Selling your property in Spain
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When selling a house or apartment in Spain, it is important to understand that the process is different than in Sweden, and that it can take longer.
The transfer of ownership of a property in Spain goes through a Spanish notary. The sales process in Spain can be more complicated and take longer than in many other european countries. So here is how it works – all the way up to the last meeting with the notary.
Collection of information
ENERGY PERFORMANCE CERTIFICATE. As a seller, you are required to provide a declaration of the energy performance of the property in question. This will then be submitted to the buyer in connection with the sale. We at Serneholt Estate will, of course, help with this, as we have many competent partners who draw up energy performance declarations.
LEGALITIES. The seller must be able to provide all of the documentation for the property, including the certificate of ownership, property tax information, the CO fee and more.
We will help you with the financial calculations..
MARKET VALUE. An assessment of the value must be made. Most owners slightly over-estimate the value of their accommodation. References from actual sales of similar properties at the time must be obtained, that is, not just data from asking prices and sales from previous years. You should ask your agent to provide references to similar houses or apartments that have been sold, and not just approximate speculations or previous asking prices. Here at Serneholt Estate, we have full access to all databases and can quickly find reference prices in most areas.
FINANCE. What are the actual operating costs of the home you want to sell? What repairs need to be made in the future and at what cost? If the apartment or house you want to sell is part of a Community of Owners (CO), how big is the CO fee (comunidad)? Your prospective buyers will want to include this in their own price speculation. We are happy to assist you with these calculations.
CHOICE OF AGENT. The choice should be based on the agent’s ability to find prospective buyers, and the agent’s ability and commitment to representing the client’s interests. Ask about their brokerage skills, how they promote their properties, which language areas they market in, which websites they use, and so on. At Serneholt Estate we always offer a comprehensive marketing plan upon taking up a new assignment. You will find that this is not so common in the Spanish housing market.
FOLLOW-UP OF THE AGENT’S ACTIVITIES. Follow up your agent’s marketing activity. An agent has hundreds of activities on the go, and so it is important to get yourself high up on their priority list. We, at Serneholt Estate, always prioritise you, the customer, and we will always keep you informed and updated throughout the whole process.
NEGOTIATION. For natural reasons, buyers and sellers have opposite interests. The negotiation is managed by the agent, but a keen dialogue between the seller and agent can provide greater flexibility and facilitate solutions to many of the problems. We, at Serneholt Estate, help you and the buyer seal the deal in the best possible way.
The six-step sales process
1. Agreement with the agent
Before a sales process begins, a service contract is signed with the agent. The agreement regulates the sales assignment.
Once the buyer and seller have agreed on a price, a reservation contract is prepared. This means that the buyer typically pays around €6000 to reserve the property so it is taken off the market.
3. Contract – The “Arras”, or “Option de Compras”
When you as a seller have come to an agreement with the buyer, a contract of sale, (the “Arras”, or “Option de Compras”) is signed. The contract shows the price, completion date, and more. When the contract is signed, the buyer pays a deposit as part of the final balance, which is to be paid on the completion date. This contract is later replaced by a new contract by the notary.
4. Ownership title “Escritura pública de compraventa”
On the completion date, you and the buyer meet with the agent and a legal representative at the notary’s office. It is the buyer who chooses the notary and who is responsible for booking the appointment. The notary checks both the buyer’s and the seller’s identification to confirm the property’s legal status. Here, the buyer then receives the ownership title, the “Escritura pública de compraventa”.
The notary receives the payment, and after paying the taxes and fees, he distributes the final balance to you. You hand over the keys to the buyer who, after the meeting, then has access to the property
6. Settlement of taxes
If you, as the seller, are a taxpaying resident of a country other than Spain, you receive only 97% of the purchase price at the time of the sale. The buyer pays the remaining 3% to the Spanish tax office. This acts as a security to ensure that you fulfil your tax duties and declare any capital gains from your sale in Spain. Later, when you have met all the official requirements, the 3% will be refunded. Your legal representative will help you get “your” part back, but it can take up to a year before your refund comes through. A preliminary estimation of taxes can be made by the agent, but the legal representative is responsible for the final declaration. This applies to property taxes, CO fees, capital gains, and agent fees.