Buying a property is probably one of the most important economic decissions for both individuals and businesses. That is why it must be done carefully from start to finish, advised by trusted professionals who know the local real estate market well, and above all, can deal with the legal issues that are envolved in such transactions. Leaving in the hands of experienced professionals means less surprises later on, and a watchful eye over the planning and budget so as to keep costs the same as expected.
The first step is to carry out a comprehensive check on the property to ensure that it adheres to building code for the area and that this has not been changed without permission. This is a procedure that must be checked with the property’s local council offices. Furthermore, it is also apropiate to carry out architectural or building maintenance surveys in order to identify any potencial issues, this involves a team led by an architect.
The second step is to check that there is no debt/liability on the property. For example, mortgages, taxes or issues with tenants.
Thirdly, it is necessary to keep in mind that in Spain there are different tax rates depending on when and under which circumstances the property is acquired. If the house is under construction 21% VAT will apply, if completed it will be 10% andi f it is second hand the buyer must pay a transfer tax that can range between 8 and 11%.
Francisco Mercadal Alabern
Lawyer – Bufete Mercadal Manager –