March 19, 2016 at 9:50 am #190050
Hi I am about to buy a Spanish property and have been told by estate agent I do not need a solicitor as they can do the same job for less money. Can anyone tell me if this is true or has anyone done this too. All advice appreciated.
March 19, 2016 at 11:49 am #190052
You should never do this. You need a lawyer to guide you through the many pitfalls you may encounter, such as whether or not the property is fully legal. There are thousands of illegal properties for sale in Spain. If it is a resale you can check this yourself by looking at the Spanish land registry, or ‘catastro’ on ‘http://www.sedecatastro.gob.es/’ but you will need the Catastral Reference. A reputable lawyer will do this for you.
March 19, 2016 at 12:07 pm #190053
March 19, 2016 at 3:57 pm #190059
Bad idea! Seriously bad idea!
It is true that most Spaniards do not “use” a lawyer, as in formally employ a lawyer, but most fine a lawyer within their family who will guide them through the process and check all the documents.
Assuming you do not have a Spanish qualified lawyer in your family, you should contract one. Consider it an investment against big problems in the future.
March 19, 2016 at 7:38 pm #190061
We just completed a property purchase in Costa Blanca, and I am VERY happy I used a lawyer. Actually most, if not all, the work was done by the office paralegal. The costs were reasonable. I had a realtor tell me I did not need to use a lawyer, but I saw this same realtor do some questionable things that made me wary. I say its worth the extra cost to be safe.
March 19, 2016 at 7:50 pm #190062
Hi, If you don’t have your property details there is agreat way to find them as long as you know where it is. Go to http://fototeca.cnig.es/?&xy=300929,4450001,302074,4450571&SRS=EPSG:25830&lyr=Mapa. zoom in to wherever your property is using the map, switch to imaging in the box top left of map. Once you are sure you are looking at the right property (not always easy from above) the click the catastral link as well, this will overlay the catastral boundaries on the property. Then click on the symbol between the binoculars and the padlock in the bar across the top of the map, now when you click within the property boundaries it will open up a new page with all the details including the property number.
Really useful facility, been using it a lot to check out prpoerties we want to go and look at to check out what they are registered as, we’re looking at rural properties hence the need to make sure they are registered as ‘vivienda’ and not agrario.
Hope this is helpful.
March 19, 2016 at 8:40 pm #190064
I would just add, that there are many other important reasons to use a solicitor, such as checking for embargoes or other charges on the property (such as unpaid utility bills, community fees which stay with the property), that the land is actually owned by the seller, that the land is urban as there are special rules for rustic and rural properties, etc etc. Never ever take the word of the estate agent only. Their job is only to sell the property, so it’s buyer beware. When you take on the assets, you take on the liabilities – don’t risk it, and make sure the solicitor is reputable and recommended, but NOT by the selling agent.
March 20, 2016 at 7:32 pm #190066
John Collier Solicitor in SpainParticipant
I am an English solicitor working with a Spanish solicitor in Castellon in the Valencia region. In England and Wales The Law Society barred solicitors from acting for both the seller and the buyer in the same transaction decades ago because of the problems it caused. You cannot wear two hats at once nor can you do your best for both parties at the same time. Added to this estate agents have no qualifications to carry out conveyancing and because the seller is their client and the one who pays them if they get it wrong you have no come back; you were not their client because you did not pay them. Having said that, most agents get it right most of the time but the reason they offer to do the conveyancing “for free” is that they want to keep complete control of the transaction to be sure they get paid their commission which is often upwards of 4% of the sale price. Having a solicitor on the other side who might make the buyer aware of risks and potential problems or who might negotiate on the price may be regarded as an interference. Always instruct an independent solicitor before you sign or pay anything.
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