As a real estate agent, we regularly deal with people who initially wanted to purchase a property in Spain from a private individual and finally purchase through a real estate agent. The reason is that the client expected that the purchase price would be lower because no broker's commission is added to the price. In this article we explain what you should consider when purchasing a property in Spain directly from a private individual.
The first step in buying a property is to look for suitable properties. You should start with making a list of preferences that your home in Spain must meet. Most property portals in Spain, such as Idealista or Fotocasa, do not indicate whether the property is being sold by a private individual or through a real estate agent. This limits the number of options for finding a property directly from a private individual. There are a number of websites on which houses of private individuals are published, but these are mostly Spanish-language and of low quality with hardly any photos or description. So here it is a matter of luck to find your dream home sold directly by a private person.
Once you have found an interesting property, we recommend that you do a few checks before taking any formal steps. In Spain there are many cases of illegally built houses, or houses that do not correspond to what is in the property registers. It is also advisable to verify whether there are third parties who have rights to the property, such as banks.
To avoid problems, it is advisable to check the legal status of the property. A broker can often help you, but you can also hire a specialized lawyer for this.
When purchasing a property in Spain from a private individual, no professional has generally been involved in determining the sales price. To avoid paying too much and to possibly improve your negotiating position, it is advised to have a valuation done before purchase. The costs are generally at least 400 Euro, but give you a good indication of the value as well as any negative points that emerge in the report.
Especially if you want to take out a mortgage for the purchase, the valuation is very important for the amount you can finance through a mortgage. Make sure you us one of the recognized valuation companies, then chances are that the bank will accept the appraisal report, so that you do not have to incur these costs again.
If you are sure that your dream home is legally and priced reasonable, you can take the next step. This is usually the signing of a provisional purchase contract / reservation contract. Note: These terms don’t mean that you can easily end / break this contract. In Spain it is common for you to make a deposit of at least 3,000 Euro to 10%, whereby you can no longer cancel the purchase free of charge. A mortgage reservation or building inspection is not common, so we recommend that you have these types of points included if applicable. Other matters can also be of importance in the purchase contract, such as who is responsible for certain costs and taxes. If you do not speak Spanish well, it is wise to hire at least one translator and preferably a specialized lawyer or 'gestor'.
Above we have highlighted some important points to keep in mind when you are looking for a property for sale in Spain from a private individual. Since the buying process and the legal framework in Spain differ considerably from the UK, it is recommended to involve a professional who is familiar with the language and has experience with all the pitfalls that you may encounter.
As an English speaking real estate agent in Spain, the Rayos de Sol team has a lot of experience with the ins and outs of buying Spanish real estate. Would you like to know more or information about our services without obligation? Then contact us!
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