Step by step: how to buy an asset in Spain

Buy an asset in Spain could be a long and complicated process if you are a foreigner. The best way to go through it smoothly is by consulting with a professional services team to help you with all the management process, paperwork and bureaucracy.

Here you have a step-by-step guide of the process to buy an asset in Spain:

Step 1 – Procedures Before Signing the Contract

Application for the Foreigner Identity Number (NIE)

This number is unique to every individual and is necessary to carry out transactions in Spain. The NIE can be obtained at any police station. The applicant’s passport is required.

Opening a Bank Account in Spain

To facilitate financial transactions, a bank account in one Spanish financial institution is required.


Hiring a licensed lawyer who specializes in Spanish land law and registered with the local bar association is necessary to complete due diligence and is also required by many financial institutions.  The registration of the property will also require the services of a lawyer.

The services of a certified real estate agent, preferably one who is accustomed to doing business with foreigners, is advisable from finding the right property to issues after signing the deed of sale. They can provide detailed information about the area or city where you are looking to buy property and the different properties available.

Step 2 – Exercising Real Estate Due Diligence

A property survey is advisable when purchasing real estate. A building survey assures the buyer that there are no significant structural defects or problems with the property. It also provides a comprehensive guide to the condition of the property.

A valuation report by an accredited property appraiser gives the buyer an idea of the property’s market value.

The buyer must also make sure that the property is registered with the land registry (Registro de Propiedad), that there is appropriate planning permission from the local government, and no outstanding debts.

Step 3 – Drafting and Signing of Private Contracts

When the buyer’s offer price has been accepted by the seller, the two parties need to sign a preliminary contract (contrato privado de compraventa) and the buyer needs to make a down payment of customarily about 10% of the purchase price.

Step 4 – The Formalization of the Deed of Sale

The contract of sale (escritura de compravento) is usually signed in front of a notary, at which point the full sale price, taxes and other costs become due.