Occasionally clients and readers ask us if it is necessary to hire the services of a lawyer when selling a property in Spain. Our answer is always the same, it is not necessary or compulsory, but it is highly recommended, especially if we consider the legal consequences that bad advice can produce.
Sound legal advice can avoid many problems for the seller, including the following:
.-Problems with the real estate agent: few sellers or vendors know that in Spain, unless otherwise agreed in a different sense, the real estate agent is entitled to claim for his fees from the moment that the buyer and seller reach an agreement, even if the transaction has not been completed, even if the seller has not received 100% of the sale price, even if the purchase deed has not been signed. Therefore, it is essential to sign an agreement with the real estate agency that protects the interests of the vendors, stating that the agents will only be entitled to collect their fees upon the completion and signing of the purchase deed, when the vendors receive 100% of the price.
.-Problems with the tax authority: we have seen vendors incorrectly advised that they were not registered as a tax resident in Spain when in fact they were.. unfortunately leading to them not benefitting from the tax advantages on the capital gains tax, etc.
.-Problems due to ignorance of the object of sale. Sometimes sellers do not really know what they are selling. This happens with they sell a property that does not match up with the Urban Municipal Planning records, or that is against the law, or is affected by an extension of a road, street, etc. Sometimes people sell a property as a “villa or house” when legally the building has the status of storage. Therefore, it is essential that the sellers know what they are selling, so they do not sell something they do not have, or sign a contract undertaking to hand over a property with some impossible to meet conditions.
.-Problems due to lack of documentation or updating the property. Sometimes sellers do not know that their property does not have an occupation license, or the description in the land registry or catastro does not correspond to the reality, such as when a new extension for the Barbecue is not declared. Buyers may require the documentation to be updated within a limited time. Therefore, it is advisable that the vendors check with their lawyer the full state of the property, updated documentation, leaving everything ready for when a buyer appears.
For all these and many more reasons, we advise sellers to conduct a “due diligence” of their property with their lawyers, and prepare the sale of your property correctly.
If you or someone you know want to sell their property, or simply make sure you have everything in order, contact Us.
The information provided in this article is not intended to be legal advice, but merely conveys general information related to legal issues.
Carlos Baos (Lawyer)
Spanish Law firm solicitor attorney barrister.
Alicante, Denia, Costa Blanca Marina Alta
White & Baos 2016 – All rights reserved