We often find situations in which clients arrives to our office who desire to buy a home in Spain, having paid and signed a “reservation”, “deposit” or “arras” document, a deposit for the purchase of the same, to be followed by document or private purchase contract, that in most cases does not contain the minimum legal requirements.
And sometimes we wonder, why going to the lawyer after paying a reservation of the property and not before?
In most cases, the not-resident purchasers, approach the corresponding Real Estate with their concern -otherwise normal- to lose the property of their dreams if the payment of the reservation is not done immediately, to “take the property out of the market”. However, as indicated, these documents lack in most cases, the minimum legal requirements to be met by any bilateral agreement between purchaser and vendor. Do not forget that the purchase is a contract between two parties and the reservation document should be the first step in that agreement.
It is true that in many cases, the “bargains” are short time in hands of Real Estate Agents, so the astute buyer should reserve them as soon as possible to prevent other potential acquirers. And we know that in those moments of it could be difficult to locate a property lawyer for advise. Do not hesitate to contact our firm as we are conveyancing lawyers and solicitors specialized in Spanish properties transactions.
Therefore, from this post, we would like to state 8 points to take into account at the time of signing a reservation document in Spain:
1. That the reservation contract contains full details of the vendors: full name, address and identity card (ID card, passport, NIE, Residence card ….)
2. It clearly identifies the object of purchase: house, villa, apartment, etc with the appropriate number and address as fully as possible. Also to identify elements attached to the property, such as storage or parking places.
3. Whether the property is transferred furnished, if any, attached to the reservation document an inventory of the furniture.
4. Total price of the sale.
5. Amount of the reservation and that the same will be deducted from the final price.
6. Clarify who assume the costs of the transmission. Generally all expenses and taxes will be paid by the purchaser with the exception of Plusvalia tax that will be paid by the vendor.
7. If the vendor is not present to sign the reservation document, indicate in the contract that the deposit paid shall be retained by the real estate agency until the signing of the Purchase Deed (or until the signing of a private contract with the vendor).
8. That reservation document is subject to study of the property by the purchase´r lawyer to ensure that the property is free of all liens and encumbrances and that complies with planning regulations in the area where the property is locate. Otherwise, the reservation must be returned to the buyers.
Once your reservation document is signed your lawyer in Spain should advise you properly during the process of buying property.
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Please do not hesitate to contact the English speaking Spanish lawyers and accountants in Marbella of Arcos & Lamers Asociados, lawyers in Spain and tax advisors inMarbella, we have an expert team ready to answer your questions and to provide legal and fiscal advice in Spain.
Approach the English speaking Spanish Lawyers of Arcos & Lamers Asociados for any legal, tax, labour and company advice you may need!.
Félix Ruiz, Lawyer in Marbella
Marbella July 2013
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