How to sell a property in Spain

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Now that house prices in Spain are starting to stabilise a little you may want to sell your Spanish property. Of course you will need to realistic about the selling price you can achieve. Don’t forget that you will be competing in a market which is still seeing a high number of foreclosure sales.

A good deal of the sales process in Spain is the same as in most markets; the only difference is that it’s really helpful to know the specifics of the market in the area where you are selling so that you can optimise your sale potential.

Enhancing the value of your property

As with any location, if you are selling a property in Spain you will want to get the maximum price you can. One of the most important things to do is look at the property in the eyes of a buyer and realistically make a note of the positives and negatives, and any changes you want to make prior to sale. It’s also important to decide how quickly you need to sell as this will help determine what offers you accept. This is where knowing the local Spanish markets comes in useful as you will be able to gauge a realistic price at which you will be able to sell. Arguably, one of the most important things to ensure is that the house is as appealing and de-cluttered as possible when viewings are scheduled.

The documentation you will need

There are certain documents that you have to provide before the sale of a Spanish property can go through. These documents are:

  • The title deeds (Escritura)

  • The most recent bills for electricity and water

  • Annual property tax or IBI – SUMA bill receipt (akin to council tax in the UK). It’s useful to have as many of these as possible, but you must have the latest one.

  • Certificado de No Infracción Urbanística – This is a document which details whether there are any fines or charges levied against the property by the Town Hall.

  • Cédula de Habitabilidad or habitation certificate. You will have applied for this after you purchased the property. It indicates that the property is in a habitable condition. If you purchased a new build this certificate is the Licencia de Primera Ocupación or first occupation certificate.

You also need to provide your original N.I.E. number or Número de Identidad de Extranjero, this translates as Number of Identification for Foreigners and is your own individual identification which you use for everything in Spain, including the payment of tax.

Your responsibilities when selling your Spanish property

As the vendor of the property there are certain obligations you need to fulfil. These obligations are:

  • Payment of all taxes including Plus Valía tax (a tax levied by the Town Hall on the sale of the property), and transfer taxes.

  • Payment of all local rates due on the property.

  • Payment of any Capital Gains Tax due.

You are expected to pass over a clean title to the buyer, and to notify all relevant parties, such as the Town Hall and utilities suppliers that you no longer have any interest in the property.

Depending on the local market, and your expectations, you may or may not get an ideal sale price for your Spanish property, but at least we have given you an idea as to the paperwork and responsibilities involved with the sale.