Buying property in Javea
Negotiation – when you have found a property you would like to buy, your agent will act as negotiator between you and the vendor or the vendor’s agent. Whilst it is true that most vendors expect to receive an offer lower than the asking price, negotiation is a two-way process and often, circumstance can dictate what is acceptable or not. What can you, as a buyer, offer the vendor in return for him to accept a lower offer? Are you a cash buyer – putting you in a strong position to complete? Do you have a mortgage agreed in principle? In addition to the sales price, other matters can be negotiated such as timescales, manner of payments, whether furnishings are included and allocation of charges associated with the property sale, eg Notary, community fees etc. Buying property in Javea is a pain free process with Alta Villas
Reservation – in order to secure the property, the buyer will be expected to place a reservation deposit, usually of between €3000 – 6000. This is normally held in the client account of Alta Villas unless an alternative is agreed by both parties. Alta Villas draw up a reservation contract which details the agreement and confirms receipt of the reservation deposit. The reservation deposit is non-refundable in the event that you change your mind but, if agreed, can be returned if you fail to get a mortgage. Upon receipt of the reservation deposit, the property will be taken off the market for a period of usually 2-3 weeks giving you time to check the viability of the purchase. In the very rare instances that the property is found to be not legally viable for sale, Alta Villas will return the deposit to you in full. Buying property in Javea doesn´t have to time consuming.
Conveyancing – Alta Villas always recommend that you engage a competent legal advisor to carry out the conveyancing of the property, and we recommend that this advisor will be different to the one used by the vendor. We are able to recommend several good local “abogados” (Spanish lawyers), in the area, usually making our recommendation based on your language or personal requirements. Abogados in Spain will usually be able to support you in the purchase of the property, its registration, changing the contracts for electricity and water and other financial and legal matters (tax planning, wills, NIES etc) so it is important that you feel comfortable with the one you employ. We are not affiliated to any lawyer so that you can be sure our recommendation is impartial.
Checks and contract administration – once the reservation has been paid and your lawyer instructed, Alta Villas will ensure that all the necessary and available documentation is provided so that the lawyer can perform the relevant legal checks. These include:
- The escritura
- The Energy Certificate
- Your personal details, copies of passport, NIE etc
- Details of the vendor’s lawyer
The costs of buying a property in Spain can be broken down into:
- 10% Stamp Duty
- 1% Notary Fee
- 1% Registry Fee
Buying Process – A Simple Guide
From the day you put the deposit down to the step 2 is normally 2-4 weeks.
Once the purchaser has found the house they want to buy, they will be asked to pay the reservation deposit (usually between €3000 – 6000) and sign the reservation agreement. This takes the property off the market for you while their lawyer does the first checks. The reservation agreement states that the vendor agrees to withdraw the property from the market for a set time, allowing the purchaser to check the legal viability of the property and to arrange a mortgage or other funding as necessary. The reservation deposit is usually held by the agent until Step 2.
From this step to completion at Notary, the timing is usually determined by you and the vendor, (eg how long you need to arrange your funds, how soon the vendor can move etc), but is normally within 6 – 8 weeks.
After paying the reservation deposit, should instruct a lawyer to perform checks on the property to establish its legal viability. These checks will ensure that any debts on the property are known and allocated to the vendor and that the property is duly registered and fully legal. The lawyer will draw up a pre-sales contract (compra venta) which will confirm exactly what you are buying and the timescales of the sale. At the signing of this contract, you will pay the balance of the deposit (usually 10-30% of the selling price less the reservation deposit already paid) to the vendor. This contract is legally binding for you and the vendor. If you do not continue with the purchase, you lose your deposit, if the vendor does not continue with the sale or if the property is not viable for sale, he has to give you twice the amount of deposit you have paid.
Completion of the sale at Notary
After the signing of the pre-sales contract, more checks or legal paperwork may be required, especially if a mortgage is required. If it is a valuation will also need to be carried out.
On the day of completion, the purchaser and vendor and/or their legal representatives will meet at the Notary. A Notary is an expert in Spanish law, legally trained and mandatory for any property transaction in Spain. They are employed by the government and so officially do not act for either the buyer or vendor and it is their job to validate the documentation related to the sale and purchase. They will ensure that all the paperwork is in order before witnessing the transfer of funds and signing the title deeds of the property over to the purchaser.
Once the house is signed over the purchaser may want our assistance with settling in. Over the years, we have found some great people and companies who supply all sorts of services required for the life in the new house. Pool and garden maintenance services, telephone, internet and TV services, school registrations, insurance, tax advice, holiday rental services, medical and vet experts, builders, plumbers, electricians, cleaners and removals. We can connect purchasers with almost anything they will need to settle in!
Step 5 – within one month of purchase
After purchasing the property – payment of taxes, duties and registering ownership at the Property Registry.
After the purchaser has bought the property they have one month in which to pay the relevant taxes (transfer tax in the case of a resale property and IVA in the case of a new build). It is usual for the purchaser’s lawyer to organise this and also to register the new ownership of the property at the Property Registry.
The lawyer will also usually change the utility services over to the new purchaser.