Step six: Time to sign
Assuming you get the green light from your lawyer, it is time to sign the contract. You will need to pay a deposit in the region of 10 percent at this point. You will not get this back should you pull out of the deal once the contract is signed. Again, remember to factor in fluctuating exchange rates
on this overseas payment and check out the best way to send the money with a currency specialist like Halo Financial.
Step seven: Completion date
Signing the deeds
On the date of completion, you will sign the title deeds in front of a notary from each party. The mortgage deed will be signed at the same time and it is this point when the property becomes yours and you can have your title inscribed in the land registry. If you are unable to be present in Spain for this, you can arrange power of attorney for someone else to sign the document instead; usually your solicitor. If you decide to use power of attorney, this must be organised within good time and authorised in front of a Spanish notary, Spanish consulates in the UK, or a British Notary Public.
Choosing a notary
As the buyer, you have the right to choose the Notary to witness the signing - your solicitor will be the best person to help with this. The Notary does not work for either side of the purchase, however, as the person who chooses the notary, you will be the one organising the date and time of the signing.
Having your funds in place
You will need to make sure that all necessary funds are in Spain and accessible by the date of the signing, and agree a method of payment with the vendor. It’s usually expected that this will be by bank-guaranteed cheque issued by your bank in Spain, but you may also be able to transfer the money directly to the Notary's escrow account. Ask your currency specialist about the payments options available to you.
The right documents
You will need to bring certain documents with you to the signing, so it is of paramount importance that you check this in advance. You should check with your solicitor and the notary, but as an absolute minimum, these documents will include your passport or Spanish residency card, and your NIE number. You will potentially also need birth and marriage certificates, and official translations of these. You may need to bring a few hundred Euros in cash for any petty expenses, such as settling a shared property tax for the year, if necessary.
The Notary is required by law to run specific checks before they are able to witness the deed of sale - such as confirmation that the vendor is the genuine owner of the property and that there are no unexpected impediments on the property. It’s also really important to make sure that you and your solicitor have read through all documents and are familiar with all information in advance. This completion contract will be overseen by the seller and their lawyer, the bank representative if a mortgage is involved, the estate agent and the translator, as well as the Notary.
Reading the documents in Spanish
Once everything is in place, this is a relatively straightforward procedure. The Notary will check all identity documents and various details on these to ensure they are correct. They will then read all documents aloud in Spanish - which is why it’s so important to make sure you have your solicitor or translator with you. These documents will include all the financial aspects of the purchase, a detailed description of the property and the agreement, and a mortgage deed if necessary. Once this has all been discussed and no objections have been made, all deeds are signed and you will receive the keys to your new property.
After the deeds are signed…
You will be able to keep an unauthorised copy of the deeds, while the Notary keeps the original copy to record before they are passed on for the land registry. You may also need to settle the notary fees at this point.
There are a number of tasks that must be carried out after signing - some of which can be done by your solicitor; these include immediate notification of the transaction to the land registry, paying any taxes to do with the purchase and the mortgage (if appropriate – taxes will usually need to be paid within 30 working days of the date the deeds were signed), updating the Cadastre with your details regarding the property, and setting up utility contracts.
Consider any future payments you will need to make internationally for your property now that you have successfully purchased – bills, maintenance, or mortgage payments, for example. Talk to Halo Financial about saving on your regular payments to and from Spain.