BUYING PROPERTY IN SPAIN – WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW!
Differences compared to Germany
In Germany, property sales contracts are only valid if they have been officially notarised by a notary. This is not the case in Spain, where they are already valid as oral agreements. Spanish real estate buyers should therefore be absolutely sure of their decision to purchase before making any oral agreements. Oral contract agreements are also difficult to verify.
We recommend that you always conclude contracts in writing, particularly in Spain. These can be informal, but should always bear the signatures of both the buyer and seller. This provides you with tangible proof of the transaction.
Before the buyer signs the contract, he should have a notary or lawyer in Spain check whether the seller is actually the owner.
There is a significant difference in Spain in that, unlike in Germany, entry into the land register is not required when a property is transferred to a new owner. The result is often that a property is sold through a private contract and key handover while the entry in the land register remains unchanged. Under the Spanish ‘título y modo’, this can happen many times over.
In Spain, the property sales contract is called ‘titulo’. If a ‘titulo’ exists, all that is required for the definitive ownership transfer of the property is the ‘modo’, or handover of the object of sale. The transfer is already considered as definitive when the keys to the property are handed over.
There is no certainty that you will be entered into the land register in Spain.
„ escritura “
If, as a new owner, you would like to be entered into the property register, it is only possible if the purchase transaction was documented by a notary. The notarisation – called ‘escritura’ in Spain – can also be performed by a German notary, as long as he is fluent in Spanish.
TIP: If the buyer, after checking the legal situation, has decided to purchase a property in Spain, he should not hand over the payment until he has received proof of ownership by being entered into the Spanish land register following notarisation or ‘escritura’. This is why the purchaser should first transfer the payment onto an escrow account opened with a notary or a lawyer, or a blocked bank account.