Buyer’s Guide

Buying a property in Spain

The buying process for a real estate transaction in Spain is a little different than we are used to and contains several different elements. We at Red Palm Estate guide you through all parts so you are as prepared as possible for what awaits.

It is also important that you look at the overall picture of the costs that arise both at the time of purchase and when you use your new home. Expect that you will be able to add about 15% in addition to the purchase price, but usually it will be slightly lower.

For those of you who are buying a house in Spain, we give below examples of things you should think about.

At the end of this guide, we have made a list of what the costs may look like, remember that this is just an example, and may look different depending on which home you choose to buy!

For tips on other things to keep in mind when choosing a home, see our guide “Choosing the right Property”.

Buying a property in Spain

  • Valid passport
  • NIE number (Spanish identification number)
  • Account number in a Spanish bank. (Nowadays some foreign banks are approved, let your agent test if your bank account works for this purpose if you do not want to open a Spanish bank account)
Buyer’s Guide
Buyer’s Guide Buyer’s Guide

The process

Once you have chosen the home that suits you, the process is divided into a number of steps, the most important of which are summarized below:

Signing of a purchase agreement, which is a legally binding document. In connection with this, a down payment is paid for the property. The down payment varies but is usually between 4000-6000 € for a used home and usually 10% of the price of the home for a newly built home. If you do not complete your purchase, you will lose this entire amount, so it is important that you have received a statement of total costs and that you have your financing of the home ready. If the seller wants to break the agreement, they are entitled to this under Spanish law, but must then repay the double down payment to the buyer.

Used home: When you buy a used home, the remaining amount is paid in connection with legal registration with a Notary Public. In connection with this, all the keys to your new home are also handed over and you are from now on the owner of your new home.

Newly built home: When you buy a newly built home, it varies a bit how payment plans look. Usually a certain percentage is paid within 3 months and the rest when you sign the registration. You will receive a specific payment plan in connection with the reservation of your new home.

Most of our customers choose to issue a power of attorney to an agent who can represent you in Spain. The representative handles, for example, contact with the notary public, arranges contacts with authorities and necessary public documents and ensures that water and electricity agreements are written in your name and are connected until you take over your home.

The purchase agreement will be in Spanish to be legal in Spain, but a translation will be attached. When buying a used home, it will state, among other things, that the home is debt-free, without tenants and with all the required licenses. The seller has also been allowed to sign this. Your representative will start these checks after you have reserved the home, if something is not right, you will have the opportunity to terminate the agreement.

A building permit is required for all development that has changed the living space of the home (glazing of a balcony is also included in this). In the past, many have built without a building permit, which we occasionally encounter now. Your agent will make sure that everything is included in the legal record, but sometimes it is not possible to enter an extension or the seller does not want to bear the cost of this. Then you also of course have the opportunity to terminate the agreement if you want.


If you already have the financing ready, and you are going to transfer a larger amount in a currency other than the Euro, it is a good idea to use securities transfers to get a better exchange rate. The companies that have this service also usually offer payment checks at much lower prices than the banks. Feel free to ask to compare the prices for this with your current bank, usually there is a lot of money to save! We work with Currencies Direct, but of course you can also use another company for this purpose. Currencies Direct web page.

The most common is that your agent then takes the checks to the Notary when the signing is to take place. It is unusual to make a bank transfer at the Notary, this is because it is possible to cancel the transfer afterwards from a Spanish account.


If you want to take out a bank loan in Spain to finance your home, we can help you get in touch with a Spanish bank for this purpose. The banks have slightly different terms, but you can usually borrow up to 70% of the sale price of the home if you are not a resident of Spain (then you can borrow a higher amount). The repayment period is up to 20 years, but no longer than the year in which the youngest borrower turns 70.

Banks usually calculate the ceiling for your loan amount by ensuring that your expenses, including the Spanish loan, do not exceed 30% of your total income. Of course, you can combine your income if you are two or more borrowers.

