Spain the system for purchasing property is different from the one in
the U.K. The contracts in Spain can be signed at an early stage and
many people do sign too early. If you wish to purchase a property in
northern Spain, often referred to as Green Spain or the Costa Verde,
there are important regional issues to consider as well.
terms of the contract to purchase a property in Asturias, for example,
will differ from neighbouring Cantabria or Galicia. Sign what may appear
to be an innocent piece of paper registering your interest in a property
and you could be committing yourself to a purchase you can ill afford;
fail to take the appropriate advice and you could find yourself with
legal and financial problems.
you are purchasing a new chalet, or an old stone cottage in need of
renovation, or an apartment on the coast, it may have been constructed
without formal regulation and in northern Spain in particular there
has been a history of varying methods of construction built to differing
a survey of a property from a qualified surveyor should always be considered
before committing to a purchase. A survey can save you both time and
money and can be used in the negotiating process.
most common approach to the purchase process is to agree a preliminary
contract (contrato privado) which should contain a number of routine
clauses including the amount of deposit to be paid. Once signed, this
will give the purchaser certainty in proceeding without the fear of
being gazumped and in the rare cases when a higher offer is accepted
after the contract has been signed, then compensation is due.
is recommended that full searches and investigations be carried out
prior to signing the private contract. Standard checks include investigating
the planning status of the property, whether or not the seller is the
registered owner; and whether it is being sold free of mortgages or
other charges. Checking the property description and boundaries is particularly
relevant in the north of Spain as many properties are unregistered having
been passed down through the family generations. The formal transfer
of the property is made in the presence of a notario by the signing
of the deed of sale (the escritura).
professional advice will ensure that your investment is sound. Please
contact us to discuss our home buyer and survey packages.
C. Robbins BSc (Hons) MRICS Managing Director