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Complete 9 Step Guide to Buying a Property in Spain

Posted by Altamoderna on January 4, 2021

Making a decision that changes your future is hard. It becomes more challenging when it is regarding buying a property, specially when it is in another country. Everyone needs a professional support from reputable and experienced service providers to be able to navigate this complicated process and reach the ultimate goal.

Spain is definitely one of the top choices when considering the moderate all year climate, beautiful sunny weather and magnificent Mediterranean beaches which will bring comfort and satisfaction to your life. Also, with a bit of attention, this investment could be very beneficial financially as well considering the recent price drops.

Here we explain in details the steps for completing your purchase here in Spain:


To begin you have to find out what you really like and that would require research, consultation as well as a visit to the site of the property and neighborhood.

There are many options; whether you like to be in an old town to feel the ancient vibes, escape to peace and calm by the sea at a quite beach town or be in the trendy and vibrant parts of the major cities all have their charm and benefits and with the right information you will be able to choose what is right for you and your family.

Through many online listing sites such as idealista, you can narrow down your requirements and neighborhood and consult with your agent and advisor as the best deals are usually fast gone and rarely become available online.


With covid still in full force, many properties offer full 3D viewing of their property which is very convenient specially for the international customers. However, we strongly suggest you (or your trusted attorney) make the time to see the property first hand as there might be details not visible in the virtual tours.

Better safe and sorry.

Legal Service

Buyers in Spain should definitely hire the services of a lawyer to help them navigate through the legal matters. While one can complete this process without a lawyer, the fact is that a professional lawyer would save you a lot of time and money throughout this process.

To find a reliable legal service provider you may consult your real estate agent or research on the internet.

NIE and Bank Account

NIE which is the national identity number in Spain is required for all forigners here. It is needed for everything from opening a bank account, buying a house, registering bills, etc.

We have covered NIE completely in a separate article on our website which can be accessed here. With NIE obtained, search through what local banks have to offer and choose the one right for you.

We recommend you complete these two steps as early as possible to avoid any complications or unwanted delays specially if you are applying for a mortgage.


After selecting your property and completing all the above tasks, it is time to review everything and doublecheck. Is the property satisfying your investment criteria? Are you happy with your dram house and neighborhood? Are your other requirements met?

If so, you may move to singing the preliminary contract and providing the deposit to the seller to take the property off the market which is usually around 5,000 Euros and returnable. After this your lawyer has the task to check everything from the legal authority of the seller to the licenses and inspections of the property. Alongside your investigative eyes, your attorney should be able to navigate through all the information and give you the green light to proceed which should take around 2 weeks time usually.

After the approval the main contract is signed and a deposit is given which ranges from 10 to 30 percent due to seller or property conditions. At this point you should be very sure of the transaction as usually if you change your mind the deposit will not be recoverable.


As all other registrations in Spain, this step is done in front of notary once the full amount is paid and you will be provided with a ‘Copia Simple’. Also, the documents should be provided to the bank if you are getting a mortgage.

Land Registry

After the deed is signed your name will be entered in the land registry and it will be your obligation from that point on to keep it up-to-date specially if it is a corporate owned property.

Taxes and Fees

This varies a lot depending on the province and conditions of the sale and your lawyer should be able to clarify all of this for you. Notary fee, taxes and other fees all must be clearly presented to you with their corresponding documents in which you should keep.

When the purchase process is completed, there would be ownership taxes that should be paid regularly as IBI (Municipality Tax). Resident or non resident, all the property owners are responsible for IBI.

Moving In

Your agent will give you the keys to your dream and from this point you can relax and enjoy.

Do not hesitate to contact us for more support on any step of your buying process as our job is to make your dream come with a smooth process. Also follow our blog for up-to-date information on a diverse range of topics for newcomers to Spain.

One thought on “Complete 9 Step Guide to Buying a Property in Spain

  • Alan Bernard
    on April 9, 2022

    Great Article. Thank you

Comments are closed.

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