Legal Buying & Selling Guide

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Buying Guide


At Bona Fide Costa our aim is to help and guide you through the entire purchasing process to ensure that you buy the right property for you secure in the knowledge we follow the correct procedures, so we have prepared this property buying guide to inform you before you decide to purchase property in Spain. Buying a property in La Cala should be an exciting event and here at Bona Fide Costa we work very hard to ensure this is the case, introducing you to our estate and legal departments. This is your step by step guide to securing your property in Spain.

Step 1: Find your property in Spain!

The first step is to contact us to discuss your specific requirements and you can come into our office or we can arrange to come and visit you with a selection of property, or send you the information via email. Once you are ready to begin viewing, simply book your appointment with us and one of our property experts will pick you up and arrange a tour of the properties we find most suitable to your needs.

Step 2: Make an offer!

When you have selected your property it’s time to make an offer and make it yours! You will be informed of all the purchasing costs and taxes for the property in question before you place your offer (see fees & taxes below). Placing an offer is very simple, just inform your property advisor of the offer and he/she will contact the vendor and make the offer.

At point of offer there are 2 main options:

Option one is the traditional way of placing the offer verbally and waiting until the vendor answers, at which point negotiations are under way. Once a verbal agreement is made we would proceed to the next step.

The second option is to place a reservation deposit alongside your offer and send the offer on contract. This usually gives you a stronger negotiation position since you are committing to your offer if the vendor agrees.

We will forward whichever option you choose to the vendor.

This process is of course subject to the property being legal and the vendor having the correct documentation.

Step 3: Reserving the Property and legal checks

Once we reach this point it means we now have a verbal or written agreement for the purchase of your property in La Cala or surrounding area, now we have to ensure that the property is reserved and off the market. We would provide you with a reservation document for you to sign in which all the terms of the agreement are set out.

If the option to place a deposit with the offer was not taken then at this point a reservation fee would be charged which will vary depending on the property and vendor requirements (usually 6000 EUR). This is to officially take the property in Spain off the market and acts as an intent to purchase to the vendor. The reservation form would be sent to the vendor for signing and once this occurs the property is officially reserved. The reservation fee is non-refundable however it is subject to legal searches, therefore if these were to not come up clean a full refund would be available (as per the terms & conditions of the reservation form).

At this point we would highly recommend to instruct a law firm to represent you in the purchase. The lawyer will carry out all the necessary legal procedures which include but are not limited to:

Determining who the owner of the property is to verify that the vendor is entitled to sell the property.

Checking that the property is legally registered in the corresponding property registry.

Checking that the property is free from charges & debts (mortgages, seizures, etc.)

Checking that the property has been granted the corresponding municipal building permit by the town hall.

Ensuring that the legal prescriptions of the planning and building law are complied with.

The study, preparation and signing of private contracts (reservation agreement, option contract, sale contract) or public ones (purchase/sale deed) which are deemed necessary to execute the purchase operation. The normal procedure is to sign a private contract first, and after a reasonable lapse of time, to sign the sale/purchase deed.

The lawyer will then proceed to pay all the expenses and taxes arising out of the purchase on behalf of the client. This includes registering the public deed in the corresponding Land Registry.

Simultaneously, the lawyer will effect, when applicable, the change in ownership of all bills, supplies and taxes concerning the property, and if you wish, will arrange the direct debiting of those bills (from your own bank account in La Cala).

An additional and recommended service offered by Bona Fide costa is the drafting and registration of a Spanish will.

Once the lawyers have finished their legal checks they will inform you of the results, and if they are positive the next step would be either:

• Exchange of contracts (if applicable); Go to Step 4.


• Completion; Jump to Step 5.

Step 4: Exchange of Contracts

This will depend on the agreement made with the vendor. If it has been agreed to exchange contracts usually a payment of 10% (minus reservation fee already paid) would be paid to the vendor and a contract signed. A mutually agreed completion date will be stipulated in the contract.

Step 5: Completion

The day arrives when you get your keys! By completion day your lawyer and property advisor will have prepared everything so that the signing goes as smoothly as possible. Completion can be done in person, however if you cannot be there you can also give your lawyer power of attorney to sign on your behalf for your new property in La Cala.

At Bona Fide Costa we encourage you to contact us for any help you may need before and after your purchase as well, we like to keep in touch!

Fees & Taxes

It is important to be aware of the purchasing costs in Spain, as these are usually not included in the advertised selling prices. The purchase costs are approximately between 10-12% of the purchase price and the exact amount will depend on various aspects of the purchase such as if a mortgage is being taken out amongst other factors.

