Buying a property is one of the most expensive things any of us will do you in our lives. Selecting a legal representative to assist you is a vital part of purchasing a property, and even moreso if it is abroad. Expenditure on a legal representative should not be skimped upon; it could end up costing you a lot more in the course of time
You will find that if you purchase a property via a property development company or estate agent they will more than likely direct you to a specific legal company. This is usually welcomed since it will save you time and trouble in locating your own. However do check that the company is boni fide. Ask yourself specific questions. For example does it have a proper office? Does it have a web site listing its services and fee structure? Does the company appear to be professionally run?
If you wish to be at all legal meetings it is advantageous to have your lawyer present with you. However what if you do not wish, or cannot be present? For specific parts of the process you can appoint what is termed as a ‘Notary’. The Notary will deal with the majority of matters on your behalf. In theory your lawyer and the Notary can be one and the same person. In essence you authorize the Notary to sign papers on your behalf to save you being present.
Although appointed by you, a Notary in the eyes of the law is an independent public official who neither works for the vendor nor the buyer. The principal role of the Notary is to guarantee the legality of the sale and to deal with certain administration tasks. Furthermore, the Notary starts to function as a witness of the signatures in the contract and registers the new deeds.
The Spanish government sets the notary fees according to the number of clauses in the deeds and the declared value of the property. They range approximately from 0.1% of the declared price of a property (for properties of 400,000€ or more) to 0.4% (for properties of under 100,000€). In case of a mortgage you must pay notary fees on the mortgage deeds as well.
This is one of a series of articles about purchasing a property in Spain. They are published to inform others embarking on a similar life changing path.
Kevin Gale owns Click Rent Stay in which he advertises his Spanish Holiday Villa along with hundreds of other similar properties.