Alpha Estates Marbella - Buying property on the Costa del Sol

It is so easy to fall in love with Marbella, but how easy is it to purchase real estate on the Costa del Sol once you have found your dream home?

The answer is – it is pretty straightforward, but, as is the case of purchasing in a foreign country you need to be knowledgable of the local processes and culture. Here we give you an outline of the property buying process on the Costa del Sol.

1. Buying resale properties

The Reservation contract is used in Spain as a standard procedure to reserve the property. Typically it would set out the basic terms and conditions of the agreement between the seller and the buyer. This document should specify the following:

your full names
agreed selling price
address of the property
date to sign the Private Purchase Contract ( if applicable)
date to sign title deeds
special conditions ( as subject to a mortgage, subject to due diligence on both property and community, subject to the inventory being agreed between buyer and seller)
the deposit amount placed to reserve the property. At this point the property is officially off the market.

Typically the reservation deposit is 6,000 euros which is refundable should your lawyer find any issues during the due diligence checks made against the property that cannot be resolved. This deposit can be paid by credit card or bank transfer and shall be held in the client escrow account of your lawyer.

The whole process from signing the reservation contract to signing of title deeds and receiving the keys to your new home typically lasts between 4 to 8 weeks.

2. Buying an off plan property on the Costa del Sol

In case you decide to buy an off plan property on the Costa del Sol, the reservation processes may vary depending on the phase of the building permission and construction.

Typically it is as follows:

– An initial reservation deposit (between €6,000 – €10,000) is paid to remove the selected unit from the market. This may be paid directly to the developer, or held in your lawyers escrow account. This allows for searches to be made to ensure the development is legally sound. If not this is refundable.

– Once searches are completed, you will need to make the first down payment, and sign the private purchase contract. This is normally between 10% and 30% of the final price.  Money paid will be covered by a bank guarantee/insurance policy provided by the developer.

– In some cases, stage payments may be due as milestones are reached in the construction.

– On completion, the builder will apply for the first occupation license. Once these have been granted (without them you will be unable to have utilities connected), a final payment will be due (usually 60-70% of the price). You will sign the deeds and show proof of payment before a notary.

3. Buying bank owned property ( bank repossessions)

In case you decide to purchase a bank repossession property on the Costa del Sol, the bank who owns the property have standard procedure which they follow. It may differ from the procedure of buying resale property, and sometimes may be confusing. Your lawyer will act on your behalf to communicate/ negotiate the terms with the bank who owns the property. At the end of the day, buying bank repossessed properties are worth it as in most of the cases they are sold below market prices.

Alpha Estates Marbella has a wealth of real estate experience on the Costa del Sol and we are dedicated to helping you find your dream home and giving you the knowledge, contacts and help to do so. Apart from that we always can recommend accredited lawyers that speak your language, as well as offer you a full real estate service from A to Z. We aim to establish easy going communication with our clients and our multilingual team speaks seven languages – English, Spanish, Swedish, Norwegian, French, Russian and Italian.

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