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Guide to buying a property in Spain
els International Lawyers

Anastasiya Estates are dedicated to providing our clients with honest sound advice, and always recommend you employ a local experienced Law firm to represent you during your purchase, we would suggest els International Lawyers (European Legal Solutions) who are a local independent firm.

els employ fluent English speaking lawyers,  are members of the Law Society of England and Wales, and the Spanish equivalent the Colegio de Abogados de Malaga. They have offices in Fuengirola Spain, Windsor and Covent Garden in the U.K., and Lisbon in Portugal and speak English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese and Russian languages. Please find below their “Guide to buying a property in Spain” which is also available as a P.D.F. file by following the link and for further information, or contact



Who are we?

els are an independent law firm specialising in all aspects of expatriate legal services in Spain, as well as offering advice and assistance with regard to property transactions and related financial and corporate/commercial services in Spain and the UK.

els are based in modern offices in Fuengirola and San Pedro, on the Costa del Sol in Spain, and in the heart of Windsor in Berkshire and at Mayfair in London, England.
Why are we different?

Our philosophy is simple, to offer our clients the best possible professional advice in a manner that they can understand, quickly and efficiently. The team is dynamic, exceptionally versatile and not afraid of change or to evolve in order to meet our clients’ needs and expectations.


Purchasing a property in Spain is significantly different to buying a property in the UK and therefore it is essential from the outset to receive sound and impartial advice.

els will ensure that you receive proper legal advice from the outset to ensure that prior to committing yourself, you understand exactly what is involved and what will be expected of you throughout the transaction. Further, we will ensure that the protections afforded to a purchaser under Spanish law are properly explained and understood as well as ensuring they are applied to your particular purchase.

Step1: Identify a Property:

It is at this stage that you should employ the services of els to ensure that all Spanish legal requirements are met throughout the purchase and provide you, the purchaser, with legal guarantees.

Step 2: Formal Offer/ Reservation:

els will discuss with you the terms of your offer, which once agreed, will be sent to your agent who will inform the Seller. If the seller agrees to your offer a binding agreement is formed. In Spain it is customary to pay a Reservation Fee at this stage to confirm your serious interest in the property you have chosen. Reservation fees are generally between € 3,000 and € 10,000 euros (approximately £ 2,000 and £ 6,000 GBP respectively). A word of caution, where a reservation deposit is placed on a property, it may be forfeit if a Purchaser simply decides not to progress the transaction where that reason has not been agreed between the parties from the outset. However, where there is a defect in the property, no such forfeit will arise.

Step 3: Property Searches:

els will then undertake the property searches on your chosen property, much the same as we would do in the UK. The aim of the property searches is to ensure that the Seller has the right to sell the property free of any debts, charges, rights and to identify any other problems that may affect the property. We will subsequently prepare a Report on Title detailing the results of the searches and advise you accordingly. The searches and checks are comprehensive and will allow us to advise you with regard to, for example, the details of any planning consents, bank guarantees, building licences and a whole range of other issues. This will enable us to advise you as to the next stage of the purchase process.

Step 4: Exchange of Purchase Contracts:

Once all the legal searches have been completed and we are happy for you to proceed, the Private Purchase contract will be drafted which will include all the terms and conditions for the sale and set the completion date for the transfer. It is usual for a deposit of up to 30% to be paid over at the Exchange of Contracts stage with regard to new properties and between 10%-20% for a resale or older properties.

Step 5: Completion:

The purchase is formally concluded when the Public Title Deeds of the purchase are signed before a Notary Public and the balance of the agreed purchase price is paid to the Seller. Should the Seller fail to complete penalties are payable to the Purchaser (usually this is the amount paid plus 100%). It is at this stage that you will receive the keys. It is important to note however that , where the property is brand new, it may not be ready to be lived in so it is always wise to ensure suitable alternative accommodation is available if you do attend for formal completion.

Step 6: Post Completion:

Approximately five days after completion, once all documents are formally stamped the deeds are collected from the Notary’s office. It is at this stage the process of registering the property begins as well as paying all local charges taxes and disbursements. Once we have completed the registration process and all taxes and disbursements have been paid we will send you our final account. We can also assist in the setting up the the utility contracts such as water, electricity and telephone. Formal registration of the property takes approximately three months however; this is in the hands of the Land Registry Office and therefore on occasions can take longer.


In general, purchasers should budget between 10% an 11% of the total purchase price to cover all incidental taxes and charges. Details of these charges are set out below.

Transfer Tax (ITP):

Where the property is resale or older property (i.e. not bought directly from a developer) ITP of 7% is payable. The tax is calculated against the purchase price of the property. Where ITP is the applicable tax, it is paid on completion following the signing of the public deed at the Notary Public.

Value Added Tax ( IVA):

IVA of 7% is charged on all new properties bought from a Developer, Promoter or a person acting as a Trader of such properties. The IVA tax payable is calculated against the purchase price of the property.

IVA becomes payable as soon as funds are paid over to the Seller. For example, if you are required to pay 30% deposit, 7% IVA must be added to the deposit amount and paid over at the same time.

Note that for commercial property, parcels of land and garage spaces the rate of IVA is 16%.

Stamp Duty:

Stamp Duty of 1% is payable on the property where the Seller is a Developer, Promoter or a person acting as a Trader of such properties. This tax is payable at completion.

Plus Valia Tax:

This is a municipal tax, which is calculated on the official increase of the property since it was last transferred. The exact amount will vary depending upon the area in which your property is located and the level of tax applied in that area. Under Spanish law the Seller is liable to pay the Plus Valia tax but this situation can be changed by negotiation.

Notary Fees:

Notary fees vary on the complexity of the purchase and the value of the property. els will advise you of the likely amount at the commencement of the transaction, however an average fee would be approximately € 800 euros.

