Buying a property in Spain.

If you are at this stage in your search, congratulations. This is the fun part and you should treat it as such, yet keep an eye on the details too.

Everyone has a different strategy. For example, personally I think maybe starting with a law firm might be a good idea. (we are involved with Spanish Solutions, one of the best law offices in Spain). Others think that the area search is vital. It is hard to argue with that. Maybe pinpointing a real estate agent you can trust is the key?

Certainly, doing your research is important. Finding out who your agent is and what they’ve done is definitely more important than finding the right house. Here are some steps to take.

  • Write a list of must haves and must not haves. Property buyers in Spain end up with the wrong house very often and usually it is down to choosing the wrong estate agent. Sometimes, the buyer comes to Spain and just suffers some brain melt! One way to ensure this does not happen to you is your lists; must have/must not haves.
    Your must have list might look like this;
    • Must have three bedrooms.
    • Must come fully furnished.
    • Must have an east facing main bedroom for early morning sun.
    • Must have a garden.
    Must not have list can include this kind of thing:
    • Must not have a pool.
    • Must not have maintenance to be done.
    • Must not have road noise.
    • Must not need refurbishment etc. etc.
    Spending a bit of time on this and actually writing it down is so important, and we highly recommend it.
  • First contact. Now it is time to speak to a few agents in Spain. We suggest doing a bit of research and trying to find out who is selling the most properties, who has a good reputation online and who will pay attention to you. Start by Emailing a few estate agents in the area and see who gets back to you. Ask specific questions and see if the estate agent is actually listening to you.
    People choose to buy from Spanish Homes Online because we live here and what we tell you about property in Spain we know from experience. We know the schools, the medical system, how to open a business in Spain- everything. From the first contact, whether by email, telephone or personal visit, we will study your needs and look for appropriate properties, both new developments and resale. Some other agents too are excellent at this and will show you where the golf course is, the local market and the church before they even start to show you houses.
  • Viewings. Once you are armed with your list of what you want, and who you want to show you around, it's time to view property on the Costa Blanca! Most of our property buyers when we ran Comaskey Properties were walk-in clients. Now, 80% of our buyers contact us online before travelling to Spain. Our attitude is relaxed and potential buyers know immediately that the Spanish Homes Online salesperson is not working on a commission only basis. If we are advising you on a particular deal, it's because we believe it makes sense for you, not because we need you to buy.
    Inspection trip/viewing. Back in the day, hundreds of buyers came to us in Comaskey properties for inspection trips every year. Many agents used to almost kidnap the client to ensure they would not talk to the waiter, the lawyer or the other agents. We actively encourage our clients to speak to as many people as they can. Now that other agents have stopped the inspection trip to Spain, we decided to start offering it again! We can arrange inspection trips to the Costa Blanca for those of you who are not familiar with the region. Unlike some estate agents we do not expect you to buy on an inspection trip. We want you to get a feel for Costa Blanca and to start a relationship with our company. We will take you out showing you areas and properties, explaining thoroughly the buying process, taxes, costs etc in a straight talking manner. We are happy to spend time with you on second viewings and answering questions about the smallest unrelated matters. If you want to play golf (we’re looking for an excuse to play so no shortage of playing partners) or meet the people at the tennis club/art class we will arrange that too.
  • Securing the Property. We hope that on one of your viewings, Spanish Homes Online will find you the perfect Spanish property to suit your requirements. We are good at finding new builds with special offers through the builders and resale property alike. It is all the same to us how long this takes, there is no hurry.
    Let's say that you find a property, under budget that meets all your “must have” criteria. Adam is a wonderful negotiator and will find you the best price and the best terms.
    Recheck your costs.
    Although your legal representatives will do this for you, we think it is important that you know exactly what your property in Spain will cost you.
    Here is a rough breakdown, but please check with your solicitor!!
    • IVA (VAT) and ATP (purchase tax) on all property purchases are the same: 10% of the deeds price; if the buyer is a company, then tax is higher. Tax on land is 21%.
