Recently I was made aware of a Facebook that said something like how do I send money to my estate agent in Spain? I will come on to this later but as a lawyer this made me think about how you pay for your property here in Spain.
Well, properties here in Spain whether they are houses or apartments come in two different kinds, effectively second-hand properties, and new builds or off-plan.
The first thing to consider is if you’re moving money from another currency to euros have a look at how you’re going to do this. Just like say insurance get some quotes. Currency brokers are recommended, at Just Law Solicitors we have brokers whom we’ve worked with for years and transferred millions without any issues. Wise is available as is your bank but do your research and compare the rates and fees.
The next thing is if it’s an existing property make sure that the money goes to your lawyer client´s account. Someone who you’ve chosen yourself, who is only acting for you without conflict of interest with any other party involved in the purchase. Our duty, as registered lawyers (solicitors), is to protect your rights as a purchaser or a seller, the estate agent, the bank, and the other party who have their own interest in this operation (more or less like this).
The next thing to do is get the bar registration number of your lawyer. Then make sure they have a client account. Unlike a Solicitor in the United Kingdom, a client account is not a requirement. Of course, at Just Law Solicitors we have a client account. Do not pay money to the estate agent, despite what they might tell you.
If you’re buying a new build or off-plan then there are several ways to pay. The key thing not to do is pay money direct to the developer or the agent. By law, the amount that you pay as part of the price has to be deposited in a guaranteed bank account or by an endorsement by an insurance company or a bank. This protects you if the developer becomes insolvent. A properly drafted reservation contract will ensure that if certain conditions are not met and a set amount of time passes the money is returned to you. One example is if the property is not built in a set time.
When it comes to signing before the notary your lawyer will get a banker’s draft, from the funds deposited into their client’s account. This will be taken to the Notary office, then once your lawyer has checked everything is in order and the documents are signed the banker’s draft will be given to the seller.
As always remember this isn’t legal advice and always take advice before you sign or pay anything like for example in the United Kingdom there is no legal requirement to use a Solicitor or Abogado but of course, it’s recommended.
Marisa Moreno Castillo lawyer and Consul for Denmark.
Since 1992 www.justlawsolicitors.com
Malaga – Fuengirola – Marbella