Buying costs explained

After a careful search, you have finally found the property that ticks all your boxes and you have decided to go for it. So, what happens now?

Once a price has been agreed, you will be required to enter into a purchase contract and pay a deposit, thus securing the property in your name. It would be normal to have to make at least one staged payment between signing the contract and completion but, don’t worry, we will clearly explain your contractual obligations to you and enter into negotiations on your behalf.

Most of the paperwork and organisation required for the signing of the deeds will be taken care of, for you, by us and your chosen solicitor. However, one important part of the buying process that you really have to understand carefully is the expenses that arise from buying a property in Spain. They could be very different from what you are used to in the UK and if you get it wrong, you could end up being caught out.

What are these expenses and where is your money going? Read on for a simple explanation of what the famous 11-13% consists of.

Property Sales Tax

The amount payable varies depending on the type of property in question and the nature of the vendor. If the vendor is a property developer, the purchaser will pay 10% in VAT (IVA in Spanish) plus an addition 1,5% stamp duty.

Commercial and resale

You should be aware that if you are buying a plot of land, commercial premises or a garage parking space, then the amount of VAT rises to 21%. In the case of a resale property, you don’t pay IVA, but you will have to pay the Impuesto de Transferencia de Propiedad (ITP) or transfer tax, which is charged at 10% (Valencia Region). In Murcia Region the ITP or transfer tax is 7%.

Notary Fees

Although it is not that uncommon for the notary fees to be a point of negotiation to secure a sale, they are usually assumed by the purchaser.

At the time of the sale, it is only possible to give an approximation of what these fees might equate to but, it would be fairly accurate to assume that they are going to amount to 0,5% of the sale price. The reason that you will not be able to get an exact figure is that there are many factors to consider which can bear an influence on the amount, from the notary office that is used, down to the number of pages used for the title deeds!

Registry Fees

Again, this is an expense that is usually covered by the purchaser although, this is not set in stone and can be negotiated between the two parties. This can also only be estimated as until the deeds have actually been presented to the relevant land registry office, for where the property is located, you will not be given an exact figure. However, allowing 0,5% of the sale price will be more than sufficient to cover this.

Legal Fees

It is not compulsory to use a solicitor when purchasing a property in Spain however, we would certainly recommend the use of one to all our clients. Solicitor’s fees vary from company to company. Some charge a percentage of the sale price and others just charge a flat rate, starting from around 900 euros for a basic service. Additional services are usually charged as an extra and these include, for example, obtaining a NIE number (a compulsory number that recognises you as a foreigner in the Spanish tax system) and making a Spanish will.

It is important to get clarification from your chosen solicitor of exactly what their charge includes and ask for the cost of such extras.

Additional Expences

If you are purchasing a property with a Spanish mortgage, this will bring about further costs and instead of budgeting an additional 11% of the sales price to cover all your expenses, you should allow around 13-14% depending on the terms and conditions of the mortgage offer. This will cover the set up fee and official bank valuation of the property . Refer to our section on mortgages for further information.

Example of the “true” purchase price for a property selling for 150.000 euros

Property sales tax (10%)   15,000
Notary fees (0,75%)   1,125
Land registry 750
Lawyers fees 1,630
Subtotal 18,505

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Total purchase price including costs 168,505