Buying Property in Spain

Making your Spanish Dream Home a Reality

(Legal Disclaimer: The following information was correct as of January, 2021, and is meant to be used as a basic guide for people interesting in learning more about buying a property in Jimena de la Frontera Spain.  Legal requirements, local laws and property regulations are subject to change without notice so always take your Lawyers advice in the first instance.)

The process for buying a property in Spain is relatively straightforward, but does differ from that in other countries.   Before getting started, you’ll need a Financial Number. For foreign buyers, this is called a Número de Identidad de Extranjero (NIE) and more information about how to get one can be found by visiting the Ministry of Foreign of Affairs website. Processing times can vary, so make sure you apply as soon as your house hunt begins. 


It’s advisable to have your finances in place before you begin your search.  The costs of purchasing property in Spain are very different to those in other counties, and it’s a good idea to keep between 10-12% of the purchase price aside in order to cover them. 

Here’s a list of the costs involved (excluding Bank/Mortgage fees):

  • Legal Fees: 1% of the purchase price plus VAT (21% of the 1%).  Minimum  fee is €975 plus VAT. 
  • Notary fees: The Notary fees are calculated according to the property price and there is a sliding scale fixed by the law.  Generally speaking, it ranges from €500 for lower priced properties, to €900 euros for higher priced properties. But it can be higher or lower. 
  • Registrar fees: Approx. 40% of the Notary fees.
  • Purchase Tax: Usually 8% of the price.
  • Plusvalía: A municipal tax that is based on an officially assessed increase in the value since the previous transfer of the property. 

Who Pays What? 

Spanish Law relating to Real Estate transactions stipulate that the buyers pay:

  • The legal fees of the Lawyer they have instructed.
  • The Notary costs for the first copy of the title deeds.
  • Registrar fees.
  • Purchase tax.

The sellers pay:

  • The legal fees of the lawyer they have instructed.
  • The Notary fees in drawing up the new title deeds (Escritura Publica)
  • The Plusvalia tax, and any outstanding taxes, bills on the property before transfer. 

Please be advised that these rules are applicable unless otherwise specified by contract and it is usually agreed that the purchaser pays the whole of the Notary´s charges.

Legal requirements are subject to change without notice so always take your Lawyer’s advice in the first instance.  If you need a Lawyer, we can recommend several based in and around Jimena de la Frontera. 

The Process

So, you have your finances in order and are ready to proceed.  The next stages for buying a property in Spain are: 

Private Contact Agreement:  This agreement is drawn up by your lawyer and is signed by all parties.  It must reflect all the agreed terms of the offer, deposit, and sale and set out the date for the final completion at the Notary.   

Before signing the contract and paying the deposit, it is VERY important that checks are made to ensure the property is free of any encumbrances, charges, or debt and is up to date in all its payments of local contributions (rates), community fees and utilities. This is something we can assist you with, but best done by your lawyer.  In Spain, debt stays with the property, not the property owner, and is transferrable. 

At this stage, you may also wish to have a private survey done on the property.  Surveys can range from very throughout to visual only and rates vary accordingly.  We have a list of independent survey companies we can recommend, but your Lawyer may also have a firm which they prefer to use. 

One you are in agreement with the contact and all parties have signed, the deposit is (normally) then transferred to your Lawyer’s Client Account and then we move to the Completion stage. 

Completion: A sale is completed in Spain when the public title deeds of purchase (the Escritura Publica) are signed before the Notary, the outstanding price is paid, and the buyer takes possession of the property.  We shall present the title deeds to the land Registry for registration and assist you in the transfer of accounts with the local suppliers of utility services such as water and electricity.

Congratulations!  You are now the owner of a home in Spain. 

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