Ask us if you want to know more about mortgages in Spain!

Other things to think about

Depending on your own situation, it may be worth considering other aspects of your ownership. For example, it may be a good idea to write a will now that your assets have changed.

To manage fixed costs, direct debit linked to your bank account is the best. Both for taxes and other fees such as insurance, electricity, water, internet, community fee and more.

To take over the home

How long it takes before you get access to your home is of course individual, but it usually takes 1-4 months from the time the down payment is paid until the takeover of a used property. When you buy a newly built house, it varies from area to area, ask us what applies to each object!

If the home is to be financed with a bank loan, it is important to start the process as soon as possible after the purchase agreement has been signed so that everything is ready until the home is to be taken over.

It takes 4-6 weeks from the time you take over the property until you receive the original. In Spain, this is a very important document that defines the scope and content of your property.

Remember that we also work with several reliable companies. Through them, you can get help with home insurance, fiber installations, TV subscriptions, craftsmen, interior designers, cleaning companies, key management and more if desired. Do not hesitate to ask us!


One way to buy a used home in Spain is Rent-to-buy. It can be an alternative to be able to finance the part of the home you cannot borrow for. Then you rent the home for a period, usually between 1-2 years. What you pay in rent during the agreed time, you then have to deduct from the purchase price when you buy the home. This can be a way to cover the cost of fees of about 15% and the 30% that you are not allowed to borrow from the bank. However, not all sellers accept this form, but ask us about a specific item and you will find out if it is possible. Also keep in mind that you can not get a loan promise granted when you start renting. The loan is only granted when you buy the home.

To take over the home

When you buy through us and have given a power of attorney to your agent, you do not need to be physically present with the Notary Public at the time of writing the law. You can calmly plan your trip down to your dream home when it suits you. We make sure you get keys and all documentation when you are in place.

Note! Do not book your trip to your new home until you have been definitively notified when the deed will be signed. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for something to happen and the date must be moved even if you received a preliminary date when you signed the purchase agreement.

Arranging home insurance is important so that it is activated when the home is taken over. At Red Palm Estate, we can help you with this too.

After that, the home is yours and then only the fun is left. Move in, furnish and enjoy your new ownership in Spain!

Note! New law on transfer tax

Regarding the 10% transfer tax tax paid for resale properties, a new law has been passed since January 2022 which states that the transfer tax must be based on either the purchase price of the home or the reference value, whichever is higher. The reference value can only be obtained when you know the “referencia catastral” cadastral value which is the state valuation of the plot / dwelling. Usually, the purchase price of the home is still the highest value, but if this is not the case, then the amount to pay in tax can be higher.

Buyer’s Guide

Costs that come with buying a property in Spain (Approx. costs)

Purchase amount€200.000
10% IVA/Transfer Tax€ 20.000
Document fee (AJD) ca. 1,5% (Only new properties)€ 3.000
Notary and registration€ 1.500
Water and electricity start-up cost€ 500
Legal representative in connection with takeover. Includes, among other things, law enforcement, signing and interpretation by a notary, payment of taxes, registration in the property register, ordering water and electricity contracts, etc.€ 2 500
Total investment cost€227.500

The size of additional costs is individual. This is just an example. Community charges (urbanization costs) are usually lower in Spain than in other northern European countries.

Operating costs

Here we have set up an example of fixed costs that can be considered relatively average for a non-resident (not registered in Spain). Tax representation includes, among other things, a tax return and responsibility for taxes being paid on time and to the right authority. Electricity and water consumption will be added. Electricity is slightly more expensive than in many other European countries, but consumption is generally lower. Below you see approximate, fixed annual costs (consumption of water and electricity is not included). All costs are approximate prices.

Community fee (urbanization fee) per year€ 700
Suma/IBI (Municipal property tax)€ 400
Tax representation€ 150
Fixed fee water (approx.)€ 200
Fixed fee electricity (approx.)€ 150
Property and home insurance€ 300
Total annual fixed fees€ 1 900