In this article we explain what you should consider when buying a property in Spain directly from a private individual.
The first step in buying a property is to look for suitable properties. You should start by making a list of preferences that your property in Spain should meet. Most property portals in Spain, such as Idealista or Fotocasa, do not indicate whether the property is sold by a private individual or through an estate agent. This limits the number of options for finding a property directly from a private individual. There are several websites that list private homes, but most of them are in Spanish and of poor quality, with hardly any photos or descriptions. So here it is a matter of luck to find the house of your dreams sold directly by a private individual.
Once you have found an interesting property, we recommend that you make some checks before taking any formal steps. In Spain there are many cases of houses built illegally, or that do not correspond to what is in the Land Registry. It is also advisable to check if there are third parties who have rights over the property, such as banks.
To avoid problems, it is advisable to check the legal status of the property. Often a real estate lawyer can help you.
Valuation of the property
When buying a property in Spain from a private individual, there is usually no professional involved in determining the selling price. To avoid paying too much and possibly improve your negotiating position, it is advisable to have a valuation carried out prior to purchase. This has a cost, but will give you a good indication of the value, as well as any negative points raised in the report.
Especially if you want to take out a mortgage for the purchase, the valuation is very important for the amount you can finance through the mortgage. Make sure you use one of the reputable valuation companies, then the bank will most likely accept the valuation report, so you will not have to incur these costs again.
Purchase contract in Spain
If you are sure that your dream home is legal and reasonably priced, you can take the next step. This is usually the signing of an earnest money contract or reservation contract.
In Spain it is common for you to make a deposit of at least 3,000 euros at 10%, so you can no longer cancel the purchase for free. The reservation of the mortgage or the building inspection are not common, so we recommend that these types of items are included if this is the case. Other issues may also be important in the purchase contract, such as who is responsible for certain expenses and taxes. If you do not speak Spanish well, it is advisable to hire at least one translator and preferably a real estate lawyer.
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