Before you sell any property in Spain you first have to prove you own the property. Property ownership in the country of Spain is certified by a document called an escritura ( what we call deeds in the UK), which must be authorised by a notary and registered with the Land Registry in Spain . Not all property in Spain, especially much older and rural property, has the necessary paperwork to comply with the law in Spain, so making sure your own property does is key to a successful sale.
The escritura ( deeds ) should include the following information: the terms and conditions of sale, the buyer's and seller's identification details ( normally a copy of passport ), the real-estate registration number from the Land Registry, a full and detailed description of the property, all encumbrances, fees, and liens pending on completion (including mortgages and community costs), as well as the sale price and means of payment.
Your property's total built area (in square metres) must figure correctly both on the escritura ( deeds ) and in the Land Registry. If the buyer is taking out a mortgage, loans will always be made against the value of the registered built area. Securing permission for any extensions is also vital and bills for any improvement work can be used to offset capital gains taxes.
The notary will require without question all the following documents on completion:
The property's CEE, (energy efficiency certificate),
Your NIE, or in Spanish - N'mero de Identificaci'n de Extranjero (Foreign Resident Identification Number).
An up-to-date copy of the property's IBI receipt.
Proof of any amount paid in advance by the buyer.
The buyer will probably also want to see recent utility bills, to check all your services are installed legally and are working.
Once you have got everything and most importantly have found a buyer, you or your lawyer or legal team need to draw up a contract of sale which outlines all negotiated terms , and, within a 15 day timeframe visit a notary, who will then authorise the contract before you receive payment from the buyer through your lawyer. Once you have done all of this, a new escritura ( deeds ), containing all the details of the sale and the change of ownership, will be created.
After selling, vendors are liable for a number of taxes levied by different authorities ( only if you sell at a profit ) . The first of these is in Spanish the Impuesto de Plusvala (capital gains tax), calculated as a percentage of the change in value of the land on which your property stands. This is owed to your local town hall and varies, dependent on the town or location or size of property.
Next in Spanish is the Impuesto sobre la Renta (income tax), which is owed to Hacienda (Spains central tax authority). The taxable base is calculated as the difference between the original purchase price (plus taxes and costs) and the sale price (minus taxes and costs), and depends on the vendors resident and legal status. This is between you and the Government in Spain.
Last, but not least, is one of the biggest costs for sellers: commissions paid to estate agents. Normally, this is around 5% of the agreed sales price, some of the more successful agents add this to your sales price so in allot of cases the buyer pays the commission . This generally appears high to vendors from the UK, but Spain is an extremely competitive market and every agent that endeavours to charge less either goes out of business or ends up raising their rates. The most successful agents selling in Spain are the ones who don't just rely on the local market but take steps to market overseas into Russia / China and into the UK