Want to sell?
If you would like to buy a property in the Canary Islands, it is advisable to purchase through a reputable agent, who can ease the way through the somewhat complicated procedure, and thus avoid costly mistakes or misunderstandings.
Here are some points that you should look out for:
You will need to open a Spanish bank account so that you can pay all your bills by direct debit. In some cases, for example when you are not a resident and the seller is a resident, you may be required to present a bankers draft on a Spanish bank account and a certificate confirming that you have brought the money in from abroad. You will also need an N.I.E. – This is a fiscal registration number or tax number, and allows you to pay your taxes in the correct way. The agent will draw up a sale and purchase contract between the seller and purchaser with all the relevant details, which must be agreed and signed by both parties. An important point to mention here is that when you sign a private contract, make sure that in the contract it states that if the seller withdraws from the sale, your deposit should be returned in duplicate (Article 1454 of the Spanish Civil Code), except in very special circumstances which must be proven and justified. Nevertheless you will have your deposit back.
The deposit you will have to pay will normally be between 5% and 10%. If once the contract is signed, you, the purchaser, decide not to go ahead, you may have to forfeit the deposit. To complete the purchase you will be required to sign the Title Deeds (Escritura) at the Notaries office. Prior to this the Notary will have done a guaranteed search on the property, and you should make sure that he states that this search has been carried out, and that the property is free of any mortgage or other charges. Also in the case of a Community of Owners, obtain a certificate from the administrator confirming that all community payments have been paid to date. Your representative, i.e. agent, will then have to make sure that your Escritura is presented at the Land Registry within the stated time limit.
The guarantee of the search by the Notary has a limited validity date, therefore it is very important that this is done as soon as possible. If the seller is a non-resident and purchased the property after 1986 a 3% retention tax of the price stated in the deeds is applicable.
We hope that you will find this information useful as a guideline, although we must stress that good sound legal advice is advisable, and that you should employ the same rules when purchasing a property in the Canary Islands as you would in your own country, in other words, if you don’t understand what you are signing, ASK.