Role of Spanish notary during the buying process?

Intervention by a notary when buying a property in Spain is essential just as in Belgium. Yet there are significant differences. Indeed, the notary's remit in Spain is limited. This article will explain the role of the Spanish notary in the purchase process.

What does a Spanish notary do?

The first task of the notary in Spain is to identify the parties, observe the transaction and draft the notarial deed. In addition, the Spanish notary theoretically ensures that both parties understand the content of the notarial deed. If one of the parties is a Spanish non-resident, a translator will also always be present.

The second task is to check that both buyer and seller comply with legal obligations. This mainly concerns the payment of taxes. For the buyer, this is the registration tax or VAT. For the seller, it is about personal taxes and the capital gains tax.

Find more information about the process of buying a property in Spain.

Limited research function

The control task of the Spanish notary is limited to an information request from the property register. He also monitors compliance with anti-money laundering legislation.

However, a notary in Spain is not responsible for checking building permits, review of debts, the statutes of co-ownership, etc. In addition, he also does not take care of the registration of your property in the land register.

Read more about the property register and land registry.

Spanish notary does not give advice

Sometimes the notary in Spain is compared to a glorified tax official. Under no circumstances does he give advice on your purchase or sale. Also, the Spanish notary does not review the compromise or purchase agreement.

Legal advice and guidance are provided exclusively by lawyers or solicitors. They will check whether the property was encumbered with debts, all permits are in order and no structural violations were found. A Spanish notary will not assist, warn or advise you.

Find out more about legal support during the process of buying or selling a property in Spain.

What does a Spanish notary cost?

A notary costs between 0.1% - 0.4% per cent of the sale value. There are also land registry fees. It is common for the buyer to choose the notary and bear the cost.

How does an appointment with a Spanish notary go?

The buyer's lawyer or legal counsel will make an appointment at the notary after signing the compromise. Both buyer and seller must be present or represented. The Spanish notary then checks the identity of both parties and reads out the notarial deed. If either party does not speak Spanish, a translator is present. After the reading, the deed is signed by the buyer and seller and the buyer receives a provisional copy of the deed. A few months later, both parties receive the official deed.

If you cannot or do not want to be present yourself, you can also appoint a representative. You will then need a notarised power of attorney. You can obtain this from a Spanish or Belgian notary. You can also obtain a notarised power of attorney at the Spanish consulate.

If there is insufficient time to prepare a power of attorney, a mandato verbal.

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