If you are planning on selling a property in Spain, this article may be of use to you: where to start, steps to follow…
When you are thinking about selling a property in Spain, or in any country, you may be not sure where to start and the pitfalls to avoid.
Steps to follow in order to sell your property in Spain
These are the steps to follow if you want to sell your Spanish property:
Marketing the property
You can advertise your property in many ways. The cheapest way is putting a “for sale” sign or a “se vende” sign on the front of your property. Although cheaper, this is perhaps the least effective way of marketing your property.
Another possibility is advertising your property online. Some online companies offer their services for free while others charge.
Traditionally, you would hire an estate agent. The downside is that the agent will charge a percent of the sales price, to be paid upon completion. Your estate agent may ask you to sign an exclusivity contract that states you will not hire any other company to sell your property.
Any contract should clearly state the commission fee the agent will charge for successfully marketing the property and the contract should be given the green light by your lawyer.
Once you have accepted an offer, the buyer’s lawyer will carry out due diligence checks on the property. If no concerns arise, the next step is to prepare and sign a ‘deposit contract’.
Upon signing the deposit contract, the buyer will pay a deposit that will allow him the exclusive right to buy your property. The contract will also state the date for completion.
It is normal practice that the reservation contract will state that if the buyer pulls out of the sale after signing the deposit contract, they will lose their deposit. Should the vendor pull out of the contract, then they are obliged to pay the purchaser double the amount of the deposit. This clause is written according to Art. 1454 of the Spanish Civil Code.
The next step is the closing stage. The deeds are signed in front of a Public Notary by the vendor, the purchaser, or their respective lawyers if they have full power of attorney. Payment is normally made through a bank guaranteed cheque.
It is prudent and recommended to hire an independent English speaking lawyer for such a significant and expensive transaction in order to avoid inadvertently accepting the obligation to pay taxes that you are not liable for or agreeing to any unfavourable terms.
Documentation for selling your property in Spain
These are the documents that need to be presented to the buyer’s lawyer before the sale of a property in Spain.
- Power of Attorney in case somebody will represent you.
- Private purchase contract with an inventory of items included in the sale price, such as furnishings and fixtures.
- A copy of the deeds to the property.
- Land registry search certificate that proves the outstanding charges against the property.
- A copy of last water, electricity and gas invoices.
- The last property tax invoice (IBI) or even 4 years behind in case the vendor is non-resident.
- Non-Infraction certificate (Certificado de No Infracción) from the local Town Hall.
- A copy of your valid NIE / DNI number and Passport.
- Certificate of First or Second occupation (Certificado de Primera o Segunda ocupación) from the local Town Hall.
- A copy of the certificate from the community of owners verifying that there are no outstanding debts, signed and stamped by the president or the administrator of the community.
- Energy certificate of the property.
- Tax certificate proving resident or non-resident.
- Confirmation of your bank account in case stage payments will be made.
Please note on the day of the sale you will need to have originals of the abovementioned documentation to show the Public Notary.
The buyers and their lawyers may wish to have the property surveyed before committing themselves fully to the purchase of the property.
If you are unable to attend the Notary on the day of the sale of the property, you will need to issue your lawyer with a Power of Attorney so that he or she can sign and legal documents in your name.
Your obligations as a vendor of property in Spain
The vendor’s obligations are:
- To pay capital gain tax if applies as resident or non-resident.
- To pay the plusvalía tax and previous rate bills outstanding.
- To inform the supply companies (electricity, water, gas, etc…), the town hall and the community of owners that you are no longer the owner of the property. This will avoid any surprises, should the new owners not pay any future bills.
We highly recommend that, if you are planning on selling your property in Spain, you contact Real Estate lawyers who can help you sell it, quickly and easily, and provide you expert advice that could save you thousands of euros.