LanzaEstates, as agents, strongly advise our clients to appoint a suitable lawyer to ensure the purchase of a property runs as smoothly as possible. The process is very similar to the UK and legal title will be made through a search in the local Land Registry Office which will indicate if there are any mortgages or charges against the property.
If you are buying a plot of land, the lawyer will check to see if permission can be obtained in order to build on the land, the size and for what purposes. Once you have been assured by the lawyer, he will then instruct you to sign a Contract of Purchase and pay a deposit which is usually 10% of the intended purchase price. This deposit will be held by the lawyer until the purchase has been completed.
The terms and conditions of the sale will include a specific time for the completion of the transaction. If for any reason you decide at this point not to complete the purchase, you will forfeit the deposit held by the lawyer. But if the Seller changes his mind, the lawyer must then return the deposit to you in full, and if applicable, any compensation payment for damages.
The final step to take in the process is to sign the Title Deeds, called the Escritura in Spain. This is carried out at the Notary’s Office, who will also check that the legal documents are correct and all other payments such as the rates, water, electric and community charges are paid up to date.
A search with the Land Registry Office to check the current status of the property will be carried out. At the Notary’s office you will be asked to produce your passport as evidence of identification and you will be advised to obtain a NIF number, (Numero Identificacion Fiscal), which your lawyer can arrange for you.