Written by Christopher Nye,
Last Modified: 8th July 2021

Many of our readers are planning a property viewing trip to Spain. How exciting! And a little nerve-wracking too, finally choosing a home after years of planning. So what are your viewing trip need to knows? 

When you’ve been planning your property purchase in Spain for a long time, getting to the business end of the dream can be a time when nagging worries start to surface. We spoke to leading Spanish property lawyer, who explained your legal need to knows to protect yourself as you step onto the plane for your viewing trip.

How long do the legal processes take?

If you want to own a property in Spain by the end of summer or early autumn 2021 you will need to book your viewing trip. The legal processes take a minimum of 45 days. It takes that long to organise certificates, legal searches, the notary etc. But assuming no issues, it won’t take longer than 45 days either. The kind of issues that can delay matters are homes out in the countryside because we have to involve an architect.

It could be yours in 45 days!

When should we see a lawyer?

As soon as you decide to buy! Then your lawyer can start planning everything ahead and talk it over either online or over the telephone. It’s really important to consult a lawyer before you’ve found a property and signed anything.

To put your own questions or to be put in touch with a specialist and affordable Spanish property lawyer, click here.

What are buyers normally worried about?

Not understanding how it all works, on things like the legal processes, tax, etc, means you’re immediately out of your comfort zone. That often makes people frightened to make a decision. So the best thing to do is clear up all the questions at the start. The role of the notary can also cause confusion, for example, but this is also something that your lawyer will organise on your behalf.

Is buying in Spain safe?

Yes! Nothing will go wrong so long as you employ a property lawyer. Planning permission, for example, used to be an issue but is now under control 100%. Your lawyer won’t release any money to the vendor until everything is checked.

Where in particular should we be careful?

Get legal advice from the start and they will do the worrying for you. For example, seafront properties need a special permit, but it’s easily arranged and doesn’t affect the cost if the lawyer knows from the start. New-build and off-plan properties used to worry people too, but again, there are strong legal protections that ensure buying these is safe too.

No matter how nice the agent and rapport you’ve built up together on your trip, it’s better to use the lawyer’s own form and contract

Should we sign a reservation contract?

If you find the property you love and are asked to pay to secure it, just send the details of the estate agent to the lawyer and they check it all over. No matter how nice the agent and rapport you’ve built up together on your trip, it’s better to use the lawyer’s own form and contract, which protects your interests.

The home for you? Just ensure you’re legally protected

We would get a survey in the UK, what about Spain?

A good property lawyer will have a qualified architect to do this for you. Moreover, they will instruct them with what the report must cover and the report will be legally binding.

Download your free guide and make your viewing trip count

What extra costs are there?

Total buying costs will depend on the region. However, you should generally allow 11 or 12% on top of the purchase price. Don’t forget too, that you’ll need to transfer your currency. For that we always recommend Smart Currency Exchange.

At Spain Property Guides we know there are three professionals you need to ensure a safe purchase in Spain. Click here to meet your ‘Golden three for a no-obligation chat about your plans.


Spain Buying Guide cover

The Spain Buying Guide is a free, independent resource to help anyone who is looking to buy property in or move to Spain through each critical stage of their property buying journey.

Set up to help our readers avoid the many complexities and pitfalls of buying property in Spain, the guide takes you through each stage of the property buying process, with practical recommendations from our experts who have been through the process themselves.


  Understand Brexit
  Find your property
  Ask the right questions
  Avoid losing money
  Avoid the legal pitfalls
  Move in successfully

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