Making an offer

Making an offer

Throughout the negotiation process you should ensure complete transparency of information at all times in order to avoid misunderstandings that can have a negative impact.

This should begin with your offer letter which should outline several key criteria:

• The offered price
• Duration of the offer with a time limit
• Proposed payment terms
• Time for completion
• What is to be included in the sale and whether it is subject to some contingency e.g. is the purchase subject to some repairs being completed or to the approval of your mortgage application, or the inclusion of some furniture, etc.
• An often neglected point, that all machinery equipment and installations should be in good working order should also be included

It is customary that the completion of the sale will take place within 2 months of the initial offer being accepted.


When making an offer its best to adhere to some basic guidelines to avoid any negativity throughout the process.

• Research the true current market value of the property
• Make a reasonable offer. It is likely that the seller will not respond if the offer is too low as he may not take you seriously and will be reluctant to give a counter offer. It's important to know how much a property is really worth and not just what you want to pay.
• If possible find out if the seller has turned down other offers.
• Only ever give a rock bottom bid if you are aware that the seller is open to them.
• Good psychology dictates that you should leave room to improve an initial offer. However, if you believe your offer is realistic and perhaps have a second choice in mind, it can be a wise strategy to let the seller know that if he doesn't accept your offer, you will be offering on another property befote considering any counter offer from him.
• If the seller is present during your visits to the property avoid giving your personal opinion about the property.
• Try to get all your negotiating points together at one time rather than negotiate piecemeal: this saves time and often, unpleasant surprises.
• If furniture or fixtures are included as part of the sale, request an inventory which will form a part of the Private Contract. Permanent attachments are generally included but make sure that they are part of the sale.
• Avoid discussions over a piece of furniture, which may have no real value to you, but could be valuable to the seller because there is an emotional value attached to it.
• Ensure via your lawyer who will pay the municipal tax of “Plusvalia”. Although by law it is a tax for the seller’s account, the buyer can sometimes pay it.


Other Considerations

Protect your investment

Make sure you have enough land around you to protect your privacy and views from a prospective building project.

Ensure the protection afforded by the law is given to you

If you are buying property under construction, the developer is legally required to provide an insurance policy or bank guarantee to protect your payments in the event of incompletion. The developers must also provide proof of ownership, as well as planning permission and licenses, and since 2002, an insurance policy against building defects. A lawyer experienced in property transactions will anticipate these items.

Buy for your own use first and foremost

Unless you are absolutely sure that your children or grandchildren will visit you, it is generally a mistake to buy with their use as the main consideration. Time and again, people end up selling their enormous homes when their family doesn't visit as often as envisaged. Purchase primarily for your own use, taste and objectives.

Realistically analyze the potential costs of modernising an older property

Reforms and unexpected repairs can be expensive surprises. That said, second hand properties will often have a better location and may be less expensive than newer properties.

Think ahead to the day you sell

A property bought today is an important part of one's assets. It is therefore advisable to take into account not just personal preferences but also general investment criteria, such as location, design factors, quality of finishes and facilities.

Take into account not just personal preferences but also general investment criteria, such as location, design factors, quality of finishes and facilities.

When buying land

Measure the land you purchase. If you are looking to buy a plot of land and no topographical survey exists, it may be advisable to negotiate a “Euro per square metre” price subject to survey, to avoid any unpleasant surprises.


A property can be owned by an individual ownership or by one or more companies. Owning companies can be Spanish companies or foreign companies.

When the owner of the property is a non-resident company, a special tax has to be paid. Since 1996, the rate applicable is 3% of the catastral value of the property.

How long can I stay in Spain as a tourist?

Europeans from the E.U. can stay in Spain indefinitely. Visas are not required for some other countries such as the United States, but are still required in other cases, depending on one’s country of origin, and with varying lengths of stay permitted. Any non-resident residing in Spain 183 days or more per calendar year is considered by the Tax Office to be a resident for tax purposes.