Discover 10 tips for new homebuyers in Marbella


Buying a new property is always an exciting journey. Choosing the right place, falling in love with the new home or getting a good deal for it. But there are so many things to think about when you are going to make this purchase, especially if this transaction is going to be made in another country.

Once you have already chosen your home sweet home your next step will be to get some information about purchasing properties in Spain. These transactions are similar around the world, although every country has its own procedure. Listed below you’ll find some tips that might help you with the process of buying a house in Marbella.

  1. The ‘escritura pública’: That is the only guarantee of title in Spain. It contains a description of the property, the details of the owner and any mortgages or legal claims that exist against the property.
  2. The ‘referencia catastral’: This is a public document, different from ‘escritura pública’, where it’s possible to find the location, physical description and boundaries of the property. Be aware about the information shown in both documents because sometimes they differ and generate misunderstandings.
  3. Community Fees: If your new property is in a closed community or where there are some common areas, as is the case with Le Blanc, you are legally required to pay an amount of money call ‘Cuota de la Comunidad’, for correctly maintained common spaces (pool, gardens, elevator, etc.).
  4. The Private Contract or ‘señal’: It is common practice for the buyer and seller to confirm the details of the purchase in a private contract, with the buyer tying up a non-refundable deposit of between 5% and 10% of the total purchase price. This paying fee reserves the property and allows the buyer enough time to arrange payment of the balance, but also protects the seller from ‘ghosting’
  5. Power of Attorney or ‘poder notarial’: If it is not possible to be present to sign the contract a general power of attorney is frequently used to appoint a legal representative. This document gathers all the information about the actions that can be carried out by the holder. The procedure will cost close to 80 euros.
  6. The Purchase Deed or ‘escritura de compraventa’: Once the buyer has the funds to complete the transaction it’s time to sign the ‘escritura de compraventa’ in presence of the public notary. This document should be registered at the ‘Registro de la Propiedad’ (Property Registry) and handed back to the notary. He/She is entrusted with registering the deed in the next few months. Your lawyer will usually need a sum of money in advance to cover the estimated taxes and fees, and will either bill you for the remainder or refund you the overpayment once the deed is registered.
  7. The fees: In Spain there are different fees: The notary fee, registry fee, document fee and legal fee. The notary fee depends on the amount of land, the size of the property and the declared purchase value (average 1% of the purchase price). The registry fee (average 1 %) is the payment for the inscription of the property in your name. The document fee ( 0’5% – 1% of the declared property value) is equivalent to stamp duty and is currently 0’5% (1’9% in Andalucía, Marbella’s autonomous community) of the declared property value. Finally, the legal fees; the lawyer will charge you approximately 1% of the purchase price.
  8. The Value Tax or ‘Impuesto sobre el Valor Añadido (IVA)’: In Spain is 10% of the value declared in the contract. This tax is on the increase in the value of the property since the last sale.
  9. Internal decisions between seller and buyer: It is common to make a deal with the seller about who will pay the taxes or fees because some of them, under spanish law, could be paid by any of you.
  10. Mortgage: It’s pretty normal in Spain to take out a mortgage to afford a new home. If you’re going to need one you must know that interest rates vary (generally much lower than in the UK) and competition between Spanish banks is fierce. Also you might be careful because the document submission isn’t the same if you are a buyer with a residence permit in Spain or you are a non-resident buyer.

Here in Le Blanc we provide guidance for buying a new home because we take care of our buyers. There is for sure other information you might know before purchasing a property in Spain, specifically in Marbella, but here’s a little compilation to make your efforts easier. Buying a new home is the first step on new adventures so we are looking forward to meeting the new residents of Le Blanc Marbella.