Do you Need a Lawyer/Solicitor When Buying or Selling?
In Spain , you may sometimes come across estate agents who may advise you not to use a lawyer , they may say it is simply not necessary and they actually may offer do the conveyancing for you free of charge or for no fee at all. Remember, firstly that a lawyer/solicitor may give estate agent a hard time when representing his/her client. Therefore, it is obvious that the agent may not want these complications. I would advise all my clients to use a lawyer. One that perhaps has been recommended to you by family or good friend. Before using the lawyer you can check with the Bar of Malaga if the lawyer of choice is a registered one. I will soon look for an online version and add this to the post if it exists. At the moment i have access to a physical directory of this but will do my best to get hold of the online version.
In the purchase, your lawyer will firstly apply for your NIE number. In his conveyancing he/she would check all debts on the property i.e mortgage,utilities,townhall fees,possible embargos etc. Also they would check to see that the property has the correct building licenses in place (first occupation). Be sure to ask your lawyer to translate the contents of the “Nota Simple”. This document provides a summary of the property in relation to its size, rooms,percentage share of community (if any), and neighbouring properties. This is very important, remember that your lawyer hasnt seen the property and normally a client may not describe the property in detail to the lawyer. For eg, lets assume the property is a 3 bed villa and the “Nota Simple” descibes the property as one with 2 bedrooms, kitchen, lounge and and terrace. At the viewing, there was no terrace? Well, this may represent a terrace that had been converted into a further bedroom. As it doesnt appear on the deed, it could possibly have been converted illegaly and there may actually be a case pending at the townhall which may only be brought to your attention after completion!
Following the document check, your lawyer will also retain amounts from the property price in order to pay the taxes such as Plusvalia and initial 3% capital gains. This is important because if not paid they be placed against the property. After the transaction, your lawyer will pay the Notary, collect the Deed, pay ITP purchase tax or IVA, present the deed with relevant tax forms to Land Registry, Collect deed from land registry and finally set up the new title for council tax, basura , community , utilities as well as set up direct debit payments for each.
Should you have any specific queries about lawyers, their work or concerns about a property, I would be happy to advise.