Land Registry Fees:

Land Registry fees are payable in order to register your legal title to the property in Spain. As a guide you should budget for fees at approximately 70% of the rate charged by the Notary Public.


Power of Attorney:

It may be necessary to arrange a Power of Attorney for us to act on your behalf if you are not going to be in Spain during the purchase process. We can arrange the Power of Attorney in Spain or in the UK. The preparation of the Power of Attorney is included in our fee although you will incur a charge from the Notary Public (approximately €80-100 in Spain and £150 in the UK).

NIE Number:

You will be required to obtain a NIE number when purchasing property in Spain. We do not have an equivalent in the UK although it can be considered to be a cross between your social security number and a tax code. The NIE number is used on official documents and in order for us to pay taxes on your behalf.

Bank Account:

You may wish to open your own account here in Spain. We can assist you with this although the choice is yours. We suggest that you open your account with €100,00 Euros which we will include in our initial schedule of costs and we will open the account for you. The bank will then contact you direct to complete the appropriate documentation. Should you not wish us to open an account for you, just let us know.

Translation of Documents:

All contract and other legal documents are in Spanish. Whilst we will provide you with detailed information (for example in your Report on Title) we do not undertake legal translation of documents. Should you require a document translated we will obtain a quote for you from local specialist firms that can legally certify the translation.

Mortgages and Mortgage Costs:

Mortgages in Spain for non-residents will generally be available for between 70-80% of the property value. Banks will charge a set up fee of approximately 1% of the value of the loan. There are additional costs such as taxes and administrative charges such as stamp duty, Notary & Land Registry fees that will also apply to a mortgage loan, and therefore it is important when agreeing your level of borrowing to remember that the figure you are advanced is the NET figure(less all cost and taxes), we will of course be able to advise you in this regard prior to completion.

Spanish Wills:

We recommend that when making the decision to purchase a property in Spain that you also make Spanish will. Whilst not entirely essential, failure to have one may result in lengthy delays in the Courts in both Spain and the UK as well as hefty legal bills for the deceased‘s estate.
Property Owners Annual Taxes (Non Resident):

Non Resident property owners in Spain are required to pay taxes following the purchase of their chosen property. These have been summarised below for the sake of completeness. We will be happy to discuss these matters with you in more detail as well as arranging and assisting with the payment of these taxes on a yearly basis.

IBI Tax:

The IBI tax is a municipal real estate tax all property owners in Spain must pay on a yearly basis. The tax is calculated according to municipal criteria which will include the size and type of your property. els will be happy to advise you with regard to the likely level of this tax as well as arranging for this to be paid on a yearly basis.

Wealth Tax:

All non resident owners of property are liable to a tax on the capital assets they own in Spain; which includes real estate. The tax is calculated against the purchase price of the asset i.e. the price of the house or dwelling

Property Owners Imputed income Tax:

This tax is calculated as a percentage of the official value of the property (set by the tax authorities) which is then treated as an income in Spain.


Our conveyancing service can be broken down into the following main areas of work (we have included approximately time frames for your information and convenience):

Reservation /Reservation Contract:

  1. Receiving and holding client funds pending searches
  2. Drafting reservation contract
  3. Advising on reservation contract and reservation procedure
  4. Undertaking initial searches
  5. Obtaining Spanish NIE Numbers (where appropriate)
  6. Opening clients’ own Spanish bank account

Private Purchase Contract:

  1. Undertaking full searches on property and review of property deeds
  2. General advice with respect to liability for taxes and other expenses in connection to the property purchase
  3. Drafting and/or reviewing the private purchase contract
  4. Negotiating, where appropriate, any specific contractual terms
  5. Formal signing of the Private Purchase Contract


  1. Arranging completion following receipt of all appropriate documents from vendor
  2. Advising with regards to specific funds and liaising where appropriate with third parties
  3. Attending Notary Public for completion, negotiating term/drafting title deed document and /or amending as appropriate
  4. Representing client at tax authority and ensuring payments/retention of funds in connection with purchase
  5. Registering property at appropriate Land Registry and assisting with connection of utilities
  6. Collecting title deed from the Land Registry once registered and forwarding to client

Our conveyance service is designed to offer our clients a hassle free and easily understandable property purchase whether they are purchasing for the first time or simply increasing their portfolio.

Clients purchasing properties through syndicates or other types of groups, clubs or companies will be charged at the above rate. In addition €300 euros (plus IVA) administration charge will be payable prior to the exchange of contracts for every member of the syndicate, club, group or company, excluding the first two members.


Our conveyance service includes all property searches and search related disbursement (except Notary & Land Registry fees). Our fees are 1% of the purchase price plus IVA (charged currently at 16%) with a minimum fee of €1,600 Euros per transaction. Our fees are payable prior to contract/application for searches.

Transferring Funds:

Please be prompt in responding to requests for funds, the system in Spain can be inflexible and you may find that you lose out or incur fines and penalties if you do not adhere strictly to payments terms. If for any reason you will be unable to meet deadlines let us know as soon as possible.

Download the "Guide to buying a property in Spain" - PDF file here


For futher Informations please contact:

Gavin Elliott
Tel: 0034 952 66 36 38
Fax: 0034 952 47 79 53
Mob: 0034 610 780 127


Important Note: The information provide in this brochure is intended for general guidance purposes and only clients should ask els to provide advice in relation to their specific circumstances.

c) Copyright reserved to European Legal Solutions S.L., trading as els No part of the information contained in this brochure may be copied or reproduced in any form without specific written consent.

The information contained is this booklet is correct at the time of going to print. els accepts no responsibility whatsoever with regards to content change due to changes in law, custom or practice. All information including prices, fees, disbursements and taxes are correct at time of printing and may be subject to change without further notice.