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buying property in Barcelona

Why choose Ficasso Real EstateWhy choose us? Find out!


Ficasso Real Estate Barcelona
C/ Viladomat, 108
08015 Barcelona, Spain

Tel. +34 933196176
E-mail: info @ ficasso.com Website: www.ficasso.com



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The Buying Process - Barcelona

 

 

 
  A step-by-step guide to buying a flat, apartment or house in Barcelona or Catalunya.

 
 

Ficasso Real Estate Barcelona Financing property in Barcelona – Getting a mortgage

 
 
In order to avoid disappointment it is always a good idea to have a mortgage in place or at least to have checked that you are eligible for a mortgage, before you begin hunting for a flat or apartment in Barcelona.

That way you will know what you can afford and at Ficasso we will be able to show you the properties that match your budget.

When checking your finances then keep in mind that the costs of buying property in Spain are about 10 per cent of the property’s price. So this must be added to the sales prices of properties in Barcelona and Spain.

Lending institutions in Europe all have a wide range of flexible options for mortgaging and re-mortgaging your current property.

If you live outside Spain then arranging an overseas mortgage is an uncomplicated process. Many international banks such as BBVA and Barclays in the Uk can lend you up to 70 per cent of the property price.

Often international banks can also help you set up a Spanish bank account from your country of residence. Ficasso can help you do that too.

Another option is to consider a Spanish mortgage. Banks in Spain are happy to lend to non-residents, and mortgage rates can be competitive compared to other European countries, though the commissions and fees might outweigh the savings.

A Spanish bank will tell you what documents you need to present either as a resident or non-resident of Spain to qualify for a mortgage.

When you have found the specific property that you want to buy, you will also have to engage an appraiser, called a tasador.

The Tasador by law must be a licensed architect and it is the Tasador’s job to appraise the property to make sure that the banks loan to you is guaranteed by the condition of the property.

The buyer pays for the appraiser's work, usually between 400-600 euros. Even if you do not need a mortgage It is always a good idea to have a a Tasador or an architect to review the structural condition of the apartment or house that you want to buy.

Ficasso can always recommend reliable people to help you.

 

 

Ficasso Real Estate Barcelona Viewing flats, apartments and houses in Barcelona



The first step is to see flats and apartments in Barcelona. Ficasso uses modern database technology to allow our clients to browse an extensive online database of flats and houses in Barcelona, with detailed descriptions, photographs, floor plans and location maps for each property.

When you want to book a viewing simple hit the “Book a viewing button” and we will set up a viewing for you.

During the viewing the Ficasso agent will also tell you about the immediate area where the property is located and answer all questions about the property itself. We can also advise you on the letting potential and many other issues about buying flats in Barcelona.

 

Ficasso Real Estate Barcelona Making an offer

 

When you have found the property in Barcelona that meets your needs & requirements and wish to make an offer, simply contact the Ficasso agent. Any offer must be communicated via Ficasso, never directly to the owner.

We ask you to provide us with as much information about your offer as possible. Not only will we need to know the actual amount you want to offer, but also your purchasing position and time frame with regard to financing the purchase.

These are very important in a negotiating phase On occasion a seller might be prepared to accept a lower offer, but the speed with which the transaction can be made is an important factor and should be conveyed with your offer.

If there are other parties making an offer on the same property, you will be informed. We cannot, however, divulge details of other offers. All offers are treated as confidential

 

Ficasso Real Estate Barcelona Buying the property - 6 basic steps

 

When you have found a flat or apartment in Barcelona that you like and want to buy, Ficasso will guide you through the negotiation process and advise you through the 6 basic steps:


1. The "Reserva" reservation document and fee
2. Background search and checks on the property
3. Signing of "Contrato de Arras Penitenciales"
4. Signing of "Escritura Publica" title deed contract
5. Registering the property in the property registry
6. Paying the taxes


 

Step 1.The "Reserva" reservation document and fee

 

Making a reservation (reserva) for a property is optional. At Ficasso Real Estate we generally recommend making a reservation if you are serious about a property and if the property that you are interested in is attracting a lot of interest from other parties.

The reserva is a document that you as an interested buyer signs and pays an accompanying reservation fee of usually 3000 euros.

This document and payment reserves the property from other bids, typically for 1 week. During the reserva week no-one else can make an offer for the property. The purpose of the reserva payment is to show the seller that you the buyer have a serious interest in the property.

The reservation amount is held by Ficasso.com. If no agreement among the interested parties then you the buyer will get the reservation fee back in full, so you have nothing to lose by paying the reserva.

During the reserva week Ficasso will assist you in negotiate the final sales price and agreement on all terms and conditions and the time frame of the property purchase to be completed.

We will also check the “Nota simple informativa” from the Land Property Registry at the Justice Ministry (Registro de la Propiedad - Ministerio de Justicia) of the property.

We will also review the urbanistic plans to make sure that the flat you have reserved does not have any Barcelona city affectations, which are attached to properties that might be affected by city planning.

If the buyer and seller reach agreement during the Reserva period, then the reservation money is automatically is discounted from the property purchase price and becomes part of the payment of the step 3, which is the signing of the contract called “Arras Penitenciales”


Step 2. Background search and checks on the property


The signing of the “Arras Penitenciales” (Step 3) is an important step. Before taking that step Ficasso recommends that you get your own lawyer. We can recommend excellent and trustworthy lawyers in Barcelona.

Your lawyer will then work with us at Ficasso to check all the documents and legal checks before you sign the Arras Contract.

