Warning: The information set out below is a general guideline provided by DOMENECH ABOGADOS. Specific advice should be sought before any action in reliance on it is taken, as explained more fully in this website's legal notice.

Buying a property abroad is not like buying a souvenir. Ten basic steps purchasers should take before signing or paying anything are:

  1. Obtain an updated search from the relevant Land Registry in order to verify that the owner is duly registered as such and that the property is not subject to any charges or damaging development schemes. This essential search will also show whether the official description of features, sizes and boundaries matches reality.
  2. Find out how long the present owner has had the property and what price he/she paid for it. If, for example, the property was acquired last month for euros 50,000 and is now on offer for euros 500,000 (or vice versa), find out why and get immediate advice from DOMENECH Abogados.
  3. Obtain information about the prices of similar properties in the same area.
  4. If the owner is a company, obtain a search from the Commercial Registry to find if the company is solvent and identify the person who can sign on behalf of the company (DOMENECH Abogados can handle this for you).
  5. If it is a recently built home or major improvements are intended, check with the local Town Hall that the necessary permits have -or will - be granted.
  6. Find out whether the owner has any pending debts concerning local taxes (IBI). To start with, ask to see a copy of the last payment receipt. If it is a condominium, find out whether there are any community charges unpaid.
  7. Do not accept that any deposit must be a specific percentage of the price. Everything is negotiable.
  8. Only pay a deposit to the registered owner who is selling the property, or a person who has a power of attorney to receive such a sum (no to any intermediary) and make sure that a signed and properly drawn document is obtained as evidence of such payment.
  9. Play it safe by using DOMENECH Abogados to review that document and any others to be signed in connection with the purchase.
  10. It is essential that the purchase be noted in a deed signed before a public notary that can be registered in the Land Registry. Once the deed is signed, the registration process should be completed as soon as possible. Finally, bear in mind that Spain is composed by 17 different regions and that specific requirments might have been implemented by these bodies in relation to property located in each territory.

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