Before buying a property, it is important to understand what Purchase Paperwork in Spain is required …
An NIE Certificate holds a fiscal number that everyone must have for the purpose of any financial transaction or asset in Spain. An original copy of the NIE certificate must be presented to the Notary on the day of completion.
It is possible to obtain NIE certificates via the Spanish Consulate in country of residency but the timescales can take between 1 to 6 months and the certificate must be available for completion without it completion cannot take place. All buyers on the purchase deed or named on the purchase contract must have their own NIE.
Power of Attorney
Power of attorney, to act on your behalf, will be required if you wish your legal adviser to be able to pass monies, sign deeds for both a purchase and a loan and if you require them to open bank accounts and set up direct debits. It is important the power of attorney wording covers all areas required. If for instance you are obtaining a mortgage it is necessary for the wording to cover all aspects relating to the completion of the mortgage. Power of Attorney is not required if you in fact wish to do everything yourself but a translator on the day of signing is.
It is good practice to ensure that any power of attorney given has an explicit end date or transaction type unless you wish to continue to conduct your affairs in Spain under power of attorney. It is advisable to never leave a wide scoped Power of Attorney open as it allows the holder to undertake any activities on your behalf without your knowledge or without prior reference to you.
A Nota Simple, less than 1 month old, should be obtained immediately upon deciding to buy or if you wish to make an offer. It is in fact a requirement that the agent has a copy they can give you but often this is not the case or the document is out of date. A Nota Simple is a simplified version of the title deed of the property and outlines what is registered at land registry, who the owner is and whether any monies are owed on the property.
It is advisable to request or have ordered and obtained the Nota Simple and had advice on what it says before making an offer or signing a reservation contract and passing reservation fee, particularly if the reservation fee is non refundable.
Before completion you will require a Spanish bank account. In the event of taking a mortgage, an account with the lender will be required. If you are buying cash you will require an account for setting up utility payments, community charges, taxes etc.
Bank charges including ongoing maintenance costs can vary considerably from bank to bank so it is a good idea where you can to shop around and negotiate terms. Some banks now insist you personally visit to open the account and will not accept it being opened by your power of attorney so if you are not taking a mortgage it is advisable to open an account early on the process and when you are in Spain.