Everything you need to know about notaires in Spain
Without a true UK equivalent, it can be difficult to understand the role of the notaire. In our latest blog post we take a look at what they do and demystify the costs involved.
What is a notaire and do I really need one?
When selling or buying property in Spain there needs to be an intermediary present who authenticates the transfer of ownership and reports it to the state. This is where the notaire steps in.
The notaire is not only a key player in the transaction process, they are a legal requirement. As a representative of the state, they are unbiased and their duty is to the transaction. Think of them as the referee. They are simply there to make sure that the transaction complies with Spanish property law and ensure that any taxes are collected.
Notaires aren’t strictly limited to Spanish property law, they are also necessary for a number of other transactions in Spain such as donations and inheritance.
The role of the notaire
Signature of the sales contract
In Spain, the sales contract is signed at the beginning of the process once an offer has been accepted by the seller. Technically, you do not need to have a notaire at this stage, but it is a good idea to have one as they can help with legal and financial matters such as mortgage clauses.
During the sales process
Between signing the sales contract and final deed, the notaire will carry out a number of searches which can take up to three months.
This includes, but is not limited to the following:
– Identifying the buyer and seller by checking birth and marriage certificates
– Checking that the mortgage is not higher than the value of the property
In order to complete these checks, the notaire may ask you for further documents.
If there is a mortgage, the notaire will ask the bank to release the money a few days before the deed is signed.
The money from the mortgage and any personal funds never enter the notaire’s hands, they are sent to an escrow account instead. So there is no need to worry about the notaire running off with the money! The money will be transferred to the seller after the deed is signed. Once this is completed, the notaire will give the buyer a certificate of ownership.
Notary fees do not depend on the notaire you choose, but rather on the value and the condition of the property (newbuild or existing) and other numerous factors. Those fees range from 0.1% of the declared price of a property (for properties of 400,000 Euros or more) to around 0.4% (for properties of under 100,000 Euros). Usually, we see the amount of notary fees from €400 and not exceeding 900€. If you use a mortgage then you will have to pay Notary fees on the mortgage deeds as well.
Also, keep in mind that you will be asked to pay the land registry fee which equals to circa €400.