained the Energy Performance Certificate
  11. We will also advise you on the mortgage application and the differences between residents and non residents.

Once all these inquiries have been made, the private contract is signed. This contract will be drawn up by the lawyer in a double-column format, in both Spanish and English. At that time, the amount of approximately 10% of the price will be paid. This step is of crucial importance in the conveyancing process since it establishes all the conditions of the negotiation, including:

  1. Identification of the seller and buyer
  2. Description of the house
  3. Possible charges (mortgages, debts) which must be paid before completion
  4. Price (furniture is sometimes included in the price)
  5. Payment method (usually a € 6,000 deposit is paid upon signing the booking contract – 10% at the time of signing the sales contract and the rest on completion)
  6. The date to sign the deed of sale (completion), which will be carried out at the Notary, at which time the purchasing party pays the rest of the price and the selling party delivers the keys and transfers the property to the buyer

After signing the deed of sale, it is time to pay the transfer tax and register the property in the name of the buyer at the Property Registry. We also advise and assist you in purchasing the best home insurance to protect your home.

Last but not least, we will carry out the change of ownership of supplies, taxes and fees, to put them in the name of the purchasing party, which will be domiciled in their bank.

What is involved in property conveyancing?

The cost of property conveyancing

Property conveyancing does not only consist in transferring the ownership of a home to the buyer; it involves many steps that must be carried out in great detail.

Firstly, if you have decided to buy a home in Spain, you must request the NIE number or foreigner identification number. You must also open a bank account in Spain, in which you will domicile all the supplies and taxes of the home.

We advise you to sign a power of attorney in favour of the solicitor, in which case the lawyer will be able to carry out each and every one of the steps of the conveyancing process on your behalf and you will not have to travel from your country, thus facilitating the operation.

Both the purchase and sale of a home are followed by a series of expenses, which will vary depending on the region where the property is located. Our tax advisors will explain all the costs involved in the conveyancing process and an approximate budget will be prepared with all the expenses included in the sale.

Interesting read: Moving to Spain from the UK

How much does property conveyancing cost?

Cost of buying

The expenses the buyer must bear are as follows:

  • Spanish Estate Agency Fees
  • VAT and STAMP DUTY in Spain (document duties and registration fees – Transfer Tax):
    – Stamp Duty 7% (existing properties)
    – If the house is new, you must pay the 10% of VAT (or IVA), plus 1.2% of the documented legal acts
  • Spanish Notary Fees
  • Spanish Land Registry Fees
  • Spanish Legal Fees on buying a house, which will vary depending on the area in which the property is located. You can request information about our rates with no obligation.
  • Change the utilities
  • Spanish Home Insurance (not necessary but advisable)

Cost of selling

  • Spanish Estate Agency Fees
  • The Energy Performance Certificate
  • Capital Gains Tax
  • Legal Fees

As a tax resident in Spain, people over 65 are exempt from taxation of the capital gains obtained in the transfer of permanent residence.

On the other hand, tax residents under 65 years are exempt from the transmission by reinvestment in permanent residence.

If, on the contrary, you are not a tax resident in Spain at the time of the sale, 3% of the sale price will be withheld and paid to the Public Treasury. If the sale has generated losses, your tax advisor may claim the return of the 3% initially paid. If it has made benefits, you must pay 19% of them (prior discount of the 3% initially paid).

Interesting read: Property condition survey before buying

Property conveyancing solicitor

The conveyancing process can be a very stressful procedure, and buying a home is a very important moment in a person’s life. Why take any unnecessary risks? If you do not want it to become a nightmare, at Tejada Solicitors we recommend that you surround yourself by a good team of professionals who will advise and guide you in this wonderful project, making it easy and simple.

You can find our offices along the Costa del Sol, from Nerja, Torrox, Vélez-Málaga to Málaga, Marbella and Fuengirola.

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Property Conveyancing: Frequently Asked Questions

The process usually takes about 3 or 4 months, from the signing of the reservation contract to the signing of the public deed of sale. Depending on the agreement reached by both parties, for example, the terms are usually extended if the buyer needs to apply for a mortgage.

Once the deed of sale has been signed in the Notary, your lawyer will proceed to register the property in your name, which can take approximately three months, after which the final documentation of the house and the balance will be delivered to the client with all expenses and taxes paid.

In our office, we have solicitors who are specialized in the conveyancing process but can also advise you in other areas of law, such as the signing of a will in Spain.

The conveyancing process not only deals with the legal process but also with the tax implications during and after the purchase.

Once the conveyancing process is finished, we will proceed to:

  • Change the ownership of supplies, taxes and fees in favour of the buyer
  • IBI (Tax property)
  • The non-resident tax that will accrue annually
  • As a tax resident, you must know that your world income will be taxed in Spain (pensions, dividends, income from work, capital gains), as it is international taxation, we must apply the double taxation agreements signed between Spain and the country of origin
  • Tax planning if you decide to use the house for tourist rental or the study of your investment for the establishment of a Bed and Breakfast
  • Study the taxation of their heirs according to the Spanish Inheritance Tax
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