The sun, the tapas, the Gaudi architecture and just the great living location are all enticing characteristics that will make you want to invest in housing in Barcelona. It´s never easy to make a decision like this, especially given that the steps to follow are different than those of your home country, and language can be an obstacle in certain transactions. Here, we explain the steps and the things you should know so that you can get to work and start looking.
Steps for buying an apartment in Barcelona
First, we recommend that you look carefully for a property, but keep in mind that once you find the right one, everything can become clear and the procedure can be over in a month! You can look at our updates by clicking here. These are the steps you should follow once you have decided on an apartment.
Sales proposal (Compraventa)
If it´s a purchase offer, it should be formalized and brought forward to the agency. To guarantee your seriousness and your commitment, we will ask that you pay a fee of 2000€ (+-). In this offer two dates will be indicated: that of the buying and selling contract and that of the notary signature. Once the buying offer is in effect, the agency is in charge of sending it to the seller.
You should receive a response within the next five days maximum. If the landlord accepts your offer continue to the next step, if it is rejected your full payment of 2000€ will be returned.
It is a sales agreement also written in the agency and compromised, in this case, by both parties. This document should describe in detail the apartment, including the exterior, the sales conditions and the date of the signed notarization.
At this time, the buyer will be asked to pay 10% of the total price of the purchase, although the quantity can be decided between the two parties.
The law establishes requirements for both parties regarding the financial consequences that are applied in case of cancellation by either parties:
- If the seller does not fulfill their ¨seller requirements¨ according to the stated conditions, they will have to return double the quantity paid by the buyer for their reservation.
- If the buyer does not fulfill their ¨buyer requirements¨ according to the stated conditions, they will lose the total quantity paid for the reservation.
Waiting for the signature of authentification
If you are a foreigner (European or other) and still do not have an NIE, you should apply for one. The NIE is the Número de Identidad de Extranjero and is required in the buying process.
If you are outside of Spain, simply get in contact with the Spanish ambassador or the Spanish Consulate of the city you are in.
If you are in Spain and specifically in Barcelona, you can ask for an appointment online. The wait time for an appointment can be quite long, so if your appointment is at a very late date, we recommend that you get in contact with the agency EASY B, a business dedicated to accompanying foreigners with administrative processes. They can help you prior to a meeting so you can be certain you have all your documents and the application on time, without error.
Signing the authentication before a notary
The signing of the Deed of Sale is made before a notary. It is up to the buyer to choose a notary, unless of course we can recommend you one. During this step, you will be asked to pay the rest of the price of the sale.
Rates and taxes to keep in mind
Rates and taxes make up approximately 12% of the price of the purchase. This is composed of taxes (10% of the total price), processed in front of the notary and the registration in the Registry of Property (2% of the total price).
Your new responsibilities as a landlord
As a new landlord, you are registered in the Land Registry. The same notary who signed the Deed of Sale is directly in charge of this step.
As a new member of the owner community, you should inform the building administrator and provide your bank information. This way, you can pay administrative fees directly and be notified of co-property meetings.
In addition, you should get in contact with private and public utility companies (water, gas and electricity) to change the holder of accounts and complete direct payments. You will be asked to provide meter readings.
Finally, you must notify Barcelona City Hall of the change in holders of the IBI (Impuesto sobre Bienes Inmuebles/Real Estate Tax), who will ask you to pay one year after purchase.
Our advice: Is there an apartment you love? Verify that you have the «Cédula de habitabilidad». It is a document that accredits the registration of the apartment as a place of residence. Verify that there are not work projects, either current or planned, in the building or common areas since in that case the price can be revisited for negotiations.
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