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Buying Property

1. CHOOSE THE RIGHT PROPERTY.

Clearly identify in your mind the type of property you want and a property that is within your price range and stick to. Ask questions regarding Community charges and local taxes.

2. MAKE AN OFFER.

When you have decided on the property the first step is to make a verbal offer through your agent. This may often be 5% - 10% below the asking price. Negotiations will then proceed until a price is agreed when you should appoint a lawyer to formalise the agreement.

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3. APPOINT A LAWYER.

An independant lawyer, who should be fluent in your language will carry out the necessary checks on the property and complete the legal requirements of the sale. The first check is normally to obtain from the property registry a "Nota Simple" which will identify the registered owner and provide details of mortgages or embargos on the property. You should obtain from the seller receipts for payment of IBI (Impuestos sobre bienes Inmuebles), the annual real estate tax. These will show the "Valor Catastral" the assessed value of the property on which your property income tax will be based. If you are buying a new property ask to see the "Declaracion de Obra Nueva" and the "Declaracion de Alteracion de Bienes Naturaleza Urbana". Where there is a community involved, ask for receipts for community charges and obtain minutes of meetings from the president to identify any problems.

4. HOLDING DEPOSIT

After the price is agreed and the "Nota Simple" has been checked you will have to pay a small holding deposit to take the property off the market and reserve it until you can reach completion. Your lawyer will prepare a formal offer and agreement contract for this purpose.

5. EXCHANGE PRIVATE CONTRACTS

The exchange of private contracts or the signing of an option to buy would normally take place about two weeks after the formal acceptance of an offer, when the lawyer would have completed his searches. The contract would set out all the agreed terms and set a date for completion. It is usual for the buyer to pay a 10% deposit at this stage, which is non-refundable.

6. COMPLETE AT THE NOTARY.

On the assigned day, buyer and seller (or their authorised representatives) will attend the office of the notary to sign the "Escitura de Compraventa" (the title deed), which should state that the property is sold free of charges, mortgages and tenants. The notary does not check the terms, but solely certifies that the parties have agreed them. At this point the balance of the payment is made and possession passes to the buyer. Your lawyer will arrange payment of taxes and fees, and register your title deed at the property registry. This should be done promptly. Don't forget to have the property insured.

7. THE COSTS.

There are three fees to be paid: Lawyers fee, Notary fees and property registry fees. Also there are two taxes, transfer tax (ITP) and "Plus Valia" LAWYER FEES: usually about 1% of the purchase price plus 16% IVA. NOTARY FEES: fixed by law and normally in the range of 300 Euros - 900 Euros. REGISTRY FEES: approximately 40% of the notary fees. TRANSFER TAX: 7% of the purchase price, but when buying new from a developer this is replaced by 7% IVA plus 0.5% stamp duty. PLUS VALIA: This is a local municipal tax and is based on the officially assessed increase in the value of the land since the last time the property changed hands.

8. WHO PAYS WHAT?

It is normal practice for the buyer to pay the above fees and taxes with the possible exception of the "Plus Valia", but everything is negotiable and should be stipulated in the contracts. The vendor will pay his own capital gains tax and the estate agents fees.

 

All the information provided on this web site has been checked carefully and is updated regularly. However, no liability or guarantee can be accepted to the effect that all of the information is complete, correct and up-to-date at all times.

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