The home buying process in Spain … how it works

Large mansion design

As an established luxury real estate agent, Norestates is often asked for advice on how to buy homes in Spain. Like any other country, Spain has a very specific home buying process.

Let’s start with the first step, finding the right properties for sale in Spain, in your required style, location and budget. Norestates team of professional real estate agents can help you find the right property, whether you are looking for commercial property for sale, luxury Marbella villas, resales or new build homes for sale.

Finding the right real estate agent is a crucial first step in the home buying process, to ensure the process is a smooth and easy experience, from the moment you start your property search to taking delivery of the keys and beyond.

Here is our step-by-step guide to buying a house in Spain:

  • Preparation and research

There are many luxury properties for sale in Marbella and the wider Costa del Sol, but not all will fit the bill. To make sure your search is as efficient and productive as possible, we will work with you to ascertain your exact requirements with regards to the purpose (holiday home, permanent base, investment property, business premises etc.), your budget, any non-negotiable features and definite no-nos.

Only then will we suggest a viewing list of properties, based on your specific preferences and requirements.

  • Legal representation

As a Norestates client, we will be happy to help you engage the services of a multilingual Spanish lawyer who specialises in property law. It is crucial that you have professional representation from a lawyer who speaks your language and is up to date on the latest laws, guidelines and regulations regarding purchasing property in Spain.  Ideally, a lawyer should be engaged at the start of your property search.

  • Reservation

Once you have found the right property, the next step in the home buying process is to agree the price with the vendor. To secure the property, you will sign a reservation contract and pay a small deposit to your real estate agent or lawyer (usually between €6,000 to €10,000).  

  • Due diligence

Having reserved the property, your lawyer will carry out due diligence. This is to check that there are no anomalies with the Title Deeds and outstanding debts on the property and all bills (including utilities and municipal taxes) have been paid.  If the search finds anything untoward or any outstanding payments, then these can be allowed for when making the final payment to the vendor.

  • Private Purchase Contract (PPC)

A Private Purchase Contract outlining the terms and conditions of the sale is usually signed between 1 to 3 weeks after the reservation contract, after all searches have been completed. 

At this point, you will be required to pay 10% of the full sale price and arrange a date for the Sale Title Deed to be agreed and signed. At this stage both parties are legally bound to follow through with the sale.  In some cases, for example if no mortgage is required, a buyer can reserve the property and sign the Sale Title Deed, without the need for the Private Purchase Contract.

  • Notary: Purchase and Sale Title Deed

The final contracts will be signed at the Notary office. Your lawyer should manage the process and accompany you to the meeting. It is also possible for you to arrange to give your lawyer Power of Attorney to act upon your behalf, this must be done within plenty of time.

In the presence of the Notary and the vendor (or their representative), you will now sign the Purchase and Sale Title Deeds. The Notary’s role is to legally confirm the identities of the buyer and vendor in order to ratify the transaction.

Having signed the Deeds, you need to pay the balance of the property purchase price, after subtracting any taxes or other claims on the property. After which, you will be the proud owner of your new property and will receive the keys.

There is just one last step, you will be required to register yourself as the legal owner of the property at the Land Registry. Your lawyer can take care of this … after which it will be time to celebrate!

Taxes and fees

It’s important to budget for taxes and fees which can add up to 14% of the sale price. The rate of tax varies depending upon the value of the property, whether purchasing a resale or new build and the location.

Two types of tax are payable on new build property; IVA at 10% and stamp duty at 1.5% of the sale price. On resale property a transfer tax will be levied at 7%.

Other fees to take into account include the Public Notary (between 0.5% and 1%), land registry fees (0.5%),  legal fees (1%) and any mortgage, bank or gestoria fees incurred.

Mortgages for property in Spain

As a long-established real estate agent on the Costa del Sol, we can also help you with the process of getting a mortgage in Spain as a foreigner, by introducing you to our preferred mortgage brokers.

If you would like any further advice about the Norestates real estate services or the stages of buying a home in Spain, please contact us on or call +34 600 224 087 / + 34 951 319 178.