The Legal Process of Buying a Property in Iberia

The Legal Process of Buying a Property in Iberia

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As a British citizen, you can still buy property in Spain even after the UK’s departure from the European Union. However, there might be some changes in the process and requirements due to Brexit. Here’s a general overview of the steps you would typically follow to buy property in Spain as a British citizen:


Begin by researching the property market in Spain. Consider factors such as location, property type, budget, legal aspects, and potential return on investment.

Engage a Lawyer:

It’s highly recommended to hire a reputable Spanish lawyer who is experienced in real estate transactions. They can guide you through the legal aspects of buying property in Spain and ensure that all necessary checks and procedures are carried out.

Obtain a NIE Number:

Before you can buy property in Spain, you’ll need to obtain a Número de Identificación de Extranjero (NIE), which is a tax identification number for foreigners. Your lawyer can assist you in obtaining this.

Property Search:

Once you have your NIE, start searching for properties that meet your criteria. You can use real estate websites, local agents, or property listings to find suitable options.

View Properties:

Visit the properties you’re interested in to assess them in person. If you’re unable to travel to Spain, consider hiring a trusted representative to view properties on your behalf.

Make an Offer:

Once you’ve found a property you like, you can make an offer to the seller. Your lawyer can help you negotiate the terms and conditions of the sale.

Due Diligence:

Before proceeding with the purchase, your lawyer will conduct due diligence to ensure that the property is free of any legal issues or debts. This may involve checking property ownership, title deeds, planning permissions, and any outstanding debts or taxes.

Sign the Purchase Agreement:

If everything checks out, you’ll sign a purchase agreement (contrato de arras or reserva) and pay a deposit (typically 10% of the property price). This agreement will outline the terms and conditions of the sale.


On the agreed-upon completion date, you’ll sign the escritura de compraventa (deed of sale) at the notary’s office. You’ll pay the remaining balance of the property price and any associated taxes and fees. The deed will then be registered with the Spanish Land Registry.

Costs and Taxes:

Be aware of the additional costs involved in buying property in Spain, such as property transfer tax, notary fees, registry fees, and legal fees.

It’s crucial to seek professional advice and ensure that you understand all legal and financial aspects of buying property in Spain. Additionally, staying updated on any changes in regulations due to Brexit is advisable.