Approximate Breakdown of Purchasing costs:

Government Transfer Tax (ITP or IVA) ~ 8%-10% (Depending on type & price of property)

Legal Fees ~ 1% (may vary depending on law firm and services offered)

Notary & Registry Fees ~ 1%

Mortgage Fees (optional) (if applicable) ~ 1-2% (may vary from this depending on mortgage)


Selling Guide

At Bona Fide Costa our aim is to help and guide you through the entire selling process to ensure that your property in La Cala and surrounding area is being marketed as effectively as possible, thereby increasing the chances of a quick and smooth sale. Below is a step by step guide on selling your property on the Costa del Sol.

Step 1: Ask for your free valuation!

The first step is to find out what your property in La Cala is worth in today’s market. Contact us for one of our Spanish property experts to visit your property and carry out a free valuation. Our property experts have a lot of experience on properties in La Cala and the Costa del Sol and will carry out extensive research to find the ideal recommended selling price for any property on the Costa del Sol.

It would be ideal for you to have all the information at hand about the property so that we can make an informed assessment of the value, including any technical information, floor plans and specifications. If you don’t have any of these don’t worry as we will find out for you! The results of the valuation for your Spanish real estate will be given to you the same day or within a maximum of 24 hours, and then it’s up to you to decide on the final selling price.

Step 2: List your Property

Once you have decided on the selling price we can proceed with the listing of the property. In order for the marketing of your property in La Cala to be effective we will need access to your property to take quality photos and present the property as best as possible. Our property expert will make recommendations to change the presentation if he/she feels that this will help in the selling process. We will collect all the information on the property and will proceed to the signing of a Listing Contract where all conditions will be stated.

We will require the following information and documentation to carry out the listing (if you do not have some of this information just let us know and we will help you obtain it):



Full name, address and contact details of all owners and Passport/N.I.E/DNI numbers.

Nota Simple of the property (land registry report)

Year Built

Last IBI Receipt (local property tax, paid yearly)

Amount of Community Fees

First Occupancy License (if applicable)

Amount of IBI and Basura (Local tax & rubbish collection payments)

Copia Simple de Escritura (copy of title deed, if available)

Square Metres of the living area, terraces and plot (if applicable)

Floor Plan (not essential)

Our property expert will take down the rest of the necessary information at the property.

Once we have obtained all the necessary information & documentation your Spanish property will be added to our system which instantly gives you the following benefits:

Property will instantly be visible on our website

Due to our real estate network on the Costa del Sol the property details will be visible to other collaborating agents instantly.

Your property will also be added to various online property portals.

Your property will be added to our recent listings mailing list campaign.

Step 3: Viewings

Once step 2 has been carried out we will endeavour to show the property as much as possible to potential clients, therefore we recommend easy access for viewings, ideally by issuing us a set of keys. These will be kept in our secure safe and the property will only be shown with the company of an Bona Fide costa property expert. If you are residing in the property we highly recommend you present the property in the best possible state before a viewing, we will always try to give 24h notice for viewings however this may not always be possible.

At Bona Fide Costa we feel that communication with our vendors is extremely important, and we will update you after every viewing with the client’s feedback as soon as it is possible.

Step 4: Offers & Reservation

Once there is an interested client we will inform them of the entire process, and once we are sure they understand the process and are happy to proceed, we will proceed with the offer & reservation of the property. There usually will be some negotiation regarding possibly the selling price, furniture and completion dates among others. We will mediate in any negotiation and once we are in agreement the next step is to sign the reservation form, at which point the buyer will place a reservation deposit with Bona Fide Costa or their lawyer. Once the reservation is taken and the reservation form is signed by both parties we would have an agreed sale. At this point we would recommend contracting the services of a lawyer to carry out the rest of the process. We can recommend a lawyer within Bona Fide Costa for you if you do not have representation, however this choice is entirely up to you!.

Step 5: Exchange of Contracts/Completion

From this point the necessary legal checks and processes will be carried out by the buyer’s lawyer and preparations for the next step, which can either be exchange of contracts or completion, depending on what was agreed in step 4. Completion time is usually approximately 4 weeks, however this can vary depending on the agreements made, and can be as little as 1 week. Any debts (mortgage, community fees, utilities, etc.) if not already cancelled will be settled on completion. Completion is signed in a notary public and at this point you will receive payment and the all copies of the keys must be handed over.

Fees & Taxes

It is important to be aware of the selling costs in Spain. The selling costs will depend on various aspects of the sale such as if a mortgage needs to be cancelled amongst other factors:

Selling costs:

Plusvalia Tax (capital gains tax) Depends on value of property and how much the value of the property has risen since it was bought.

Legal Fees ~ 1% (may vary depending on law firm and services offered)

Agent Fees Contact us for a quote

Mortgage Cancellation Fees (if applicable) Will vary from depending on mortgage & bank

This information is simply a guide, our property expert can explain all the points in more detail if you require, we are here to help you and make this process as smooth and easy as possible.


This information is offered to you as a guide and should be used as such, and is not intended to replace professional legal advice. All the information offered here is approximate. Please contact us for more detailed information or questions. Bona Fide Costa accepts no responsibility for the incorrect use of the information contained.