Discuss your offer strategy with your agent and confirm if there are any conditions that you would like to make as a part of the offer e.g. repairs are required to the property.
Once you have settled on a price you pay a small deposit dependent on the value of the property and make the offer in writing, usually at the selling agent’s office. This is called a señal and while it isn’t obligatory it does show the seller that you are serious.
Your agent prepares the offer document for you to sign. This sets out your details, the details of the property, the amount that you are offering for it and any conditions, the time period that the offer will be valid for, the time after the offer is accepted in which you will enter into an Arras agreement and the fact that you have paid a deposit in order to make the offer.
If you pay the asking price, you are effectively reserving the property. Your agent will then pass on the offer to the owner through their agent.
If your offer is rejected, or you receive a counter offer that is not acceptable, your señal deposit is returned. If your offer is accepted your deposit goes towards the purchase price of the property. The deposit amount is held by the agent until the final sale has gone ahead and not given to the owner.
Once you have reached an agreement with the owner, you pay a further deposit and enter into an arras agreement with them.
At this stage, you pay an agreed deposit based on the value of the property, usually into the bank account of the selling agent’s office.
Again, your agent prepares this agreement for you to sign and also provides you with the Nota Simple for the property (an extract from the property register which shows the details of the property and whether there are any charges registered, e.g. for a mortgage).
The arras agreement sets out your and the owner´s details, the details of the property, the details of the agreed price and conditions, a time limit for completing the final purchase e.g. 45 days, the condition that the property should be free of tenants, occupants, charges and usually furniture, the fact that the selling agent´s office is acting as depository and the penalty for reneging on the agreement.
The penalty included in this agreement is that if either of the parties pull out of the sale through their own choice they will have to return or forfeit the deposit and pay the equivalent of the deposit as a penalty. If this does occur, your agency retains 50% of the fee they would have earned on the sale to cover costs.
An arras agreement can be used, along with a letter from us, to apply for your Spanish identity number or NIE. You need this to move forward with the purchase as it is essential for the final Compraventa document.
On a date agreed between yourself and the owner, and within the time period agreed in the Arras, you sign the Compraventa agreement and purchase the property. It has to be signed in a notary’s office.
You have to visit the notary ten days before the purchase day to confirm that you understand the process.
This final purchase agreement is prepared by the notary’s office and your agent provides it to you ahead of the signing so that you can understand what it says and confirm that all of the details are correct. At this stage, you need to have you NIE in order to proceed.
If you do not speak Spanish, you are usually required to bring a translator to the meeting with the Notary so that he is satisfied that you have fully understood what you are agreeing to.
The Compraventa agreement is a fairly lengthy document that basically sets out your details and those of the owner, identifies the property that is being transferred, sets out the agreed price and how it will be paid and to whom, e.g. by bank cheque to the agent, the bank and the owner, confirms that all taxes and bills are up to date and that the property is free of tenants, occupants and charges.
On the day of signing the Compra Venta you receive a copy of the Escritura (title deed), stamped by the notary as a Copia Simple. This is proof that you have purchased the property until the change of ownership has been registered and you have your own Escritura. At this point the notary will communicate the change of ownership to the Registrar of Properties electronically to prevent any new charges being registered in the name of the previous owner.
Once the Compraventa has been signed you need to present your tax calculation and payment to the Hacienda or tax authorities. Once the tax is paid and any charges relating to the mortgage of the old owner have been cleared you need to present the receipt and the copia simple of the Escritura to the Registrar of Properties for the district in order to register the change of ownership.
The best way to deal with this admin is to hire a professional known locally as a Gestor to handle everything for you. The Gestor comes to the signing of the Compraventa in the notary’s office and take payment of the amount for the tax and transfer fees. This is noted in the Compraventa which they sign as being responsible for making the payments and changes.
You receive your final escritura within two months.