Buying a house in Spain

When purchasing property in Spain as a holiday home or to emigrate is not an easy task.
Casas Real guides you in the entire buying process, while, if you wish, assisted by a lawyer. 


What Casas Real for you checks before the transfer? 


Casas Real checked for all its customers the legal status of the property, the identity of the sellers, their marital status and conditions and whether they are able to sell. This audit questions we extract from the register, called copia simple, up-to-date copy of a page, with the details of the owners, mortgages and other debts and expenses.
In addition, we check whether there is in compliance with all commitments, such as property tax, the Impuestos the Bienes Inmeubles, the bills of electricity, water, waste, and as an association of owners, a statement from the Administrator that all liabilities to the association are met.
Furthermore, we check the legality of the buildings and whether the number of square meters is equivalent to what is stated on paper, both the number of meters of the building as the land where applicable.


The N.I.E. number 


The first thing you need is an NIE number. Because without NIE you can not buy anything in Spain. A Nie (Número de Identidad the Extranjero) is a tax number that gives the Immigration Service when you reside.
This is your identification number in Spain. You will need to have one if you are going to buy a home, for your taxes , to submit a business, open a bank account, and nearly all other official forms you must fill in. Both Europeans and non Europeans get an NIE. This must be requested by the Policia Local.
This request may take a while, through Spain it takes at most two weeks, but two months from the Consulate in the UK, so you can better start in time with it..

What documents do you need to bring with you to apply for a NIE:

  • Original passport
  • Copy of passport
  • 2 passport photos
  • Completed application for a NIE. Pick the Policia Nacional office or downloaded at Ministerio del Interior: download here
  • 1 copies of the completed application form
  • fee (€ 9,18)
  • If necessary authorization form.

On site you will still have to complete the document 790, this form must go to the bank to pay this cost you € 15.70 per person (in 2009). All this you have to bring back to the Policia Local. (Hours in Benidorm or Denia from 9:00 to 2:00 p.m.).
Casas Real can help you apply for the NIE and will guide you in the process.
You can also order Casas Real to apply for the NIE, but then you need to authorize Casas Real with a notarized authorization, authorization must then translated by a sworn translator and be apostilled. 


An account with a Spanish bank 


Before purchasing a property you must open an account with a Spanish bank. If you wish to emigrate, and become a resident here in Spain and going to pay taxes, you should open a resident account. If you remain resident in the UK you need a non-residents account.


Preliminary purchase contract for a Spanish property 


The agreement for sale is a private contract between the seller and the buyer. In this sales-agreement, something Casas Real will draft, you can find the following:

  • names of the vendors, their passport numbers, DNI or NIE, address and marital status.
  • Names of the purchasers, their passport numbers, DNI or NIE, addresses and marital status.
  • Registry data and address, and description of the property
  • Amount of the deposit, usually 10% of the purchase price paid and when and how.
  • Purchase price of the house.
  • Deadline for the deed.
  • That the property is sold free of encumbrances, loans, mortgages and tenants.
  • There are no arrears
  • Who paid the notary, tax and PLUSVALIA
  • The legal district in case of dispute
  • The date of signature 


When going to the Spanish notary


Casas Real makes for you, within the specified time, the preliminary sales contract, an appointment with the notary.

The notary will ask for:

  • Your passport
  • Your NIE
  • A proof of the bank which indicates the source of all payments.
  • The bank checks for payment and possibly the cash

In the preliminary sales contract is usually already determined who is paid. Mostly all cost will be for the buyer and that means that the buyer pais the notary. The fees for the notary are legally established by the College of Notaries and do not vary. You do not the notary during the meeting, he will normally be authorized to withdraw the charges from your account.

The buyer also pais the transfer tax in Spain, the Impuestos sobre Trans Patrimoniales (ITP)

The seller pais the Plusvalia, a property tax on the appreciation of the land. a Casas Real estate agent escorts seller to do this payment and checkes that this happens, because if the seller does not, these new owners have to pay the taxes.
The total cost of the transfer, you can calculate on this site:

Cost Simulator 

When the property owner is a foreigner and not registered in Spain (a non-resident) you need to deduct 3% of the purchase price and this 3% will be reserved to pay for the Spanish tax as the owner has to pay profit tax.

The staff of the notary´s office prepares the "borrador" for the escritura in draft. Casas Real checkes the log and may step in as a translator as well. If everything is correct, the actual escritura notarial will be printed on official paper, the notary will read it for all parties involved and then it is signed by all parties.

The office of the notary usually  pays the taxes ITP, it may pay above the 3% tax and register it in the register. Casas Real always recommends to do this.

After the notary

If you have signed the notary deed and walk out the door, you are the proud owner of a beautiful house in Spain. The previous owner will hand you the keys and you can enter your new house. You have a "copia simple" stamped by the notary, this is a copy of the escritura, the deed of sale. The notary, the ownership is now reported to the register, so that within two months the property is registered in your name. 


Register with the local land registry 


When the purchase of the property is completed, you must register this at the municipality (the catastrophes). From then you are taxable on the Spanish real estate taxes.
The declaration of this tax, you must compose yourself, you will not be automatically sent a tax return. If you are late, the taxform may yet emerge years after the levy.

Registration in the townhall goes like this:
Each family member must personally come to this tender (small children will not count)
All passports and / or identification cards have to be there.
Your lease or purchase contract of the property where you reside
In some municipalities, you also need a copy of the electricity bill (Iberdrola) or the water supplier (Agaulia)

If you are going to emigrate, go to the town and let yourself enroll in the municipal register (Empadronamiento). Until today, this is still for free.

Before you needed a residence permit in Spain. This is called "tarjeta de residencia". Now it´s a lot easier. An entry in the "Registro Central de Extranjeros" and having an NIE number is sufficient.

When you finally move to Spain, you must write to your current congregation. For this you get a model with 8.