Buying property in Spain is not as complicated a procedure as many imagine. However, we regularly receive requests from our clients to explain the entire process from A to Z.

Buying real estate in Spain for Russians does not differ in any particulars. Russians, along with other foreigners, are required to confirm the source of origin of funds. This check is carried out as part of the prevention of capital laundering. The check is carried out by the bank both in the case of opening a bank account in Spain and transferring money to it, and in the case of obtaining a mortgage loan.

Visa for purchasing real estate in Spain

Unlike some other countries, Spain does not require a special visa to purchase real estate. Tourist visa, multiple visa – any one that ensures the buyer’s legal presence in Spain at the time of the transaction is suitable. There are also no restrictions on the status of the buyer: he can be a legal entity or an individual, a resident or non-resident of Spain. The only thing that distinguishes non-residents is their tax obligations: they are subject to a special tax on the income of non-residents. And one more important point: real estate in Spain can be purchased by proxy. Those. It is not necessary to come at all; a trusted person will conduct the transaction for you.

Features of buying real estate in Spain

The first feature of buying property in Spain – mandatory receipt of a NIE certificate. Número de Identidad de Extranjero is a foreigner’s identification number, which is also a tax number. Any foreign citizen entering into economic relations with the Spanish state is required to have such a number. Owning property involves paying taxes, so the NIE must be obtained before the transaction is completed.

Second feature – the opportunity to buy real estate in Spain with a mortgage. Spanish banks consider transactions with non-residents to be high-risk, but, nevertheless, they meet halfway and issue mortgage loans. If Spanish citizens and residents can get a mortgage of up to 80% of the cost of housing (and in some cases – up to 100%), then non-residents are usually loaned at 30-50%. The requirements for documents are quite feasible: you need to submit a certificate from work, a bank statement showing account movements, a 2-NDFL declaration (for entrepreneurs – 3-NDFL), an extract from the credit history.

Third feature – the right to receive a “Golden Visa” for an investor when purchasing real estate from €500,000. Today, a visa or investor residence is the most “bonus” residence permit in Spain.


Fourth feature – the right to receive a multiple-entry Schengen visa when purchasing any real estate, regardless of its price. In addition, if you decide to apply for a Spanish residence permit in the future, having your own home in Spain will be an advantage.

The procedure for purchasing real estate in Spain

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Buying real estate in Spain begins with obtaining a foreigner’s number (NIE). The number can be issued both in Spain itself (at the police department for working with foreigners) and at the Spanish consulate in the buyer’s country of residence.

The registration procedure can last from several days to several weeks, so you should be prepared for unexpected delays. The main requirement when applying for an NIE is the absence of a violation of the visa regime, as well as the ability to document the reason for registration. If there is a reserve agreement, you can attach it. Otherwise, a deed of intent to buy real estate in Spain is drawn up by a notary.

With your NIE number in hand, you can open a bank account. All commercial banks in Spain work with foreigners, so the buyer is not limited in choice. The procedure for opening an account is free, but the bank may impose additional services: placing a deposit, purchasing insurance, etc. If the conditions in one bank are not satisfactory, it makes sense to contact another.

You must have a bank account in Spain:

  • firstly, you will need to transfer funds to it to pay for the purchase;
  • secondly, many taxes and expenses associated with the maintenance of real estate will be linked to this account in the future.

We wrote in detail about opening an account in the article “How to open an account in a Spanish bank.”

If the reserve agreement has not been signed earlier, then you can proceed to this step after receiving the NIE. At the time of signing the reserve agreement, it is customary to deposit from 2 to 5 thousand euros. In the future, this amount will be taken into account in the total price of the purchase and sale transaction.

An important step in the process of buying real estate in Spain is checking the selected property for encumbrances that could interfere with the transaction. To do this, an extract from the Property Register is requested – Nota Simple Informativa, which indicates all owners of real estate, as well as all existing encumbrances and restrictions.

The turnaround time for receiving a statement online is usually one day. If circumstances are discovered that interfere with the transaction, the reserve must be returned to the buyer. As a rule, the property is checked for encumbrances by a real estate agency with which the buyer cooperates.

The next step in purchasing real estate in Spain will be signing a deposit agreement. At the time of signing, the buyer pays the amount established by the seller (10-30%), and the text of the contract itself indicates the deadlines for signing the bill of sale in the presence of a notary, as well as the rights and obligations of the parties (for example, in the event of termination of the contract).

Typically, the signing of the deposit agreement and the signing of the bill of sale are separated by one to two months. During this time, the buyer must transfer the missing amount to his account in Spain, or, if necessary, prepare all the documents for obtaining a mortgage loan. The loan approval procedure in Spain takes several weeks.

With or without a loan, a purchase and sale transaction is always completed in the presence of a notary. If a mortgage loan is taken out, a bank representative will be present at the transaction. If one of the parties to the transaction (or both parties) does not speak Spanish, the participation of a translator is mandatory.

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On the eve of the transaction, all documents are submitted to the notary to check the property for encumbrances and debts. The parties can review the draft bill of sale before signing. If agreement is reached on all points, signing occurs with the simultaneous transfer of keys and bank checks.

The signed and certified notarial deed is sent for registration to the Property Registry. At the same time, all required taxes and duties are paid. If a mortgage loan is issued, then even before signing the deed and mortgage agreement, the management company creates a small reserve fund from the client’s funds, from which all expenses are then paid. The unspent balance will eventually be credited to the buyer’s bank account.

It takes one to two months to finalize all documents. Immediately after the visit to the notary, you must visit the offices of utility services (or contact them by phone) and re-issue all contracts to the new owner.

If the property is purchased through an agency, you will most likely be offered after-sales service. This may include checking an apartment or house in the absence of the owners, receiving correspondence, filing a tax return for non-residents, monitoring invoices from utility services, etc. Such services are a significant advantage for those who do not plan to remain permanently in Spain and, accordingly, cannot exercise control over the acquired property.

Conditions for purchasing real estate in Spain

As we noted above, the conditions for purchasing real estate in Spain are quite soft. Perhaps the most careful attention is paid to verifying the source of origin of funds.

The era of suitcases with money is long gone. Now the buyer comes to the transaction with a bank check. And banks, in turn, are increasingly moving away from cash transactions, requiring account replenishment through bank transfers.

At the same time, non-residents are required to transfer money directly from a personal account opened in the country of fiscal residence. And all this with the presentation of supporting documents upon request: tax returns, employment certificates, property sale agreements, etc. Failure to comply with the bank’s requirements may result in the account being blocked or refused to accept the transferred amount.



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