    • Legal Fees vary, many companies charge a fixed fee and others from 1% to 2% approximately, again depending on the price of the property.
    • Notary Fees are the charges that the Notary will make for the purchasing/selling process and paperwork including the printing and amending of the "Escritura" (Title Deeds) and the Notary witnessing the signing of it. The Land Registry will make a charge for the registering of the change of ownership details of the property. These two may total 1,500€ together. You may also need a NIE number, Power of Attorney and should certainly consider making a Will in Spain to cover your new property.
    Sign the contract. Once you are happy, we draw up an agreement and ask you to sign the purchase contract. Often buyers will speak to their lawyers again at this stage to ensure that their deposit is protected in the unlikely event that something goes wrong. You sign the paperwork, pay the deposit (usually 3,000€ but can vary) and your hard work is done. The deposit if you buy through Spanish Homes Online is fully, 100% refundable if we find some issue on the deeds, any outstanding debt or anything that may encourage you to change your mind.
  • Get a Spanish solicitor. Maybe this should be higher up in the order of things you do. Your solicitor should give you a full breakdown of your legal obligations. We recommend you to visit the offices of Spanish Solutions CB however there is a large range of lawyers we recommend. We also work with Sun lawyers in Cabo Roig, Carrasco in Playa Flamenca, Pedro Molnia of course (our in-house Barrister) and indeed we collaborate with most of the trusted legal firms in the area. Choosing the right solicitor is vital so that; Spanish legal requirements are met; the property is registered in the vendor's name; and that it is free of any mortgages, charges, or other liabilities (as in Spain these are inherited by the buyer, so must be cancelled). Your legal representatives will ensure you do not inherit a house with electricity bills, water or community fees owed. Some agents try to get the buyer to use them, wholly unqualified to take them to the notary. Worse still, online experts will tell you that you can do this yourself. Our advice is don't skimp on the last few euros and pay a professional legal firm to ensure everything is ready.
    You can find Spanish Solutions here;
  • Final signing in the notary.After all the legal work is processed, we get buyers and sellers together in the local Notary to complete the purchase (or solicitors may do this with Power of Attorney). In the case of a new build property, we ensure the representatives of the developer are prent, but only after all the paperwork is in order. You hand over the balance of the money in front of the solicitor, seller, possibly banks and certainly the Notary. In return, you get the key to your dream home in Spain. You will be officially the owner of the property on the deeds and Spanish Land Registry.
  • Aftersales.This is important to us because it's important to you. We don't want you to think you are now suddenly left all alone. We do more work for you at this stage. We check that all is in order with your direct debits for community fees or wifi and if there is anything else that we can help with. Perhaps you need a painter, plumber, or gardener, just ask us.
    Perhaps you are thinking of renting your property in the sun in exchange for a nice return on your investment? Comaskey rentals and simply Rentals, two of our collaborators have combined the largest property management division on the Costa Blanca. We also ensure that you are informed (if not already aware) of the legal and tax obligations you have to follow if you are renting your home in Spain.
  • Relax and enjoy your home in the Spanish Sunshine. We guess you know how to do this and you do not need our help!! Knowing that you've followed the right steps makes that first cool drink you have on your very own balcony feel all that much sweeter. Get your sunscreen on- chances are it's going to be hot today!!!
    Send us referrals. If you are happy with our service and you think that your friends or family too will benefit from dealing with Spanish Homes Online, please do put us in touch. Our business thrives on work of mouth marketing and we need your help, please!
  • Buying in Spain, the book! Please excuse the ad for our book! Maybe, one thing you need to do before you buy a property in Spain is to download Ian Comaskey´s Amazon No. 1 bestseller "How to buy Property in Spain". In Ian´s book, he says the first step is to define your needs. Buyers must decide what you are looking for and what your budget is. You need to be able to tell us why you're buying here, not for the sake of the sales agent but so you do not allow yourself to spend too much or to buy the wrong house in the wrong area. Do your research online, ask questions and write a list of must haves and have nots. If you email us here, we’ll send you a free copy.

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