Spain is a very attractive country for tourists thanks to factors such as the pleasant climate, the excellent gastronomy and the good atmosphere in general.
That is why many foreigners wonder what procedures they have to follow to buy a property in Spain and whether or not there are any limitations. To answer all the questions that may arise in this regard, this article will try to address all the issues involved.
Can I buy a house in Spain without being a resident?
It is possible for non-resident citizens to buy a home in Spain, either as a permanent residence or as a second home. In fact, Spain does not apply restrictions on the purchase of property by foreign citizens, whether they belong to the European Union or to a non-EU country. Moreover, under Spanish law it is also irrelevant whether the foreign buyer is already a resident in Spain or not, as the only requirement is to have a valid NIE (foreigner’s identification number).
In addition to the NIE, the process of buying a home in Spain requires a series of procedures that can take more or less time, as we will see in the following paragraphs.
Requirements to be able to buy a property in Spain
There are a few requirements to buy a property in Spain. Keep reading to know the essential aspects of each one. Here, you can see how Sonneil can help you.
- Being in possession of a valid NIE. The NIE is a unique and personal identification number that is granted to foreigners, and is essential to carry out any type of economic or financial activity (e.g. buying a property). The NIE is also essential to be able to register as an owner once the property has been purchased. This number can be requested at the Spanish embassy in the foreign country, or at a police station.
- Opening a bank account in Spain. This is not absolutely necessary, but it is highly recommended in order to speed up and simplify the buying process, as dealing with a foreign bank will entail delays and complications. By opening an account in Spain you will be able to pay all the costs involved in the transaction.
- Negotiating the terms of the transaction with the seller. Once the buyer has chosen the property to purchase, it is time to reach an agreement with the seller on the price. At this point, it is highly advisable to contact a real estate advisor who can manage the negotiation or even represent the buyer if necessary.
Firstly, it is essential to know what the real market price of the property you are trying to buy is, in order to avoid paying a higher price for it. There are several online methods to check and compare the price with other similar properties.
- Taking out a mortgage if you need one. During this phase it is convenient to compare the different mortgages offered by banks in order to choose the one that best suits the buyer’s interests. Bear in mind that if the buyer is a non-resident, 15% more deposit will have to be paid.
- Formalising the earnest money contract. The earnest money contract formalises the actual intention to purchase a property at an agreed price. The buyer pays part of the price of the property as a down payment to be deducted from the final price, which is paid when the sale of the property takes place at the notary’s office.
- Obtaining the necessary documents to ensure that the property has no defects. By means of a land registry report the buyer can find out, among other things, whether the property is free of debts and encumbrances. If there are any, the buyer would have to pay for those that have arisen in the last three years. You can also request an ITE report, which is a technical inspection of the building to confirm that it is in good condition.
- Formalising the public deed of sale and purchase at the notary’s office. All the parties involved in the negotiation will have to attend. This includes the buyer, seller, real estate agent, lawyer (if there is one), the bank representative and the notary. The official signing of the title deed and handing over of the keys will take place at this event.
- Going to the Land Registry. This is the last step in the buying process. Registering the property turns the buyer into the new owner and entails the payment of a series of additional costs. The cost of this procedure also depends on the price of the property. It usually ranges from 400 to 650 euros. In the event that there is a mortgage, the bank that grants it is the one responsible for the payment. In addition, the utilities such as water, electricity and gas will also be transferred to the new owner.
If you are thinking of buying a property in Spain, at Sonneil we have a wide range of properties in the best areas of the country, and we will advise you and accompany you throughout the whole process so you can find your ideal home.