In order to take a property off market a reservation fee of between 3000€ to 6000€ is normally required. This is known as the initial reservation and may be held by the agent, lawyer or vendor. This form usually needs to be signed by all parties i.e buyer and vendor in order to form a proper binding contract. Following this deposit , it is not unusual to have a further stage payment totalling 10% of the purchase price. This is known as the private purchase contract or “contrato de arras”. Under Spanish law if a buyer pulls out of a purchase following a mutually signed contract, he/she will lose their deposit unless of course there is a legal issue with the property. If however the vendor pulls out then the buyer has the right to have his/her deposit returned and legally has the right to seek compensation to the same amount from the vendor. i.e the vendor may have to return twice the amount!