Real estate transactions are different in Spain compared to Britain. There are several pitfalls, and as a foreigner you’re likely to think “British”, which oftentimes results in frustration because all the involved processes are different.
When you have found your dream property, the realtor will ask for a reservation fee or deposit. Typically, this fee is between 3000 and 6000 euro, and we advise you to deposit it with an attorney.
During a period of about a month you are required to sign a purchase agreement and pay the remaining (up to) 10% of the purchase sum. The buyer’s attorney will prepare the contract. The 10% should be deposited with seller’s attorney and shouldn’t be paid directly to the seller – something that is customary in Spain.
The deposit will generally be forfeit if the buyer decides to back out at this point, but you’re guaranteed a full reimbursement in case the seller regrets and pulls out of the deal.
After four to eight weeks you sign the deed at the notary’s office and the remaining fee is paid in full. You’re now the official owner, and you will receive the keys to the property – ready to move in.
Here, there’s a big difference compared to Denmark in that the seller gets the full purchasing sum when you sign the deed with a notary before the deed is registered in the buyer’s name.
The attorney prepares the deed and is responsible for having examined everything and that the deed is registered. In this regard you can give the attorney authority to sign the deed at the notary’s office and authorise all documents and contracts so that you don’t have to travel to Spain, when the deed is to be signed.