Viewing Property in Spain

Viewing Property in SpainUsually but not always, we accompany the client during the property viewings with the agents. Our role is to keep a perspective and assist the client assess the relative merits of each property. It could be useful to test to see if there is any flexibility in the price of some of the properties. Even so, once a property becomes of interest to the client, we would add our leverage to negotiate the best price, and in some cases our client’s keep at a comfortable arm’s length while we drive the best deal we can. At the end of each day we review the properties seen and discuss how we can get the most from the next day of viewings.

By the end of their visit, the client will have seen a large variety of property that match their criteria. If they wish to look into a particular property in more detail we assist with our legal services, otherwise we review the search criteria and decide how we need to proceed.

Investigating the Legitimacy of the Spanish Property

When the client is satisfied that they have found the right property; we need to check to ensure that everything is in order so that the client can proceed with the purchase.

The Private Contract

Before investing time to investigate the property, the vendor will take the property off the market for an agreed period, requiring the client to pay a deposit. The private contract must protect the client in case we discover any problem with the property and ensure that the deposit is refunded in full should this be the case. Agencies that deal with our clients should accept Search and Survey’s private contract terms and conditions, rather than our clients having to accept terms that are more favourable to the vendor.

Legal Searches

Spanish law holds the existing legal owner of a property liable for all encumbrances on the property no matter who was responsible. This means that if there is an outstanding mortgage, tax office embargo, or court charge against the property this liability will automatically transfer to the purchaser after completion. Our legal searches will check the land register to ensure the property is free of all charges.

Local Authority Searches

Customers from the UK will assume these checks are normally carried out as part of the legal process, however in Spain this is not the case. This is where many problems for purchasers commonly occur down the line. For example there has been much press coverage regarding the LRAU, or more commonly known the land grab laws, where owners have found that their property is due to be in the middle of a new development and they are required to pay for the infrastructure as a shareholder in the land.

The general plan at the local town hall will detail all future planned changes in land use and development projects in the local area. From checking the general plan, we will understand if any new developments or changes are expected, so that our client is aware how this might affect their property. The local authority searches also check potential liabilities due to the town hall, for example if the previous owners have not paid their rates, or have outstanding fines for illegal building work, etc. Any planned road widening or other infrastructure projects that could potentially claim land from the property is also checked.

Regional Searches

We extend our search to a regional level as any new urbanisations and changes of use of land proposed by the local town hall will need approval from the regional authority.

Rectification of the Escritura

ny changes that have been made to a property that are not recorded in the vendor’s escritura (deed), needs to be amended before any transaction is completed. We check that the existing escritura is accurate, and if not we can certify the changes that describe the property in better detail. Any building extensions, addition of swimming pools, changes in boundaries or other changes in the property description need to be rectified in the vendor’s escritura so that it is valid before the purchase. Otherwise, these changes may prove to be a liability in the future. Our architectural department will survey and certify these changes working with the Notary to make this process as straight forward as possible.

Certified Structural Survey

We carry out the survey whether it is necessary for any loan or mortgage to establish the condition of the property, or simply for peace of mind and as a means of safeguarding their investment. Any defects need to be uncovered and addressed before completion, or be referred to in final negotiations.

Independent Valuation Report

A useful reference that examines the size and type of the construction, the characteristics of the plot, the location and other aspects influencing the value of the property. Similar properties and their values in the same area are then compared to assess an accurate figure for the value. The valuation can help secure loans or a mortgage if necessary.

Preparation of Documentation for the Notary

Once all these checks have been completed, the documentation for the new escritura is provided to the Notary. Any further points in question, regarding the transaction are then discussed with the Notary before the completion date so that everything is in order.

A Personalised Service

Buying a property is a big responsibility, and at times complications are discovered that need careful thought. Search and Survey is an accredited API, and our team has over 30 years experience dealing in the Spanish property market. We have direct contact with most of the authorities and town halls that can help solve many outstanding issues. Our clients look to us for advice on a range of issues, from the initial negotiations to beyond the completion of the property purchase.


Property finding can be as easy as A B C – Just answer these 3 questions to get started.

A: Where – The Town City or region which interests you?
B: What – The type of property you are looking for and your budget?
C: When – Your estimated completion date (month and year)?

To read more about Finding Property in Spainvisit: Info Library and download our Ebooks.

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