Selling and buying a property in Spain involves transaction costs in the same way as it does in most countries. The principle is that the buyer pays all taxes and fees (a little less than 13%), and the seller pays sales commission (4-5%) and capital gain of the increase of property value. In addition there is of course a yearly property tax to be paid by the the owner of the property.
The tax rates and scope and reliefs may change. Any statements concerning taxation are based upon our understanding of current taxation laws and practices which are subject to change.
Step 1 - Putting the property for sale.
Based on prices obtained in your neighborhood, normal square meter prices, the attractiveness of the properties by e.g. having sea view etc., you set an expected price for your property. For sellers not being in contact with a real estate agent, Ancita can help giving input on an acceptable market price.
Be aware of the fact that it is market practice in Spain to go to several real estate agents and have the property for sale at the same time. In parallel, you can make your own sales activities by e.g. entering your property into Ancita. The real estate agent that first comes with a customer you accept, will have the commission.
Therefore, you should only make non-exclusive sales agreements with the agent(s).
Step 2 - Agree on a price of the property.
If you are a buyer, be aware that the price announced for the property is an expected price and the seller may be willing to reduce the price depending on e.g. how soon the deal can be done or that required financial arrangement can be documented buy the potential buyer.
When the seller and the buyer agrees, a Private Contract (Contracto privado de compraventa) should be written including
For Ancita members, a template is available for this private contract and can be received by contacting us by using the Ancita portal. We recommend, however, that the agreement is quality assured or made by a lawyer (especially if individual adjustments are necessary). Do not include contractual issues between the seller and the real estate agent in the agreement. This should be regulated in the separate non exclusive agreement (Step 1) between the seller the real estate agent.
Step 3 - Before signing the contract.
The buyer must request proof that the seller owns the property, can sell it, that no commitments/limitations are on the property and that it is free from charges. This is done by the following process;
It is very important that the buyer understands that debts charged to the property and any outstanding mortgage will be passed on to the buyer if this is not paid by the seller. If the buyer is a non-resident, he or she has to apply for a national Spanish identification number for foreigners, NIE Number (Numero de Identidad de Extranjeros). Your lawyer or real estate agent will help you with this, but you have to meet physically at the police station, which is in charge of the NIE administration.
Step 4 - Signing the Contract.
Do not pay anything before the agreement is signed!
You pay the balance of the purchase price and all fees when you and the seller have signed the Escritura de compraventa, the definitive contract equivalent to the Deeds of the property. If you are buying a new property, you do not own the property until the work is completed, and you are in receipt of relevant certificates.
Step 6 - After the signing
After the signing, the real estate agent, the buyer’s bank or the lawyer should help transferring all contracts like gas, electricity, water, telephone, etc. from the seller to the buyer. In Spain, the system is to have direct debit agreements for all these services to the client's bank account, and the client will receive the invoice from the vendor and a receipt from the bank when it is paid. Costs for the period until the Escritura date when the seller has had the property, are reduced from the amount regulated in your agreement (see step 2).
The seller shall pay a capital gains tax (See table above). There is a system, however, for the possibility to reinvest the profit in a new property for residents (check this with your lawyer or real estate agent).
The Seller must also pay a quite small local tax named "Plussvalia", which is a tax set by the local authorities based on the increase of the value of land from the date the seller acquired the property to the date of signing the escritura. The market value or sales price of the property does not have any effect on this plussvalia tax.
Step 7 - Yearly tax and costs for a house/apartment
Impuesto sobre Bienes Inmuebles (known as IBI) must be paid.
Many property owners finance these costs by renting out their property. A normal weekly rental in the high season in the Costa Blanca area is 700-1,000 Euro, which should be calculated as monthly rental in the winter season. 20-25% commission should be calculated as costs if the renting service goes through a real estate agent or another company offering rental services on behalf of property owners.