Home buyer's guide

for properties in North West Spain


The fact that what is recorded in the deeds does not exactly match what is being sold is not necessarily a cause for concern. It’s quite common for there to be discrepancies.

Over the years and through various generations, land additions or sales can leave the deeds with some inconsistencies.

This can easily be rectified in the Land Registry and then with the notary as part of the buying process. Although it can sometimes take a few weeks or even months.

Furthermore, inherited properties sometimes have not had the will fully executed, meaning the property isn’t actually in the name of the person selling it, but rather their deceased relative.

This is fine, and the notary ensures in advance that everything is in order. It’s essential to ensure that the fee element relating to executing the will is paid for by the sellers, and it’s not tied to the actual purchase fees.

It should be confirmed that all owners are in agreement to sell. Properties can often have multiple owners because they’ve been inherited, and Spanish law divides the property among all immediate descendants.


The market is relatively slow, making it somewhat buyer-friendly; there’s no rush.

Consider your key criteria, including how and for what the house will be used in the short, medium, and long term; it might change over time.


There can sometimes be quite a bit of room for negotiation on the selling price. There are many properties on the market, but it’s important to carefully sift through to find the most suitable ones.

What’s crucial are the aspects that can’t be changed: the location, the surroundings, the orientation, and the access. If the house, in general terms, is what you’re looking for, but perhaps the interior isn’t exactly as you’d like, that can be changed; don’t be discouraged by unappealing interior colors.

In terms of budget, whatever level you’re at, consider allocating three-quarters of it to the purchase, leaving the rest for some minor work to have the house and garden exactly as you wish.

Additionally, the perfect house doesn’t exist; in the end, you have to make a decision and commit.


Whilst visiting to view properties, you should also spend part of your time enjoying your stay here; taking advantage of what the area has to offer, whether it’s grilled fish restaurants, mountain walks, spending time on the beach, or horseback riding through the forest.

After all, that’s why you’re considering buying a house.

Legal representation

Instead of having representation for both the seller and the buyer, as in some countries, the purchase process is organised by the real estate agency but is carried out through a public notary, who is impartial and is in a position to ensure that the legal purchasing process is conducted correctly.

Your real estate agency can address any other issues and help you appoint a property lawyer, as well as other technical professional if necessary.


This initial exchange agreement can be executed via email and does not require the buyer’s presence.
On the day of completion and final signing of the deeds, the buyer must be present. On the same day, a draft copy of the deeds will be issued, but the actual new deeds may take a few weeks to be prepared by teh governmetn land registry.
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Purchase Tax

For all buyers, there is a purchase tax, depending on the area, usually ranging from 8 to 10% of the final price.

In addition, there is an annual property owner’s tax (IBI) that is paid monthly, typically amounting to a few hundred euros per year.


The purchase of a property involves property registration and notary fees, which can amount to around 1000-2000 euros in total.

Real estate agency fees are typically paid by the seller and are usually around  3-5%.


Not all banks are fully up to speed with international transfers. This is partly due to the fact that many of the local banks, known as ‘cajas,’ were forcibly acquired by national banks as corrective measures after the 2008 recession to address the so-called toxic debt. This means that transfers go through a holding account, which is not a problem per se but can cause delays. 

Recent changes in anti-money laundering laws mean that the source of funds must be indicated, and larger amounts may be subject to an auditing process. Amounts under 100,000 euros usually experience fewer delays. Therefore, it’s generally better to have a Spanish account with a larger more international bank, and keep that account in regular use. Transfer the money well in advance, in stages if necessary, so that the bank can easily issue a bank draft for the completion of the sale on the day before the property’s finalisation.

Property ownership

There is no issue in purchasing and owning property in Spain. All you need is an identification number (NIE – Foreigner Identification Number), which can be obtained at the main police station in each province.

For Asturias, Gijón or Oviedo, depending on the property’s location. It’s necessary to schedule a prior appointment.

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