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The Facts

Anyone looking to buy in Spain will have heard or read the horror stories. Buyers who have been caught in legal traps, lost deposits dealing with unscrupulous developers and agents or picked up unexpected costs because outstanding debts are transferred with the property at purchase.

Buying in Spain is actually very safe and the laws are very clear. The issues only arise when the law is not followed or you have not been made aware of them. In the past selling of properties and adherence to the laws was flouted regularly and became custom and practice. The environment has now changed but not all companies and individuals have accepted or understood these changes and still believe a blind eye will turned when the proper way of doing things is not followed. These companies then convince buyers that the steps they are taking are just accepted practice and this is when the problems start. There are of course like in all markets some excellent, lawyers, agents and developers in Spain the issue is how do you know which ones they are.

Did you know?

Lawyers in Spain are not required by law to only work for the buyer. Their company or individuals within that company can actually work for both sides so their ability to give the buyer full independent advice to you alone is diminished.

All Estate Agents ultimately work on behalf of the seller or the developer and this is who pays their fee.

Some developers pay a higher percentage of sale price than others so Agents can be driven by personal financial needs to show you property that is more suitable for them than your requirements.

The fee being paid to the agent is wrapped up in the sale price so you will have no idea how much of the overall costs are being paid in agent fees and the agents fees form part of the gross price you pay.

Developers in Spain regularly set up stand alone companies for each development so if that development fails you have no recourse on the main company which may actually still be trading and profitable.

For details of lawyers who are guaranteed to only work on your behalf
contact us now.

What you should know

With the right advice you do not need to fall foul of any of these issues. You just need to know the right questions to ask in the first place and someone who works solely on your behalf and for your protection.

A correctly constructed Private Purchase Contract containing all the legal protections relative to you and your circumstances provides you with all the legal protection you require. A standard seller Purchase Contract which is used by most parties does not.

By law all properties whether off plan, re-sales or built on land that is not urbanized should have.

All square meter age defined as its correct use and registered at land registry

A habitation licence or first licence of occupancy certificate

Fit within the most recent 5 year build plan for the area and or be registered with the Junta's ( Regional Government) as well as local Town Halls

All properties should fit within the latest build 5 year plan for buildings within that area and meet any size restrictions on build to land ratio's or build restrictions that exist.

All properties 10 years old or less should have a 10 year building warranty certificate.

All new off plan developments should have a bank guarantee in place to protect staged payments.

For details on how our service can help you make sure the property you want to buy is legal contact us now.

Why follow a different process when buying abroad

Because it is difficult to spend time viewing properties bought abroad and most people don't have a good understanding of the area the way we buy property abroad and the simple rules we would always follow when buying a home in the UK tend not to happen.

Few cash buyers instruct a valuation so you are more likely to come across legal issues as a cash buyer than a buyer taking a loan where the bank will check their security. Valuation companies play a large part in identifying problems and issues relating to land registry and are obliged by law and the bank in cases of mortgages to highlight them. Valuation companies cannot decide it is custom and practice and chose to ignore it in the way a cash buyers lawyer may.

As Amanda Lamb from Trapped in the Sun said in a recent episode "if you can't afford a survey on your purchase abroad you probably can't afford to buy"

Few buyers will view a property at different times of the day to understand, traffic, noise levels and general ambiance throughout the day. Few will consider what they are actually buying property for and ensure the property meets all requirements. Standard holiday homes have little storage which is not a problem for short stays but if the property is for long term living this soon becomes a problem. What is suitable and delightful in a holiday home maybe completely wrong for long term living and vice versa.

What appeals to you personally may not be right if the property is being bought to make a rental return and in these cases informed business decisions not emotional ones should be made. Rental returns, communications and facilities should all be understood and explored before buying.

For details of independent valuation companies who will provide homebuyers and full structural surveys contact us now.

How we believe buying in Spain should be

It is very expensive and time consuming to make many trips to Spain only to find you are being taken to unsuitable, illegal properties or find out issues late in the purchase process.

Home buyer packs now deemed important in the UK probably have even more relevance when buying abroad but are not legally required. Factual informative details upfront help you decide whether a particular property realistically meets your needs and whether the overall area provides what you are looking for.

How much better would it be if you could sit in the comfort of your own home? Review a selection of properties specifically selected to meet your set criteria's that have basic legal checks undertaken before you decide to visit.

