Conveyancing in Spain. Stages of buying a resale property.

Forget about the way conveyancing is done in the UK, just forget all of it!

Buying and selling property in Spain is altogether different from what you might be used to.

Spain can seem as if it's going at a much calmer speed, and conveyancing is no different.

Aside from the all-important legal issues surrounding your purchase, your key focus should also be on a realistic time in which to conclude everything and get your new keys.

It is vital that an entirely independent lawyer represents you, so ensure you enter into a written agreement with them and have a full and mutual understanding of the process, timescales and their fees.

You will be required to provide your lawyer with copies of documentation evidencing your identity and your UK address.

Obtaining other necessary paperwork like your NIE number should also be addressed at this early stage.

To have your lawyer complete the purchase on your behalf, you will need to grant a power of attorney authorising them to do so.

Beware, completion dates can evolve and change, depending on a number of factors that can't always be controlled.

However, this guide highlights most of the important parts of the process and the timescale in which you should expect things to resolve.

Stage One – Agreeing a price and starting enquiries

Settling on a price isn't even the start of the journey.

Before you hand over a penny in reservation fees or deposits, you must check to see who exactly owns the property and whether there are any debts registered against it.

One must also ask whether such debts will be removed upon completion, whether the property is lawfully built, and what ongoing fees may be payable like communal charges etc.

Even this early stage can take a week or more in Spain, depending on the cooperation of the vendor, their agent and their own legal representative.

However, each or every one of them SHOULD have that information at their disposal, already.

One must also factor in the possible turnaround speed of local council, especially if such information hasn't even been requested yet.

If you are buying a remote finca or a non-standard property, then this early stage is likely to take even longer, if the information hasn't been sought already.

This is simply because more documentation is needed to establish the planning status and the legality of a rural or unusual property, against the likes of modern apartments and townhouses.