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There are no restrictions on foreigners buying property in Spain and the purchase procedure is straightforward, although when buying in Spain it is necessary for you to ensure that the property you are buying is free of debt and that you are buying from the listed owner. Additionally, in order to conduct a large financial transaction in Spain such as buying a house it is necessary to have a fiscal number (numero de identificacion de extranjeros). Once you have a fiscal number you will be able to legally make on offer on a property.

Once you have found a property that you intend to buy and your offer has been accepted, you will need to enter into a preliminary contract to buy (Contrato privado de compraventa). However, prior to entering into the contract it is essential that the ownership of the property can be proved by checking at the Registro de Propiedad and that it has been clarified that the house is free of debt. You will want to appoint a lawyer to complete these checks. The contract will include details such as the purchase price, and the date of completion and it is at this stage that you should place deposit on the property, which will usually be 10% of the purchase price, which will remove the property from the market.

Once all of the legal checks have been completed, you will be ready to complete on the property. To do so, both the buyer and seller must execute the escritura de compraventa contract, an escritura will be issued in front of the appointed notary and the remainder of the purchase price will be payable. A copy of the documents will then be sent to the Spanish property registry and tax office.

If you are buying a property off plan, the procedure is slightly different in terms of payment. Usually the developer will expect a small deposit to secure the sale, this will be followed by a 10% deposit within one month and often one or two additional small payments with the final payment of approximately 50% of the remainder of the purchase price being paid on completion.

Generally, you should allow 10% of the purchase price for additional fees. If you are buying a property from a developer, the buyer will be liable for 7% VAT and 5% stamp duty (AJT). If you are not buying from a developer, the buyer will be liable for a 7% property transfer tax. Notary fees will be approximately €350 and your legal representation will cost approximately €1,500.

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