Buying a holiday home or a property abroad should be a pleasurable experience with minimum stress. In any buying process there will always be some issues along the way but these should be kept to a minimum and most are avoidable.

Even properties with issues may still provide good value for money and meet your needs. Many legal issues are resolvable in the longer term but you need to be aware before you buy of what the potential issues and outcomes are likely to be so you make an informed not un-informed decision and can accurately balance benefits against drawbacks.

You should be shown properties that meet your specified criteria but also be helped and provided with guidance to ensure that what you think you want is in reality achievable and practical for your circumstances.

Buying in a very Spanish area may provide on the face of it a charming lifestyle and be cheaper but if for personal reasons you need good communications and support infrastructures a remote inaccessible area may not be practical.

Buying what appears while you are on holiday to be a dream location may for long term living be completely wrong, transient neighbors and noise through peak seasons acceptable when you are on holiday can be very tiring all day every day.

Selecting your personal dream home when the property is for rental purposes could be a disaster as what suits you may not be the volume market for holiday makers in that area.

Don't let the dream turn into nightmare. To view real life situations and learn how with the right advice they could have been avoided look at our case studies now..

How we work and the service we offer

We work solely for the buyer.

We are not selling agents. We list no properties and never work on behalf of the seller or developer; bargains are available but you have to have the right sources, contacts including bank contacts and experience to know which ones these are.

Our sole purpose is to understand fully and then source a selection of properties that meet your set criteria's as closely as possible and negotiate price on your behalf not the sellers. Full and comprehensive details of the property, costs and surrounding areas are sent to you before you decide to make any trips to view.

We have a set property sourcing fee of 2% of the property purchase price if we source property without an agent's involvement and 3% if an agent is involved. We are paid by you at completion not the seller and the agent would receive payment from us. This means that you can be confident the price you pay is the net price with no hidden costs or agenda's.

Whilst in normal transactions it may feel like you are not paying the agent in reality the agent's fee is always added to the purchase price so in fact you do pay the agent you just don't know how much. Standard agent fees in Spain are 5% but can be as high as 20% and everything in between.

Information from us will always be full, factual with nothing covered up or glossed over. Any drawbacks to the property will be identified in your initial homebuyer pack so you can decide how important or relevant these are. We will help you plan and execute any lifestyle change by ensuring everything you need to know about the area is provided to you before you commit to a purchase.

We start by asking you what you are looking for to narrow down acceptable properties and areas. We will help you explore what is really important by asking the right questions up front. We will help you assess a true and comfortable budget range but we start with your requirements and suitability of property not price. We will not try to push you to the top of your budget. If you want to buy we will then negotiate to get you the best price possible.

A detailed cost breakdown for each property will be provided in writing and will include current marketed price, related costs you must consider and ongoing running costs.

The initial buying pack information you receive for free on all properties will include.

Internal and External pictures

Room Sizes

What is included in the sale

Honest assessment of property and its standard


Purchase and running costs

General overview of area it sits in including transport communications, sport and leisure activities and practicalities like shopping, health care and public services.

Copy of Nota Simple

If you then want to arrange a visit we will organize an itinerary for each property you wish to see. If you then decide to buy we will hold your hand throughout the process.

We will provide a selection of professional and legal advisers who will only be recommended if they follow our exacting laid down processes at a set price. You can choose to use one of these or appoint your own. We will advise you as to what criteria's need to be included in your Private Purchase Contract whichever legal adviser you select to ensure you are protected.

Full Home Buyers Pack

On top of our free service we also offer for a fee of € 500 (deducted from our finders fee at completion) up to 10 comprehensive homebuyer packs in any given 12 month period. The home buyers pack will include more extensive information and checks and save on the cost of flights and accommodation until we have sourced something that you feel fully meets all your requirements.

The full homebuyer pack will include everything in the initial buyers pack plus.

Detailed outline of all surrounding areas and facilities including times and distances

List of useful local contact numbers

Legal check to include

Property meets current local and regional plans

All square moderate is registered and complies

Bank guarantees for off plan are in place and explain what they cover

Certificates of Urbanistica's are available for all properties not on urbanized plan

10 year building warranty certificate if applicable

Current rental ranges for property in that area and current occupancy levels

Specific information at request

Contact us by requesting a call or just fill in the Spanish property enquiry form or simply email us today

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