As mentioned in the Reserva section, this when you sign the Arras contract we will already have checked the “Nota simple informativa” from the Land Property Registry at the Justice Ministry (Registro de la Propiedad - Ministerio de Justicia) which will tell us:

if the property is debt free

if the property is owned by the seller

if the property description is correct with regard to size, location.

Then your lawyer or Ficasso will ask the seller to provide copies of the following documents:

The title deed of the property

Copies of receipts of payment of previous IBI payments. The IBI is an annual real estate tax called IBI ("Impuesto sobre bienes Inmuebles") which is charged by the local town hall and paid either annually or every six months to the town council, where the property is located

-Proof that community charges (gastos de comunidad) have been paid up to date When there is common ownership or sharing of facilities between owners, Community of Owners must be established through which community charges can be shared.

Community charges cover things like the roof, stairways, facades etc.

-Latest copies of domestic bills so that you can take over the services such as electricity and water


Step 3. The signing of "Contrato de Arras Penitenciales" document


The next step, Step 3, is the signing of a document called “Arras Penitenciales”.

This means literally “down payment with penalties” and is a private contract between the buyer and the seller.

The purpose of the Arras contract is simply have a formal and signed agreement in place until the final step of the purchase, ( the signing of the Escritura / public deed of purchase) is ready to be signed officially.

The Arras is essentially a simple document in which the seller confirms their intent to sell, and the buyer confirms their intent to buy the property at the agreed price and specific conditions

At this initial signing the final property purchase price and the signing date of the title deed (Escritura) are agreed.

When you sign the Arras you as buyer must pay a down payment on the final property price, typically 10 per cent of the sales price of the property

Once you have signed the Arras contract you are legally bound to the sale and there will be penalties if one of the parties pulls out of the deal, hence the name.

The Arras should include article 1.454 of the “Spanish civil code” which states that in the event of you the buyer backing out of the deal after signing the arras contract, then you will lose the full down payment amount.

If the seller backs out, they have to pay you the buyer, double the Arras amount.

Many buyers choose to come to Barcelona to sign the Arras agreement in the presence of the sellers and the lawyers, but you can also sign in the country of your residence or give your lawyer power of attorney to sign for you.


Step 4. Signing of the Title Deed - “Escritura Pública” also known as Escritura de Compraventa


The title deed document is called the Escritura. This is the document that proves who the owner of the property is and which contains a detailed description of the property.

Under Spanish law the transfer of property from seller to buyer must be certified by a Spanish public notary. Your lawyer or Ficasso wil recommend a good public notary for you.

At the signing of the Escritura, which typically takes place 4-6 weeks after the signing of the Arras contract (step 3) the notary will check every aspect of the sale.

First proof of identity (or power of attorney) of both parties is checked.

Then your lawyer or Ficasso representative will ask the seller to provide copies of the following documents:

The title deed of the property

Copies of receipts of payment of previous IBI payments. The IBI is an annual real estate tax called IBI ("Impuesto sobre bienes Inmuebles") which is charged by the local town hall and paid either annually or every six months to the town council, where the property is located

Proof that community charges (gastos de comunidad) have been paid up to date When there is common ownership or sharing of facilities between owners, Community of Owners must be established through which community charges can be shared.

Community charges cover things like the roof, stairways, facades etc.

Latest copies of domestic bills so that you can take over the services such as electricity and water

Then all the final payments are made at the signing of the Escritura, either by bank cheque or by electronic transfer in the presence of the notary.

Proof of such payment will be then incorporated into the new title deeds of the property by the notary.

The Notary's fees must also be paid at the Escritura. The Notary fees for the execution of the Escritura are fixed on a sliding scale established by law

Before proceeding to the final signature the notary has the obligation to check that the property is free of any debt.

The buyer and seller sign the contract and beneath their signature, the notary signs using his firma protocolizada certifying the authenticity of the document.

Now you have formally taken possession of the property and will be handed the keys.

This completes the sale and the public deed is ready to be registered and for taxes to be paid.

 

Step 5. Registering the property in the Property registry


Immediately after completion, the notary will fax details of the title deed to the local Land Register to inform them of the identity of the new owner.

 

Step 6. Paying the taxes



In Spain when a property transaction takes place, as in many other countries, taxes and fees have to be paid promptly. Failure to do so will mean that the registration of the Escritura at the Property Registration cannot take place.

To own a property in Spain, you will need a Tax identification number called a Número de Identificación de Extranjeros (NIE). This identifies you to the tax authorities and allows them to calculate your tax liability.

It is a simple procedure to apply for this and this should be done prior as early as possible. It usually takes 4 weeks to obtain a NIE number.

 

 

The fees & taxes you must pay are as follows:


Taxes and fees to be paid by buyer:


The buyer pays a Transfer tax (ITP: impuesto de transmisiones patrimoniales). If the seller is an individual, the tax to be paid is 7% added to the price specified in the Escritura. If the seller is a real estate developer or a company the tax to be paid is 16% as VAT tax (IVA: impuesto sobre el valor añadido) instead of ITP.
The buyer must also pay 1/2% stamp duty.

 

Taxes to be paid by seller:

Plusvalia Tax - The Plusvalia tax is based on the assessed increase in the official value of the property from the date of the previous sale to the date of the current sale. The amount payable varies widely since it is based upon the assessed increase in the land's value and the lapse of time since the prior transaction. The amount payable also depends on the location of the property and the applicable scale.

In accordance with Spanish law the Plusvalia Tax must be paid by the seller.

Capital Gains Tax - This must not be confused with the above-mentioned Plusvalia Tax, as it is not based on the official value of the property like the Plusvalia Tax, but on the real value.

The Capital Gains Tax is based on the increase in the purchase price and the sales price.