Once you decided on a Property that you want to buy, the process is the following:
If you are buying a new property the builder will have to register it at the Ayuntamiento ( Townhall ) This should be checked. Alternatively, the registration of an older property should be checked against the Registro de Propiedad ( Property Registry ). If the intended property has no deeds. Transfer of property owner chip should be always registered. The register informs you whether the property has been registered, whether there are areas of taxes or an outstanding mortgage, whether an agency or company is involved.
Between the seller and the buyer, there has to be a contract in place until the public deed of purchase is ready. It’s usually a simple document in which the seller expresses their intent to transfer the property to the buyer, and the buyer expresses their intent to buy at the price and conditions agreed upon. At this time, the buyer also gives to the seller a percentage of the agreed-upon price. The typical agreement in Spain (called “arras”) is if the buyer backs out of the contract, they lose the deposit; if the seller backs out, they have to pay back the double amount of the deposit. Of course, the buyer and seller may choose another type of agreement if they prefer.
The property transfer must be certified by a notary. The deed of purchase will be given to the buyer after the notary reads it and the parties present agree to the contents of the deed. The following must then be presented: proof of identity (or power of attorney) of both parties, the seller’s title of property (a form that reports the investment to the Central Register), and the buyer’s payment. The buyer and seller sign the contract; beneath their signature, the notary signs using his signature confirms the contract and the deed are ready for taxes.
The Property Register (Registro de Propiedad):
Transfer of property ownership should always be registered though as usual in Spain this does not always occur. If there is any doubt about ownership it is wiser to abandon the purchase than engaging in legal battles. However, in normal cases, you will find this register useful because it will inform you whether the property has been registered, whether there are arrears of taxes or an outstanding mortgage, whether an agency or company is involved. It can be very complicated in the case of the latter. The Property Register should be inspected twice. You should check it at the start of the purchase and again at the end just before you register your ownership of the property and complete the purchase.
The Legal Process:
Once you have done all this and transferred the purchase money into a Spanish bank you will be ready to sign the conveyancing document (Escritura de Compraventa). No conveyance is legal or binding unless it has been signed in the presence of a notary. The notary will want to see a certificate from your bank confirm that the purchase money is available approved with the official stamp.
Please bear in mind that the Escritura is the only document which will guarantee your title. Any other kind of deed or contract you may be persuaded to sign will have little effect. Any legal redress may be a very, very long time coming.
Once the conveyance has been signed it should be sent to the Registro de Propiedad to be registered. Once this has been done your title becomes final.