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Selling Property

Spain - Selling Property

If you are selling a property in Spain you need to be aware that the procedure is very similar as for buying a home. It is important to talk to several estate agents in order to find one that you feel comfortable with and trust. Charges will vary with different estate agents so it is important to be clear on what you will be expected to pay when the house sells. It is recommended that the small print of any agreement with an estate agent is checked as there could be hidden charges that they have not made clear.

In order to be sure that the process runs smoothly the seller should have documentation ready. This includes the original title deeds of the property, copies of the receipts for the local property taxes, copies of water, gas and electricity bills, details of the community statutes, receipts for community bills, a list of any items of furniture which are to be included in the sale and a residencia card if you have official Spanish residency status.

Before the property is registered in the name of the new owner both the seller and the purchaser need to meet with the notary, who will go through all the paperwork and have both parties confirm that all is correct before the paperwork is signed. The notification to the Land Registry is done the same day and a copy of the title deed is sent to them a few days later.

Those who are selling a property but are not officially resident in Spain will have 5% of the purchase price retained by the buyer. This will be given to the tax authorities on completion of the sale and will be offset against any taxes owed by the seller. This is mainly in respect of Capital Gains Tax. If the total taxes owed are less than 5% you can apply for a refund of the difference. If the tax owed is more than the 5% you need to ensure that the balance is paid within 30 days of the sale.

Plus Valia is another tax which is due to be paid by the seller but this usually amounts to just a few hundred Euros. This is a tax which is levied by the local authorities and will be based on increases in the estimated value of the property. This tax therefore depends upon the area and the state of the property market in that area at that time. It can be part of the sale agreement that the buyer pays this tax, usually if they have negotiated on the price.

Capital gains tax is payable on the profit made on the house. The net profit is calculated using the sale price and deducting other fees such as the cost of selling, the original purchase price and an allowance which is calculated each year by the tax office. If you are a non-resident you will pay 35% on the profit made. Residents pay CGT at a rate of 15%. Residents may also find that they are exempt if the house is their main or only home and if you purchase another property for at least the same value within 2 years. A qualified tax official can advise on your obligations when selling a house.

A house does not have to be sold through an estate agent, a seller can choose to sell the house themselves. Commission rates can be fairly high with some estate agents so more and more sellers are opting to try to sell the house without an agent. In resort areas the cost of selling through an agent can be up to 10% of the sale price, but in other areas the rate can be much lower.

It is common for properties in resort areas to stay on the market for several months, even if the property market is considered to be good. Both parties need to have legal representation and once the sale is agreed a lawyer should take over and deal with the rest of the sale. In recent years the property market in Spain has struggled a little and is expected to do so for a little while longer, although there are hopes for recovery towards the end of 2011 onwards.

Property exchange is not an option and is only used in Spain for those who wish to exchange homes for a short period of time for a holiday.

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