Purchase and sale of real estate properties in Spain. Part I. Legal advice: common mistakes.

Dear readers,


IN this article, and in those that will follow it, we take into account the requests received from our clients and readers and intend to review the most common mistakes that both buyers and sellers of real estate properties in Spain often make.


It is our intention to explain the legal situation with regards to the way to buy or sell a property in Spain without taking unnecessary risks and without making mistakes.


Thus, among the most common errors, is the false belief that because the deed of purchase will be signed before a notary public in Spain, you do not have to worry about anything as he will check that everything is correct.


Sometimes we hear that both buyers and sellers say that it is not necessary to contract the services of an expert lawyer in real estate law, or to carry out checks in relation of the property, since the sale is completed before a notary and he will make sure that everything is correct and therefore there is nothing to be worry about.


This is a major mistake. It is true that notaries public in Spain, are excellent professionals, and they will explain the conditions of purchase and sale, but there are many aspects in the transaction of properties, including checks, legal advice, and precautions, which is not to be undertaken by notaries.


Thus, if you do not correctly check the legal status of a property, you may face several problems, whether you are a seller or a buyer, which are not the responsibility of the notary, for example;


.-Although the notary will make on the day of completion of the purchase a check in the land (property) registry, concerning the owner of the property, charges, etc.

It is essential that this work is done in advance, even prior to the signing of any reservation contract or making any payment as if there is any a serious problem with the property you are looking to purchase, you will be assuming unnecessary risks if you wait until you visit notary especially if you have already laid out a substantial sum of money.


.-In the case of the sale of pre-owned properties, it is not mandatory for the notary to request the existence of the occupation license, which is a very important document, as we have stated in previous articles.


.-It is also not the responsibility or obligation of the notary to check the planning situation of the property, which is essential as if there is any penalty file opened against the property for illegal works and it is important to check that the property is properly urbanised with pavements, connection to the mains drainage etc.

If the property is in a rural situation it is also necessary to identify if it is in an area of special protection.


.-Also the notary will not verify – nor is it his obligation to do so – if the construction complies with the urban obligations in accordance the planning regulations of the municipality.


For all these reasons, and taking into account that although the notary is a fundamental officer who performs a very important task, involved in the buying and selling process in Spain, you must be aware that he does not have to verify all the issues that are necessary to know in order to sell or buy a property correctly.


Therefore, if you want to buy or sell a property with guarantees in Spain, taking precautions and avoiding mistakes, you must request legal advice, so contact us and we will help you.



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)

White & Baos

Tel: +34 966 426 185

E-mail: info@white-baos.com

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