Spanish property sellers, you must have your documentation prepared!
If you are the seller of a Spanish property make sure that have all your documentation prepared – before you try (you) to sell your house in Spain!
These days, like it or not, it is the buyers of Spanish property who decide what, when and how much to buy for and who dictate the speed of any sale process. So, if you want to sell – do not waste the buyer’s time. Have all the documentation to sell your Spanish property prepared well beforehand ready for your potential buyer (or their Spanish lawyer).
The documents relating to your Spanish property that you must have ready are:
1) DEED OF PURCHASE (the Escritura)
This document is very important and you must locate it before putting your Spanish house up for sale. If you cannot find it but you can remember the notary where you signed the Escritura then you can go to the Notary’s office and apply for a copy.
If you are not sure what your Escritura looks like then so search through all the documents that you have filed for one that has several sheets stapled inside a cardboard folder that says (in Spanish): Escritura de compra otorgada por (here will appear your name and surname) on XYZ date with a protocol number.
In the event that you did not buy the house yourself but perhaps inherited it from your parents or grandparents then you must find the same document, but instead of “Deed of Purchase” it will be “Deed of Partition of Inheritance (in Spanish: Escritura de herencia)
2) PASSPORT and NIE
The documents you must have are your Passport and Foreigner’s identification number (NIE). Make sure that you have them – and that neither has expired!
If, for some reason, you have lost your Passport(!!) then do not waste time – request a new identity document as soon as possible. You must be able to prove your identity before you will be allowed to sign the Escritura.
Incidentally, if you have lost your NIE do not worry, you can request a duplicate.
3) IBI (Property tax)
You will need the latest Property Tax (IBI) receipt issued for your house in Spain and this is called the “I.B.I.”.
If you can not find it and it is paid by direct debit, the bank can give you a statement. If it is not paid by direct debit, contact your local town hall and they will issue you a duplicate.
4) HOUSE ADMINISTRATOR
If you live in a residential building or complex, usually, you will a Property Administrator. If that is the case, you must provide the buyer of your Spanish property with the name, phone number and address of the Administrator.
You should also make sure that you have a Certificate issued by the Administrator prepared for the day of signing the Escritura, which specifies that you have no community fees outstanding. The Certificate must be signed by the Administrator/Secretary – with the President of the Community also providing confirmation.
5) NOTA SIMPLE
Very few sellers of Spanish property obtain a Nota Simple. However, this is a good way of making details about your property immediately clear to a potential buyer.
The Nota Simple is a document issued by the Property Registry – which specifies who is the owner and if the house is affected by acharge such as a mortgage.
If you do not know how to get a Nota Simple then do not worry, your lawyer will get it for you.
6) OCCUPANCY CERTIFICATE
In certain Autonomous Communities such as Catalonia, an Occupancy Certificate is required when selling a home. So if you do not have one – then you must apply for it from your local town hall.
The Certificate is the document that certifies compliance with the minimum occupancy requirements.
7) CERTIFICATE OF OUTSTANDING DEBT.
If you are paying a mortgage, you should have a Certificate of Outstanding Debt prepared for the day of signing the Escritura – which specifies the amount that you owe your bank at the time of selling the house, so that this amount is retained by your buyer.
If the buyer takes out a loan, then the buyer’s bank agency will ask for a provision of funds to cancel your loan. Do not worry, once the mortgage is canceled, the agency will contact you and deliver all invoices and the final settlement.
If you have all the necessary paperwork ready then you will help greatly to prevent any hold-up in the sale of your Spanish property. This is always vital as it prevents the buyer from looking elsewhere and possibly finding another property that he can buy more quickly.
Obviously, one of the best things that you can do is to get your lawyer in Spain to prepare all the documentation above for you. This way he can give you a ‘buyer’s pack’ that has been properly checked and will answer all the immediate questions that a buyer or their Spanish lawyer will ask…