House hunting in itself is hard work, and if you throw moving to Spain into the mix it makes it even more challenging, especially if you don’t speak Spanish or know the local laws.

As exciting as buying a new home is, one must always exercise caution, even more so when in a foreign country, where laws and customs are so often very different from our own.

However, when you have found the house of your dreams, and your independent Real Estate lawyer has given you the green light, you will need to sign a purchase agreement, also known as a “contrato de compraventa“.

Your independent lawyer will draw this written agreement up for you or he will go through the written agreement that the vendor’s lawyer draws up. Please remember to sign this document only when your independent lawyer has given you the go-ahead!

Why is the “contrato de compraventa con arras” (purchase-reservation contract) important?

A “contrato de compraventa con arras” provides safety and security for both the buyer and the vendor, when buying a house. Spoken words do not count, documents do.

It is important to know what elements must appear in this purchase agreement:

  • Full names, addresses of residence, passport and or fiscal numbers of the buyers and the vendors.
  • A description of the property: square meters, cadastral number, address, details from the land registry, any debts related to the property such as a mortgage, an up-to-date license of occupation, if is it furnished or unfurnished, and an exhaustive annexed inventory of everything that is included.
  • The offer or price, that is, how much are you willing to pay? And currency agreed, in case that it is not euros.
  • The deposit: how much is the deposit, and when and how is it payable?
  • Clauses where the vendor commits to legalizing the property (if there is any paperwork pending) before completion.
  • Location of the Notary Office to complete and the date for it.
  • All the consequences if any of the parties fall into a breach of contract.
  • The jurisdiction in case one of the parties starts legal action against the other. If the contract is drafted in different languages, it should state the binding version in case of a dispute.
  • Any other details that your independent lawyer deems to be necessary to make the purchase of your new home as safe and easy as possible for both parties; each purchase is different and we need to be accurate with the information and requirements in each conveyance.