Purchasing a property

The process of purchasing a property when the buyer is not Spanish requires the completion and acquisition of a series of procedures and documents, which will make the buying process more or less complex or lengthier. Furthermore, depending on the type of property one wishes to acquire, different documents gathered from various public offices must be examined and obtained, and it is necessary to ascertain whether there are any encumbrances on the property, such as prior mortgages or liens, etc.

Depending on the availability or absence of the necessary documentation for a comprehensive analysis of the property, María Solana recommends signing a reservation contract or earnest money agreement, a private purchase contract, or proceeding directly to the notary public for the final signing.

As mentioned, in Spain there are some contracts that are not mandatory (contrato de reserva, contrato de arras confirmatorias  and arras penitenciales), but they are commonly used in real estate transactions, and my role will be to advise you on which one will be used to protect your interests.

There are other methods of transferring ownership, such as donations, which are more common in Spain within families, from parents to children, or grandparents to grandchildren. If you are interested in this, the taxation is different, and if you are a tax resident in Spain and your child or grandchild is also a tax resident in Spain there are tax incentives available.

When two individuals who cohabit (either as a married couple or as partners) and jointly own a property decide to end their relationship and one of them acquires the other’s share of the property, this acquisition process, known as the termination of joint ownership (extinción del condominio), also represents a more advantageous way of acquiring ownership because the percentage of tax applied to the acquisition is virtually nonexistent.