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Buy a flat in Barcelona

Becoming a property owner in Barcelona

Written by Paula

It is a well-known fact that the year 2016 is perfect for investing in Barcelona, so stop waiting and become a property owner in Barcelona. Whether you are interested in buying a home for yourself or just making a rental investment, ShBarcelona has a variety of good deals for you. Careful, though, buying real estate in Spain is different from other countries, so here is a small guide for those wishing to buy an apartment or a house in Barcelona.

A note to residents and non-residents

Photo via Pixabay

Photo via Pixabay

If your intention is to move to Barcelona, then you must become registered here legally and be written off from registers in your country, thus becoming a Spanish resident.

If it’s only a secondary home that you are interested in, then you can remain a non-resident by living here under 183 days a year (this period is determined by surveying your water and electricity bills).

What you need to know before buying in Spain

Before any real estate purchase, it is important to be well informed about market prices, offers, taxes, your budget, etc.

It takes about 12% more of the purchase price to cover legal fees, notary, getting registered as an owner, paying taxes…

Make a selection of apartments you want to visit in advance and make an appointment with the agency or the owner to arrange a visit to the flat.

When buying property in Spain, the notary has a different role than in other countries, they do not check the veracity of the documents or good faith in contract performance during negotiations, they only work as administrative agents. Hiring a lawyer is a must as he will actually advise you and inform you about the property you wish to purchase. Contact a specialized lawyer, preferably a freelance one so that there is no conflict of interest with the seller.

Related article: 8 advantages of using a real estate agency

The prerequisites of buying property

You will need to open a bank account in Barcelona in order to pay for your real estate purchase.

It is also mandatory to have a NIE (Foreigner Identification Number) when buying in Spain.

Purchasing real estate

Photo via Pixabay

Photo via Pixabay

Caution! The sales agreement does not exist in Spain as it is mainly done verbally, so you must be quick to respond and up to date regarding the latest bargains on the market. When signing the reservation agreement, do not pay more than 100 € because if you withdraw, you may eventually lose that money.

Put your lawyer and the seller in contact to make sure everything is in order, that the property has its energy certificate, and to ensure the habitability certificate is legal.

By law, both parties are made accountable in order to limit any inconvenience in case the sale becomes unfeasible. It is customary for the buyer to pay between 10 and 20% of the total purchase amount upon signing the agreement, although this amount may be freely defined by the two parties.

This agreement also helps establish when the final contract  is going to be signed in the presence of a notary.  Upon signing this contract with both parties present, you will need to pay the full remaining amount of the purchase.

Do not hesitate to start looking, the real estate market in Barcelona is currently full of good deals. ShBarcelona has a lot of properties for sale in Barcelona, so check out our website to see some of our offers.

About the author


Paula is an experienced content writer, translator and editor.


  • Hi Paula, I am an american looking to buy property in Barcelona from another american. Can you help me?

    • Hi Jon,
      Please contact our office to help you answer your question.
      Best regards,

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