Buying as a foreign resident
This week we’re looking at how the house buying process works in other countries. So, when a foreign buyer walks through your door, you’ll know the parts of the process that might be causing them confusion. Of course, if you’ve done your research, you can capitalise on this, providing useful tips and advice to put their mind at ease and give them the confidence to navigate their purchase. You’ll also find it earns you some important brownie points, helping you to secure that sale.
What confuses foreigners the most about the Spanish property buying process?
- NIE number – As you will know, buyers will need to obtain an NIE number before they’re able to open a Spanish bank account or undertake any type of legal transaction. This will be an unfamiliar process for many, and they may underestimate just how time consuming it can be. Even if you can’t help with the process itself, it’s worth checking that your customers have this in hand at the earliest opportunity so as not to delay the sales process.
- Budget – The taxes and fees associated with the purchase of a Spanish property may not be familiar to your buyer. Make sure you remind your customer to factor in 10-12% of the budget for these matters as this is likely to be more than they would expect.
- Fees & taxes – In Spain it is not always obvious who has to pay all the taxes and fees that are associated with a sale. This will seem strange to your buyers and they may appreciate a little guidance in this area.
- The notary – The idea of a notary will not be familiar to some foreign buyers, particularly those from the UK or USA. It can be useful to explain to your buyers what the notary does and that they do not take the place of a lawyer. It is still important for your customer to appoint an independent legal representative who speaks their language and is familiar with the process in Spain.
- Using a gestor – If your buyer is based in another country, it may be worth alerting them to the fact that they could use a gestor to complete some of the paperwork in their absence. This could save them a lot of time and stress.
- Registering their property – Make your buyer aware that they must ensure the Property Register is updated following the purchase, whether they do this themselves or instruct the notary to do it. This part of the process may be unfamiliar to some foreign buyers but is extremely important.