How to buy a property in Spain

How to buy a property in Spain

Buying guide

Deciding to buy a property in Spain is an exciting and life changing decision. Whilst there are some differences from buying a property in other countries, it’s not too complicated once you understand the process.

Here are some quick steps of the buying process:

  •  Finance

Do a financial calculation of how you will finance the property and your budget.

  •  Contact a sales agent

Find a sales agent and provide the agent with your criterias of what you’re looking for. The sales agent will send you suggestions of propertis.

  •  Viewings

Attend the viewings together with your sales agent.

  • Contact a legal representative

Find a legal representative that you trust and he/she will help you with Spanish registration number and power of attorney for the steps needed.

  • Put an offer

When you have found your dream home it’s time to put an offer on it. In Spain the bidding takes place below the asking price which is different compared to many other countries.

  • Reservation contract

When you get an accepted offer you reserve the property by signing a reservation contract and pay the reservation fee (usually between €6000 and €10 000). The transfer will be made into the lawyers client account and not to the vendor. When the transfer is done, the property is off market and your lawyer starts with the due diligence to make sure everything is in order with your new home. If you have applied for a mortgage, a valuation of the property will be done and the bank will finish your mortgage application.

  • Purchase contract

If everything is in order with the property it’s time to sign the purchase contract. This is usually done 14 days after the reservation contract was signed. When both the vendor and buyer have signed the purchase contract 10% of the agreed price of the property (minus the reservation fee) is transferred to the lawyer’s client account. The lawyer will confirm the transfer to the vendor. The agreed date of access is written in the purchase contract.

  • Completion of purchase / access

The day of access everyone will meet at the notary to complete the purchase. By this time, all eventual mortgage of the vendor is removed from the property and registration in the title deed is made. The 10% at the lawyer’s client account and the 90% that is left of the agreed price is transferred to the vendor at the notary. The keys to the property are handed over to you and you got a new home.

To buy new development

Buying a new home off plan is a little different than buying a resale property.

It’s the developer of the property who becomes the vendor and that person, together with your sales agent, will provide you with all the information you need about the development.

There are renders, site plans and floor plans of the development to give you a clear picture how the result will look like. The developer will also show you the plot of the development and show you where your property is located.

Usually a reservation fee of 6 000–10 000 € will be paid to take the property off the market. During the building process you usually pay between 30–40% of the property price, sometimes all at once and sometimes divided into different occasions. The 60–70% that’s left will be paid at access when the development is completely done.

Property tax (VAT) of a property from a new development is 10% on top of the price of the property.

To buy a resale property

A resale property is an existing property that has had previous owners, where you buy the property from the current owner. All resale properties are sold in existing conditions with respect to age, price and usage. It’s the buyer’s responsibility to check the property before signing the purchase contract. Your legal representation will help you to make a due diligence of the property to see that everything is in order and that it will be a safe purchase.

Property tax of a resale property is 7% of the purchase price.


NIE Number

If you’re not a Spanish resident you will need a NIE number to buy a property in Spain. This is a Spanish identification number for foreigners (Numéro the Identificación de Extranjero).

In Andalucía, the documentation required to apply for an N.I.E is:

If you have a European Passport: show your main identification page and have a photocopy of it.

All other Passports: show your full passport and have a photocopy of all the pages at hand, two ID photos and two copies of the Ex-15 application form filled out and signed.

A valid reason why you need an N.I.E (e.g. for work, buying a car, buying property, etc.).

We also recommend everyone, both vendors and buyers, to hire a legal representation with experience of the Spanish property market/ transactions to represent you throughout the purchase. The lawyer will cost you 1% of the agreed price of the property, which is a relatively small cost compared to that it will save you from future trouble and costs if something goes wrong in your purchase.


At Norma Franck we will help you find the home you are looking for, regardless budget or type of property. For us it’s important that the purchase of your new home feels right and that it’s the type of home that suits you the best.

We provide all our costumers a service where we offer both our own properties but also our collaborators properties, which means that we have access to cover the complete property market. This way, you can use our knowledge and we can advise you on the best properties that suit your needs all at once.

Our sales agents become your personal agent and you don’t have to contact several sales agents and do all the research yourself. We also help you schedule all viewings and show you the properties.

Download our purchase guide here

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