There is no set buying process in
1. You will make an oral agreement (do not sign anything at this stage) with the seller to purchase their property. This agreement is not binding but should encompass:
- the sale price
- anything additional to the property included in the sale price i.e. any furniture or particular fittings
- .the anticipated time for signing the Escritura/Completion/Closure
2. You should then instruct your conveyancing lawyer to undertake the legal process, on the basis of the oral agreement. Your lawyer will undertake an initial check to ensure that the person you think owns the property does own it and that the property that you think you are buying does exist and is the one you think you are buying.
3. Your lawyer will then draw up a contract itemising the agreement and setting out the timings for the purchase. Amongst other things It will state the purchase price, anything included in the purchase price and any conditions of the purchase (such as it being subject to a survey etc.), the date for any payment of a 10% deposit and the date (on or before) of .the signing of the Escritura/Completion/Closure Importantly, the contract will state that the property will be removed from the market upon payment by you (the purchaser) of an initial deposit. This deposit is normally around 3,000 Euros/1% of the purchase price and is deducted from the full purchase price upon signing of the Escritura/Completion/Closure. The contract will usually state that you will lose the deposit if you change your mind about buying the property but that the seller will have to pay you twice the amount of your deposit if they change their minds about selling their property to you.
4. After signing the contract your
lawyer will undertake due diligence on the property that you are buying. This
will include checking the property title, its registration and accuracy, any
encumbrances (such as a mortgage).and its status with the local authority ( the
equivalent of 'local searches' in the
5. Once your lawyer has completed all
their due diligence he will advise you of the results. If the property is
problem-free then you can either go directly to the signing of the
Escritura/Completion/Closure or pay a 10% deposit (similar to 'Exchange' in the
6. On the day of signing the Escritura/Completion/Closure you will attend with your lawyer (unless you have provided a Power of Attorney to your lawyer or a trusted friend) a Notario, along with the seller and their lawyer The Notario will go through all the legal documentation and will formalise the sale. As soon as he has checked everything is in order you and the seller will sign the Escritura. You will then pay the remaining purchase money (normally by Banker's Draft) and receive the keys to your property. You have immediate access to your property and responsibility for it (so make sure that you have building and contents insurance set up already). You should note that the duty of the Notario is to the state not to you (the buyer) or the seller and that he is therefore not a replacement for having your own lawyer.
7. After the signing of the Escritura, check that your lawyer will change the service contracts (water, electricity and gas) into your name, along with changing the direct debit details. This is important, as reconnection of services can be expensive and take time.