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buying a property in spain

Antonio considers working with international markets to be the best part of being an English Speaking lawyer in Madrid.  At Lexidy, he is assisting the Corporate & Real Estate Department with special focus in Immigration Law. He also assists the French desk. Languages: English, Spanish & French.

You can contact him directly at t@lexidy.com


Firstly, some background. There are many factors to consider, and pitfalls to avoid, when purchasing a property in Spain. I will focus on explaining the most important ones from a legal standpoint.

  1. To begin with, Spain has buildings over 100 years old with very old registration records that you must cancel before purchase. The most important examples include lifetime usufructs and long-term leases.
  2. It is necessary to ensure that the property is not mortgaged or, if it is, you need to cancel that said mortgage correctly.
  3. When it comes time to reserve a property, you will be asked to sign a deposit contract (“arras” in Spanish).  We strongly recommend that you review it in detail with a civil lawyer before signing, since some “arras” contracts conceal a true purchase agreement.
  4. Before making any payment, either to the estate agent or the seller, make sure to check how you will make said payment. Some “arras” (or deposit) contracts are written in such a way that you could lose the deposit if you do not finalize the purchase agreement.
  5. There are also a number of certificates that you must sign before a notary that estate agencies do not typically provide unless the buyer specifically requests them.

People ofter ignore these points, usually due to estate agents’ ignorance of the law. Keep in mind that they are primarily interested in selling the property, whereas a lawyer focuses solely on their clients’ best interests.

Case Study:

Lexidy Law Boutique has successfully participated in numerous property purchase procedures, of many scales and sizes.

In the present case, one of our international clients contacted our firm from outside of Spain as he wanted to buy a property in Barcelona where he could live with his family.

We followed the official procedures to safely and efficiently complete the purchase. Always keeping in mind the characteristics of our client and anticipating to his specific needs at all times. In this case, the client’s particular need was to buy the property remotely, without having to travel to Spain.

Legal Strategy:

  • Drafting and signing of a Power of Attorney (PoA)
  • Obtaining a Spanish Foreigner ID number for the purchaser
  • Obtaining a bank account in the name of the purchaser
  • Assistance in financing methods
  • Due diligence regarding the property (its ownership, encumbrances, etc.)
  • Drafting and preparation of the contract (private purchase agreement, also known as “Arras” agreement)
  • Negotiation of the terms and conditions of the sale
  • Signing the documentation and realizing the purchase on the client’s behalf through power of attorney
  • Assistance with the preparation of the appointment at the Notary Public
  • Following-up on the registration of the property with the Registry Office.

We emphasize that our client did not need to travel to Spain at any point, as we could buy the property on his behalf without him leaving his country of residence.

We are happy to note that the client is now successfully living in Spain. Lexidy looks forward  to assisting many other clients to successfully buy a property in Spain.

Interested in buying a property in Spain remotely?

Get started today and be prepared  to purchase a property in Spain

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