Purchasing Spanish Property: The legal system explained.

You’ve found the house and negotiated a price. You’ve arranged your Spanish mortgage. All there is to do now is complete the purchase. How?

In Spain, the process of purchasing Spanish property is regulated, and the best thing that you can do to protect your interests is to employ an English-speaking solicitor or lawyer to assist you. Make sure that the Spanish property is free of restrictive clauses and debts.

Find a Solicitor that can thoroughly research the Spanish property that you are interested in purchasing as well as someone that can provide you with a Nota Simple, rather than simply relying upon an estate agency or a friend’s word for assistance. Make sure that the solicitor you choose is capable of checking the property’s registry, showing if the property is owned by the vendor or not, and whether or not there are any outstanding mortgages as well.

The legal process for purchasing property located in Spain falls under two types of transactions. The first legal document is the preliminary contract, known as Contrato privado de compraventa, and the second is the completion contract, known as Escritura de compraventa.

Once the buyer and seller are in agreement on the price then they need to sign a preliminary sales contract. The vendor must provide proof that he or she owns the property free of any charges before this Contrato privado de compraventa has been signed. Debts are charged to the property themselves in Spain, and any outstanding Spanish Mortgages amount would then be passed on to the purchaser. Nota Simple documents were developed to validate if a property has an outstanding debts.

The preliminary sales contract will be drawn up to contain all of the necessary details including the date of completion, the purchase price and the description of the property. At this point you will also be more than likely required to pay a deposit of between 5 percent and 15 percent of the purchase price. These funds will be held for you in a bonded client account. A person would theoretically be able to sign the initial sales contract without a deposit, but it isn’t necessarily a good idea.

Escritura de compraventa is otherwise known as the second or final contract stage. On the completion date, the balance of the price of purchase and all fees need to be paid by the purchaser. Next, the seller and buyer meet and sign a contract, which is essentially a claim to the property. In front of a Notary Public the buyer will receive the deed of conveyance which is known as escritura in Spain. A copy of this deed will also be passed to the tax office and to the property registry as well to make everything legal. If you are in Spain, a Notary Public will be required as a witness on you deed of sale. Don’t just rely in that, though. You will want to have your own lawyer to keep your best interests foremost throughout the proceeeding. Part of the fees for purchasing include property tax, and legal fees for your Notary Public.

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