People often pay two different deposits when buying property in Spain. First a reserve deposit of between 3,000 and 5,000 Euros, demonstrating to the vendor that they are serious and giving the vendor reason to take the property of the market for a few days. In many cases this deposit is returned if the buyer backs out at this stage. A few days later the buyer often pays a bigger deposit of 10% of the agreed transaction value (less the reserve deposit already paid and including VAT if buying form a developer) and signs a deposit contract called a ‘contrato de arras’ that is in effect a private sale contract with penalty clauses. However every sale is different and some buyers choose to pay only the initial reserve and then go straight to signing deeds before notary. If you can move quickly this is the best scenario, though it is not possible when buying off-plan or in the case of a property under construction.