Buying a Spanish Property

A guide to buying a Spanish property

Did you know that approximately one in every five properties brought in Spain is made by a foreign buyer.

According to data from Notaries, in the second half os 2022 a shade over 70,000 properties were brought by people from overseas. Despite Brexit, British buyers remain the largest group of overseas nationals buying property. They are closely followed by the Germans and then the French.

If we assume nearly 150,000 properties are purchased each year by people from outside Spain the vast majority are doing so for the first time. That’s a lot of people embarking on the same exciting journey, hoping to secure their slice of the idyllic Spanish lifestyle.

Buying a Spanish Property

Step-by-step guide to how to buy a property in Spain

If you decide to buy a Spanish property, it may not always be possible or practical to be present in Spain to sign necessary documents as the purchase progresses. These include contracts, deeds, utility contracts, tax matters etc.

Appointing a lawyer to act on your behalf through Power of Attorney is the way the majority of our clients proceed. The Power of Attorney can be made in Spain and signed in front of a notary, or it can be done in your native country. The former method is simpler, quicker and cheaper.

Once the Power of Attorney is signed and approved, your lawyer can proceed with the application for NIE Number(s) and opening a Spanish bank account for you.

An NIE number is a Foreigner Identification Number. NIE is an abbreviation for Número de Identificación de Extranjero. It is a number that is allocated to an individual and they have it for life.

The NIE is a personal, unique and exclusive number that is assigned to foreigners who, for economic, professional, or social reasons, are engaged in activities related to Spain and require identification in the country. You need to have an NIE number to open a bank account, and of course, to buy a property in Spain.

Once you have the document confirming your NIE number, it is sensible to carry an image of it on your phone as you can be asked to show it in a variety of situations.

Expect the approximate for the Power of Attorney and an NIE number for two people to cost in the region of €500 inc. VAT

You will need a Spanish bank account to transfer money to cover the property purchase payments and to set up regular monthly payments to cover utilities and other necessities like wi-fi.

Despite what you may read on Facebook groups about using a currency account rather than a bank account for your Spanish monetary transactions, we still advise strongly our clients choose the bank account option.

From a deposit on a Spanish property to regular monthly payments, a reputable currency company ensures your funds reach the right destination, at the right time, at a highly competitive exchange rate. Any currency company will offer greater flexibility than a high street bank for changing money. We choose to recommend A Place in the Sun Currency

Hopefully, this is the fun bit; house-hunting in Spain! Assuming you are buying a resale property, once you have found one that you want to buy, you will negotiate a price with the seller.

If you have used the services of an agent, they will be able to advise. Alternatively, the desk research and the on-the-ground data will have to guide you on a sensible offer and a top figure that you will not go beyond.

If you’re looking for a mortgage in Spain, the type of mortgage you apply for will depend on your particular circumstances. Mortgages are available for residents and non-residents (depending on whether you will be buying a home to live in permanently, or a holiday home). And there are a variety of interest rates available for buying in Spain too.

Paying the reservation deposit will ensure the property is removed from the market. We would always prefer that the deposit was paid to your instructed solicitor rather than to the agent. In the 24-48 hours after paying any reservation deposit, the solicitor will carry out preliminary checks regarding the legitimacy of the property and any debts against it. If we are satisfied with these checks then we will release the deposit to the seller and the conveyancing process will continue.

The private purchase contract will include the following within it:

  • The details of the buying and the selling parties.
  • The agreed purchase price.
  • The condition of the property at the point of signing.
  • Documents relating to the sale that the vendor will need to have such as habitation certificate, proof of payments for alterations, licenses etc.
  • Penalties for backing out of the agreement.
  • When the signing is to take place.
  • How any disputes that may arise will be settled.

The contract will be drafted in Spanish. Unless that is your native language, one of the most important roles of your lawyer is to translate the contract into your language. Once this is done, your lawyer will run you with through the clauses in the translated contract to make sure you are 100% happy with what is being signed.

Once a completion date is agreed, the final payment is confirmed and completion takes place before a notary. This is when the public deeds of purchase are signed by the buyer and the seller. If you have done a Power of Attorney your lawyer can fulfil this final stage for you and you then fly out and collect the keys. For some clients, this is a big deal and they like to be present for completion.

CONGRATULATIONS!! You now own your dream Spanish property!

  • Submission of the public deed and payment of all taxes relating to the property purchase to the relevant authorities
  • Utilities, IBI (Council Tax), and community charges either transferred or arrangements for them to be set up, in the event of a new build.
  • Arranging suitable property and contents insurance
  • Arranging a Spanish Will to be drafted and signed to cover your assets in Spain and to run concurrently with any Will in your native country
  • Registering as a tax payer with the Spanish Inland Revenue for payment of taxes connected to the ownership and use of your newly purchased Spanish property.

Buying a Spanish property – your first meeting with Sun Lawyers is always free.

We hope that we have given you a good indication of what you can expect from buying a Spanish property. But we would like to make a further offer. If you are looking for property on the Costa Blanca then why not contact one of our offices and arrange a complimentary first consultation. You can do it today by emailing

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