A Safe Path to Buying a Spanish Property

“Do As You Would At Home” – the Corner Stone of Our Buying Process 


The phrase “Do as you would at home” is our maxim. A simple concept that can have profound consequences:- Would you do this in the same situation at home? Would you contemplate buying a property without a survey at home? Would you do so without legal advice? Our aim is to assist you to get the answers to the questions you would pose if you were at home.

Our process ensures that you buy your Spanish property with the same level of security as you would in your home.  We provide you with full transparency so that you can make fully informed decisions all the way through the process.

To do this, we seek to replicate, in so far, as possible the phases of a property transaction that you would expect at home.

There are three main phases to the transaction, each of which are equally important:

1) Reservation

It is all too easy to be caught up in the moment when you have finally found a Spanish property that ticks all of your boxes and seek to press on to close the deal as quickly as humanly possible. It is precisely at this moment that you should draw breath and make sure that the proper steps are taken to protect yourself and your investment.

We recommend that you consult us before signing a reservation so that we can ensure that the person selling you the property is entitled to sell the property to you and also to check that you are informed as to the basic nature of the property that you are being sold.

The reservation document should do “exactly what it says on the tin”: it should reserve the property in your name for a specific period of time thereby taking it off the market. It should not go beyond that – caution is advised to ensure that the reservation document does not limit your rights as a purchaser or straight jackets you into terms where you are forced into an unrealistic timescale or limits your lawyer’s ability to carry out the necessary checks and searches against the property.

We will ensure that we act as quickly as possible to ensure that taking the right steps does not unnecessarily protract this phase of the transaction. Getting the reservation process right will allow you to “begin as you mean to go on” and will set the basis for a well planned transaction.

2) The Private Contract

Once the reservation contract is signed we will hit the ground running to continue with our pre-contract enquiries on your behalf.

Pre-contract enquiries are absolutely essential in order to ensure that the property has the correct licensing and planning requirements. Theses checks will seek to uncover whether there are debts or charges affecting the property. Once the information comes to hand we will discuss this with you and seek your instructions as to how you wish to proceed.

I used Martin Hayes as my lawyer when purchasing my property. At the time, I was up to my eyes closing my business in readiness for my move to Spain. I was pleasantly suprised that Martin took the time to keep in touch with regular telephone calls, even though I was in the UK, to update me constantly as to how he was getting on with the town hall enquiries. As it turned out, the property had an issue that Martin worked hard to make sure was all ironed out before the completion. He explained all the Spanish legal jargin – so much so that I think I can now give classes on what a “cedula de habitabilidad” is to keep me busy during the winter months:). On a serious note, the benefits of having a no nonsense native English speaking Spanish lawyer cannot be underestated. I would highly recommend him”…..Andy

Typically, a reservation contract will allow two or three weeks before a private contract has to be signed. There are various types of private contracts but the most usual that you will hear about in Spain is referred to as an Arras contract. It is important to remember that a private contract, signed between two private parties, reflects the agreement reached between them – it can contain all manner of terms and conditions. It is therefore essential that careful attention is paid to ensuring that your rights as a purchaser are not unduly limited or that you are agreeing to something that you do not fully understand.

Our private contracts are drafting in both Spanish and in English. We know that, quite naturally, you may need to have detailed conversations regarding the contract. A face to face meeting may not always be possible as many of our clients are overseas. We use high quality voice over internet technology and Skype to provide you with virtual online meetings – In short we use technology to bridge the gap. Distance is not a problem for us in terms of keeping in touch.

If you are purchasing from a bank you will often find that they have a set proceedure that you must follow. We have years of experience dealing with bank owned property and can guide you through the process highlighting the points that you must be aware of in order to ensure that cut price does not necessarily result in cut purchaser rights.

3) Notary Signing

The run up to the closing can be a busy time for all concerned as we work to ensure that all the conditions in the private contract have been dealt with. Issues that come up range from legal, urban planning, financial, logistics to the purely practical. At each stage we are working closely with you to provide workable solutions. Once all is in place, we will seek your instructions to make an appointment for the escritura to be signed before a Spanish notary. Our role is cruicial at this point as we will ensure that what you have agreed with the vendor is properly reflected in the escritura. We will go to extra lenghts to ensure that you understand the provisions of the escritura and the nature of the exchange before you are requested to sign.

Following the signing of the escritura, we give the client the optional service of connection of utilities or providing them with a full non resident package.

As Martin is a partner of the law firm SWAN Partners, you can access a wide range of services to meet you needs in Spain or indeed your business needs in Spain.

NEED BUSINESS LEGAL ADVICE – Consult SWAN Partners website: www.swanpartners.es 

To Contact Martin Hayes:

SWAN Partners

C/ Colón, 20, 6º-12ª
46004 Valencia (Spain)

Tel  (+34) 96 334 89 83

Dir.  (+34) 96 091 23 25

Mov (+34) 699 84 31 20

Skype martin.hayes_swanpartners

2023-08-14T11:17:06+02:00September 28th, 2015|Articles|

About the Author:

Your Bilingual Dual Qualified Abogado and Solicitor in Valencia, Spain Martin’s primary focus is attending to the wide range of needs of his international clients. He actively assists international clients from first contact right through to the conclusion of the matter in question – be it at the closing of a property purchase at the notary or guiding them through the Spanish court system to obtain a successful judgement. Click here to contact him