It's one thing to rent a place in Spain, it's a whole other matter when you own it. Buying property in Spain gives you the freedom to do whatever you want with it. You don't have to pay rent or answer anybody else. Once you've purchased your home here, it will be your domain. Sounds great, right? Well, if only the process will be hassle-free. As great as it is to buy property in Spain, you will, however, face a few legal issues along the way. They include fixing up your documents and dealing with the contrato de arras
, among many others, and you ought to know about them now.
Can Foreigners Buy Property in Spain?
First things first, can foreigners buy property in Spain? The answer is yes, they can! There are no laws that prohibit non-residents from owning a home in the country. However, in order to legally purchase property in Spain, you will need an NIE number. The NIE number is the identification and tax number
of residents in Spain. This is given the moment you become a legal resident of the country. But what if you're not moving to Spain? Not to worry! You can always get a non-resident NIE number instead. This will allow you to still buy your own home here.
Do You Need a Spanish Property Lawyer?
Though it's not necessarily required, it's way easier to buy property in Spain when you work with a Spanish property lawyer. Especially if you're a foreign buyer who's not all too familiar with the country's laws. Not to mention when you can't speak and understand Spanish. Just as their title says, your Spanish property lawyer will handle all the legal stuff when you purchase a new property in Spain for sale. The lawyer will also deal with the legal issues on the seller's end too and more often than not, these professionals prefer to work with each other.
What Documents Do You Need to Sign?
When you've chosen a property you want to buy, you'll have to sign a few documents to jumpstart the process. The first is the reservation contract, where you, as the buyer, have to pay 1% of the property price. Do note that this document only signals the start of the process, even before negotiating a final price for the property in Spain. This means that the 'property price' in question is the seller's initial asking price. Once you've both negotiated on a final price, you then have to sign another document, the “contrato de areas
,' or pre-sales agreement. This amounts to 10% of the final property price.
What is The Contrato de Arras?
Though it's the pre-sale agreement, the contrato de arras
is a legally binding contract. It essentially stands as proof that you, as the buyer, have the intent to acquire the property at hand. And as already mentioned, you have to pay 10% of the final price in order to sign the contract. This, in turn, makes the seller obliged to sell their property in Spain to you. If they ever choose to violate the agreement, they'll be required to pay twice the amount of your 10% deposit. So either way, this document binds and protects both parties.
Signing The Public Deed
Do note that the contrato de arras
doesn't serve as the public deed of sale. That's the final step of the purchasing process wherein you have to pay the remaining 90% of the total final price. Once you've paired the 10% deposit and have prepared your financing for the transaction, you will then have to meet with your notary to write up the sales contract. The seller, in turn, has to prepare documents that will all serve as ther intention to hand over the property to you. They should show that there will be no inheritance problems, tax problems, debts, and the like.
Can You Get Funding for Your Property Purchase?
Now, let's talk about funding for your property in Spain as this might prove to be another legal issue you may face. As in any other country, the easiest way to get funding is to get a mortgage agreement. And to successfully do that, it's better to open your own local Spanish account
. Do note, however, that there are many mortgage lenders in Spain who will not enter into an agreement with the buyer unless they own the property. So going back to the contracts, it's better to include a clause in your contrato de arras
that will allow you to pull out of the sales agreement if you fail to get a mortgage agreement.
When you buy property in Spain, or in any other country for that matter, you're likely to face some legal challenges along the way. Make sure to avoid them as much as possible by knowing more about them.