Offer and Acceptance
Once you have found your ideal property you will need to make an offer and once accepted you must secure it through an agreement that is legally binding between buyer and seller.
The first step is to give an offer of purchase through your agent. This written offer states the conditions you are willing to offer for the purchase, the sales price, when you plan to complete, any special conditions required (for example: inclusion of furniture, subject to you getting a mortgage, etc).
On written acceptance of the offer, the property is taken off the market. It is advisable that this offer is in writing and will also require a small deposit normally set between €3,000 and €6,000 to demonstrate to the owner your intent to purchase is serious. This deposit is normally held by your lawyer until the private contract is signed.
Anti Money Laundering
In order to comply with strict anti money laundering laws you will be required to provide to your lawyer and estate agent the following information:
• Passport copy for all purchasers
• Full main residencial address
• Utility bill dated within last 3 months
• Description of source of wealth for the purchase
Searches and Private Contract
With your offer now accepted, your lawyer will check the land registry to make sure the property is properly registered and that there are no liens or encumbrances. The lawyer will arrange the payment structure with the vendors representative prior to going to notary and prepare a private contract that will bind both parties.
Upon signing the private contract, a payment on account of the purchase price will be required according to the terms of the sale and the date of completion. The payment would be approx 10% of the agreed purchase (less the orginal deposit already paid) price which would be set against the agreed sales price.
The private contract will state the date by which the sale must be completed. It is very important that the purchaser be fully aware of the implications of failing to meet this completion date. Invariably the result will be the total loss of the deposit. If, on the other hand, the seller fails to meet his obligations under the contract by the given date, then the deposit will be refunded and damages may be sought in relation to losses incurred.
Eventually the lawyer will prepare the public deeds for signature in front of a Spanish Notary, when the balance of the purchase price is paid and vacant possession of the unencumbered property is granted, thereby completing the sale.
A purchaser will also be required to apply for an NIE (Numero de Identificacion de Extranjeros) which is simply an official identification number for non Spanish nationals. The application must be made prior to signing and taking position of a property. Your lawyer can arrange this for you.
It is also important to open a Spanish bank account prior to purchase in order that your lawyer can set up standing orders for future payments of the property utilities and taxes.
If the buyer requires a mortgage to purchase a property, an official valuation must been conducted. Most property assessors charge around 280€ to perform an official valuation.
As part of the Spanish mortgage application process the lender will require copy of a Nota Simple that confirms that the property is free of any other unexpected debts which your solicitor will request from the Land Registry as part of the purchase process.
The mortgage must be registered with the land registry. This slightly increases the land registry fees when buying a property. The fee for registering a Spanish mortgage is approximately the same as the fee for registering the property.
If you are considering taking a mortgage its wise to shop around and speak to an independent mortgage consultant before making a decision. We can recommend a suitable professional to help you.
Overall lending will depend on your income levels, age and residency. Spanish residents are generally granted a higher loan percentage.
The actual level of financed granted by the bank will be based on the lower of the purchase value or the valuation.
eks later your lawyer will be able to collect the original deeds signed by the notary (Copia Autorizada), which are needed to inscribe your title in the property register.