1. Spanish buying process in 10 steps

The Spanish buying process (from reservation through the real estate agent to the signing of the Title Deeds at the notary) can vary from 2 weeks until more than a year. This depends on the documentation, circumstances and wishes of the buyer and seller. The average, however, lies between 2 and 4 months. Purchases of urban properties in the towns usually go a bit quicker than ´rustic/rural´ houses in the countryside. In general, the buying process of a house in Andalusia looks like this.

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Spanish buying process

Spanish buying process
The 10 steps in the Spanish buying process
  1. The preparation: setting budget (including purchase costs), area orientation, selection buying real estate agent and lawyer to avoid problems when buying a house.
  2. Viewings: With the buying or selling real estate agent (or Promoter in case of New Build).
  3. Verbal price agreement: In the countryside including DAFO costs (from this moment the signing of the Power of Attorney to the lawyer can take place).
  4. Signing reservation contract: Short reservation contract of the real estate agent – with payment reservation fee.
  5. Part 1 legal investigation of the lawyer: Investigation through Cadastre, Land Registry and Town Hall. Optional are official measurements of buildings and terrain, structural surveys by the architect or valuation for a mortgage. Application of fiscal NIE number and opening bank account for direct debits of the service contracts.
  6. Signing the private purchase contract: Extended contract by the lawyer – with a 10% down payment.
  7. Part 2 legal investigation of the lawyer: Application of certificates, finance, preparation of the purchase deeds of the notary and end-check of the house by agent.
  8. Signing Title Deeds (Purchase Deeds): Signing of the deeds at the notary by the lawyer – with final payment.
  9. After-sales by the lawyer: Registration in Land Registry & Cadastre, tax payments for the house and possible furniture and transferring service contracts (electricity, water, IBI, basura, Community of Owners or comunidad). In case of a mortgage, the tax payment and inscription at the Land Registry is done by the bank.
  10. Final balance meeting: Closing meeting with the lawyer & signing Spanish wills at the notary (with fiscal advice inheritance tax). Possible application rental license.
Spanish purchase process
Buying a house in Spain? This is what the standard process looks like.

Quick completion or delayed purchase

If both parties agree, it´s always possible to skip certain steps in the Spanish buying process like the reservation contract or the private purchase contract. This is called having a ´quick completion´. On the other hand, it´s also an option to plan the signing of the Title Deeds later than normal. The reason for this can be the legal situation of the property, financial requirements (like Spanish mortgages or the sale of another property). Another argument can be that the vendor currently still is renting out the property.

Junta de Andalucia

This website focuses on Andalusia, as the house purchase goes by the laws of the autonomic state of the Junta de Andalucia. The reason for this is that Spain has a strongly decentralized government structure, with a lot of power in the region. Andalusia consists of the following provinces:

  1. Huelva
  2. Seville
  3. Cordoba
  4. Jaen
  5. Cadiz (Costa de la Luz)
  6. Malaga (Costa del Sol)
  7. Granada (Costa Tropical)
  8. Almeria

Within Andalusia, the Malaga province is most popular for buying a property. This is because of the good weather in winter, good facilities and the lucrative rental options for tourists. The coast of the Malaga province is called the Costa del Sol. This runs from Estepona in the South-West until Nerja in the East. Also, the Costa Tropical in Granada is gaining a lot of popularity amongst foreign buyers. The West coast between Estepona / Marbella and Malaga city is the most touristic. On the other hand, the Easter Costa del Sol with the Axarquia area is less busy.

 This article is also available in Dutch: Het Spaanse Koopproces

Referrals & references real estate agent & lawyer

Need a referral for a good real estate agent in Andalusia? Or like to receive an example offer for the legal investigation of a specialized and independent lawyer? Find out more through the link above. 

©2023, Ariane van Wijk