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The procedure will be as follows: Once you have found your dream house, the most important next step is to secure it by paying a deposit. This is generally €6.000 and will be held in a client account by the agent. After this, you have to sign the private option of purchase agreement contract, where a 10% of the value of the agreed price is paid. This amount will be paid directly to the seller´s solicitor.
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If the property is on an urbanization or part of a residential complex, then you will automatically become a member of the Community of Property Owners, responsible for general maintenance, gardening, etc. Make sure that all fees are paid up to date and that you are aware of how much your annual community costs will be.
Next, your lawyer must check at the local Property Registry to ensure there are no outstanding liens or mortgages against the property, or whether it has been embargoed for non-payment of a mortgage or taxes.
Also, your solicitor can check that the property is up to date with all local rates payments.
Costs of Notary and Registry
The approximate cost for the notary and registry is 1.5% of the purchase price, which could be increased in relation of the property value.
Spanish law establishes that the "tax on the increase of land value, known as 'Plusvalia' should be paid by the seller.
Property purchases are also subject to a transfer tax of 7% or 8% if you are buying from an individual. This tax is paid by the buyer. If you are buying directly from a developer, the tax is VAT and is 8%, but in these cases there is an additional 0.5% document tax. If you are purchasing from a non-resident, Spanish law requires you to withhold 3% of the purchase price and pay it to the Spanish tax department, 'Hacienda', as a guarantee of payment of the seller's Capital Gains Tax. (If the tax amount is lower than the deposit, the seller can later claim the difference from Hacienda).
The Contract or "Escritura"
Approximately a month after you have made your deposit, you can expect the completion of the sale to take place. The contract must be in Spanish, although you can obtain a translation if necessary. A legal property purchase contract in Spanish is called "Escritura de Compraventa" and is signed by both parties in the presence of a Spanish Notary Public who will keep the original copy of the contract in his files.
The contract should describe the property and its location in detail, as well as the identity of the purchaser and seller.
If the purchase is financed with a mortgage, the bank representatives are present in order to pay and sign the mortgage.
The final step is to take your copy of the "Escritura" to the Property Registry and have it officially registered, at which time you will obtain your "Escritura Pública", the title deed