Buyers Guide


Here are just a few things that you need to know that will make life easier when buying a property in Catalunya. 
If all papers are correct the transaction is very straight forward and if you want peace of mind it is advisable to use a local Spanish lawyer, which we can recommend for you.


It is a dream for many people to have an Olive /Almond/Fruit farm with a lot of land and a nice traditional house to live in set in the Spanish countryside. This is more than possible and many people manage to fulfill this dream. 
On the legal side of things this is what you need to check out when you are viewing:

Very important is that the house/building existing on the land is registered in the deeds (escritura) when you buy. 
It is not a problem if it is not registered as this can be arranged by your estate agent and should be included in the price.  
It is a straight forward procedure and the agent will arrange for an architect to visit the property to prepare a certificate of legality (certificado de obra nueva)  which will include the size of the house and the age and normally only takes 1-2 weeks. This is then given to the notary who on the day of signing will include it in the new owners deeds.


Habitation certificate (cedula de habitabilidad) should only be issued if the house is registred in the deeds (esctritura) and ready for living. Most clients seem to focus on the question of the habitation certificate rather than making sure the building is legally registered.
Many properties may be advertised as having a habitation certificate which is good but this means nothing if the house is not registered in the deeds as mentioned above. 
It is advisable to have the cedula once the building is restored for living and has some form of water and electricity, it is easy to arrange with an architect and is not too expensive.  


N.I.E. is an abbreviation for 'Número de Identidad de Extranjero', which translates as Identification
Number for Foreigners, or Foreigners’ Identification Number if you prefer.

If you are buying property in Spain, then you need to have an NIE number in time to sign the deeds of purchase,  known in Spanish as the escritura.
This is signed before a notary. You also need an NIE number to open a Spanish bank account and to purchase most things including cars.

Getting your NIE number in time for purchasing your property means applying at least 1 month before hand if you are applying in Spain, and at least  2 months before hand if you are applying via a consulate abroad. The actual time it takes depends upon where you apply, and the time of the year. You might be able to get an NIE number in person in Spain in a couple of days, but it could also take weeks, so best allow yourself plenty of time.

There are three ways to
apply for a Spanish NIE number:

1. Apply in person in Spain.
2. Apply in person via a Spanish Consulate in your home country.
3. Apply through a representative in Spain. (We can help with this).

1. Applying for NIE number in person in Spain

Applying in person for an NIE number whilst in Spain is a relatively straight forward procedure. You will need an appointment at the local 'Comisaria de Policia' in this area that would be in Reus or Tortosa. We would recommend that you use a local Spanish solicitor for this as they can do everything for you and most of them speak English.

The process is as follows:
Prepare the necessary documentation.  
Your passport and copy   
Two copies of the EX-15 NIE application form filled in. You can download this at 
Fee approx 9-13 euros depending on the police station.

2. Applying in person via a Spanish Consulate in your home country

Take the same documentation as above in person to your nearest Spanish Consulate. Depending on your area this can take from 2 weeks to 2 months.

3. Applying through a representative in Spain

Authorise a third party to obtain you NIE number on your behalf. The Spanish Government now permits foreigners to authorise a third party to obtain an NIE number on their behalf. Once authorised they take care of the whole process for you. 
As mentioned we would recommend that you use a local Spanish solicitor for this as they can do everything for you and most of them speak English. You would have to give them power of attorney in Spanish 'Poders'.It is not a difficult process but it does take time. We recommend that if you are serious about buying in Spain that you prepare the NIE number beforehand it saves a lot of time.Please remember that we will help with the whole process when purchasing a property through us.


Opening a Spanish bank account is normally quite easy. You will need your NIE number and passport. Your agent can help you with this or if you are using a lawyer they will do this for you. Popular banks in Spain: Banco Santander, La Caixa, BBVA.
When you purchase a property in Spain you will need to make sure your money is transferred in to the bank 1-2 weeks before the day of signing.

NOTARY (Notario)

The notary works for the Spanish Government and all property purchases have to go through them. They will check the paper work making sure of legal ownership and that there are no  outstanding debts on the property before signing. 


The buyer has to pay purchase fees to the notary on the day of signing which can amount to approx 15% on the price of the property. This includes 10% taxes, registration and notary fees. It is worth taking this in to consideration when planning your budget. Agents commission is normally paid by the seller and included in the price.

Please contact us for further information.

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