THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO BUYING IN SPAIN
Where to Start?
You have plans to buy a house in Spain and you’re probably wondering how to go about it.
First it’s important to know in which part of Spain you want to start looking. Do you know Spain well enough? Have you considered the differences between the various regions? Do you prefer to be at the coast or would you like to go more upcountry? Or perhaps you want to stay in the city?
Spain is a big country with many different faces. Once you have selected the region where you would like to invest in property, it is time to go out and discover that area. Because, as you know, even within a province differences can be great. Like on the Costa Blanca for example, where you have coastal places where the masses go, other parts that are elegant seaside resorts and more inland are authentic villages. It is obvious that these differences are reflected in the real estate prices.
How to Start?
You’ve gone through these stages already? Then it’s time to go out and look for your dream property. How will you handle that? How will you start your search? There are different methods, of which internet is far out the most popular one. Makes sense, but a word of advice is in order! Let me explain. It is important to know that the Spanish real estate business is chaotic and unclear. The business is accessible to anyone and thus badly regulated. So, watch out, especially on the internet. Many websites will pretend to be a proper real estator, but they don’t have an office, just a mobile phone and listings from other agents. Resulting in good-looking websites offering properties they don’t know, with paperwork they’ve never laid eyes on because they never even met the owners of the house. Much of what they offer on their website is not up-to-date, and sometimes the properties are even already sold. You can imagine the disappointment and the legal difficulties you could encounter when looking for a property this way.
Your Local Agent
The internet is a great tool to compare and get an idea about what is on offer. But it really is essential to get a local agent to help you. We know the local market, the owners of the houses we list and the history of the property. We will guide you through the entire process and spare you from legal and financial pitfalls and charlatans. We will take the time to listen to you and give you honest advice. We will be your local contact person, till long after the deed has been signed. We speak your language.
Moraira Invest Real Estate
At Moraira Invest we have a knowledgeable team and we speak most common languages. We have real estate running through our veins, so to speak and a common passion: to offer our customers the best service! How do we do that? By listening to your wishes and desires, by working hard, by asking for feedback and discussing every aspect of our job and adjusting our search. By taking all the time you need, by getting the best deal possible. We ensure you a worry-free legal process and after sales. We cherish our integrity and aim for our reputation to grow.
We do ask one thing in return and that is loyalty. We invest a lot of time in our clients and we strongly hope that our efforts are respected.
WHAT TYPE OF PROPERTY, AND WHERE?
What and where
You have orientated yourself and you have made the decision: you are looking for a villa, a finca, an apartment or a project for a new built. And you want to find that property in our area being: Moraira, Benissa, Benitachell, Jalon, Javea or Calpe. We’ll start by talking and working out what you want in terms of style, location, view, layout, size and budget. What is also good to know is why you are buying: Do you want to move here permanently? Are you looking for a holiday home? Or is it purely an investment? Is a small or big refurbishment something you would take on?
The selection process
We’ll start by showing you several options in our office on a big screen and telling you all the ins and outs of the properties. Next, we’ll visit a number of your favourite properties and get you acquainted with the surroundings. It’s important to get your feedback, to see your reactions so we can adapt our plan if needed. We always take our time. You would like to spread the viewings over a couple of days? Not a problem. We think it’s important not to overwhelm you with too much information and too many impressions in one go. Take the time to digest everything, it is after all a big decision! Slowly but surely we’re getting closer to that one property you are looking for. If we don’t have the right option in our portfolio, we set out to find it for you. We’ll use our long term partnership with bona fide agents so we can offer an even wider range of properties in the region.
Once it’s clear to you which property you prefer, we arrange a second viewing. Maybe at another time of the day so you get a better feeling of the property and its neighbourhood. Only when you are convinced that this villa or apartment is perfect for you, we move onto the next step.
Level-headedness, experience and empathy are key points here. We want to make the best deal for you. There are different aspects we take into account: valuation, construction, financing, terms of handover, inventory, the actual market and expectations, mentality of the owners, etcetera. Once a deal has been made, the legal finalization can begin.
You have found your property. We’ve negotiated a fair price for you and you are ready to take the next step. What does that involve?
You will sign a reservation contract. This entails that the property will be taken off the market. You will transfer the reservation fee to the escrow account of the agent. Usually this will be 3000 euro, sometimes a bit more. In general, this contract is valid for three weeks but a different term can be mutually agreed upon.
What is mentioned in this contract? All data of buyer and seller, a description of the property, and the term of validity of the contract. Extra clauses can be added for instance about the furniture etcetera.
During the reservation two things will happen:
1. The buyer gets the 10% advance ready for signing of the preliminary contract.
2. Both parties help to get all the administration ready, or have someone do that for them.
The seller ensures that all paperwork is accurate, all invoices for utilities and taxes have been paid so the transfer of ownership can happen without any problems. The agent will have an answer to most of your questions, but we do advise the buyer to contact a lawyer or a gestor. They will check all the paperwork even more thoroughly and safeguard that the property is free of debt. In other European countries this is done by the notary, in Spain it is not. In some cases this will be very straight forward and simple. Your agent will be able to give you an idea about that. If this is the case, a gestor can do the job. If it is a bit more complicated we’ll recommend a local lawyer, who has connections with local legislators and tax departments. Your gestor or lawyer will help you to get a Spanish tax number (called a N.I.E.), to open a bank account if you wish and he will draw up the sales contract.
If it appears that, after thorough investigation, the documents are not satisfactory or another unsolvable problem has arisen, the reservation will be annulled and the reservation fee will be refunded to the buyer. No sales contract will be signed and the deal is off. We are happy to say this barely ever happens, because a good lawyer or gestor will almost always be able to find a solution to a problem.
After all documents have been checked and approved, the preliminary sales contract will be signed by both parties. This is when the buyer pays 10% of the price agreed upon, minus the reservation fee. This contract stipulates all agreements and legal aspects of the deal made, as well as the date for the signing of the deed, often already one month later.
The sales contract and the actual transfer of ownership. The title deed will be signed at the notary and the outstanding amount will be paid. You will be handed the keys to your new property! The deed will be registered at the registration office so the tax department is informed about the transfer of ownership. All utilities will be transferred into your name.
Time to make your property your new home in the sun!