Buying property in Spain (The title deed)

The purchasing process ends when the public deed of purchase is signed by the purchaser and the vendor. At the moment of signing, the vendor grants the purchaser the title deed of ownership and the purchaser hands over the rest of the agreed price. The deed of purchase is signed before a notary. Notaries in Spain are public officials and, consequently, they are independent. They publicly attest that the parties have agreed the transaction and that they have done so in keeping with the law. Prior to the signing, notaries request up-to-date registry information about the property, to verify that there are no last-minute encumbrances or foreclosure entries, and immediately after the deed is signed, they send the Property Register an electronic copy of the title deed, so that the Register has a record of the new owners straight away.

Throughout the signing process at the notary’s office, our clients are always accompanied by their lawyer, who oversees the documentation, checks that everything is in order, and acts as an interpreter. If there are any professional or personal reasons that prevent the clients from going to the notary’s office on the indicated date, we will attend on their behalf to sign the deed. In this case, the clients would need to provide us with a power of attorney beforehand.

The power of attorney can be signed before a notary in Spain, which is the simplest and most economical option; at any Spanish Embassy or Consulate abroad; or before a notary public in the client’s country of residence, in which case the document will need to be translated into Spanish and legalised with the Hague Convention apostille. Powers of attorney include general powers that enable us to carry out other procedures beyond the signing of the deed itself, for example, it enables us to contract the water and electricity supplies, act as a tax representative, apply for direct debits for bills, obtain licences, etc., so we always advise our clients to provide a power of attorney, regardless of whether they can or cannot attend the actual signing.

Next: Registration of the deed and contract of servicesPrevious: Obtaining a NIE (Foreigner’s Identification Number)

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