With this article we would like to help our clients and also the public in general and provide more transparency regarding the costs and fees involved when buying a property in Spain, which need to be settled in addition to the actual purchase price.
However, we have deliberately decided not to give specific price indications in many cases, as the costs are very variable and depend on many different factors as, for example, the municipality, the property type or the remuneration of an expert. We would however be more than happy to advise you individually and give you more details, if you wish so.
Depending on whether you are purchasing real estate with or without financing, the costs and fees that will need to be paid will be different. Henceforth we will explain these expenses, together with others that will be bored by both the buyer and the seller.
COSTS THAT ARE ALWAYS INVOLVED WHEN BUYING A PROPERTY
Regardless of if you are buying real estate with or without financing, the buyer will need to face the following costs in addition to the selling price of the property:
- Taxes: the taxes that will be applied to a property purchase differ according to whether it is a new property or a resale. “New” is defined as a property bought from the original developer.
- New properties or properties sold by a company or a business person:
- The Value Added Tax (Impuesto sobre el valor añadido – IVA): in 2020, this tax stands at 10 % when purchasing a newly built property, or when the seller is a company or a business person. If one buys a building plot or a commercial property from a company, the applicable tax will be 21 %.
- The stamp duty tax (Impuesto sobre Actos Jurídicos Documentados – IAJD): this tax is due for inscribing the property in the Property Registry for the first time. In 2020 it stands at 1,2 % on the Balearic Islands.
- Resale properties: in this case, a real estate transfer tax (Impuesto sobre Transmisiones Patrimoniales – ITP) will be due. This is a regional tax that varies according to each autonomous region. On the Balearic Islands, it is set in bands: an 8 % is payable on a purchase price up to 400.000 Euros, the amount payable from 400.001 to 600.000 Euros is 9 %, from 600.001 to 1.000.000 Euros it will be 10 % and from 1.000.001 upward an 11 % will be applicable.
- New properties or properties sold by a company or a business person:
- Income tax provision when buying from a non-resident: if the seller is not unrestrictedly liable to pay taxes in Spain – thus resident – the buyer will need to withhold 3 % of the purchasing price and pay it to the tax authorities “as security”.
- Charges for international bank transfers: most banks charge a fee for receiving money from international bank transfers. Usually the bank branches are open to negotiate this fee and, for example, agree a maximum limit, which normally is around 30 Euros. We would recommend to make this agreement, as the fee can also climb up to 0,5 % of the amount of the transaction.
- Fees for bank cheques: if you need one of these cheques (cheque bancario in Spanish) for the signing of the sales contract, you should find out in advance the amount which your bank will charge you with for this operation, as the fee can amount to around 0,5 % of the value or more. Also in this case it is usually possible to fix a maximum limit of around 15 to 30 Euros.
- Charges for powers of attorney: if you need a power of attorney for your property purchase in Mallorca, it needs to be attested by a notary. The price for it is very flexible and can be everything between 50 and 200 Euros.
- Fees for an accountant, an optional expense: a tax consultant (gestoría in Spanish), who can be commissioned by the buyer, would manage the payment of the taxes, as well as other formalities. There are no fixed prices concerning this matter, though the price normally lies around 300 Euros.
- Legal fees, another optional expense: a lawyer (abogado in Spanish), who would accompany you during the whole buying process, would review all contracts, but also explain all the legal and administrative issues you will face. He/she will also prepare all the necessary paperwork for the operation. Nova Gestio Real Estate works together with law firms that are specialized in the real estate business; we would be happy to make a recommendation.
- Further optional expenses, real estate agency fees: in Spain, estate agency fees are generally paid by the seller, unless otherwise agreed. But if the buyer appoints a Personal Search Agent, then these fees are paid by the buyer. Nova Gestio Real Estate does also offer this service as your Personal Property Shopper.
COSTS FOR BUYERS WHO PURCHASE WITH THEIR OWN CAPITAL
If you do not need a mortgage to purchase a property, the following are the costs you will have to assume on top of the ones listed previously:
- The notary cost: the so-called notary expenses (aranceles notariales in Spanish) are the same throughout Spain and are fixed. These remunerations depend on the real estate price, the property and the area, and generally lie around 0,5 %.
- Fees for the land register entry: the expenses related to inscribing the sale with the land registry are calculated in relation to the purchase price declared in the deeds of the sale. To be on the safe side you should calculate 1 % of the purchase price, though once again it depends upon the property and the area.
COSTS WHEN BUYING A PROPERTY WITH A LOAN
If you choose to buy a property with a mortgage, some equity capital will be necessary, as the following basically applies: the banks in Spain will loan usually up to 70 % of the purchase price to a resident and up to 50 % to a non-resident. The credit approval will be easiest if the buyer can provide at least half of the purchasing price and the associated costs himself.
Below you will find the expenses you will have to face in addition to the regular costs when buying a property in Spain with a loan.
- Costs for a property appraisal: since the entry into force of the Spanish Mortgage Law in 2019, the financial institutions require the engagement of a real estate appraiser, in order to determine the value of the property and, consequently, the maximum amount of the loan that the bank will approve. In 2020 the costs for a value assessment are between 250 and 600 Euros, but they are subject to the real estate appraiser fees, the property and the selling price.
- Fees for the opening of the mortgage: these fees can amount to 2 % of the total of the loan, depending on what has been agreed with the bank. The opening fee will be deducted directly from the mortgage. However, there are many banks that do not charge this fee.
- Since the entry into force of the Spanish Mortgage Law in 2019, the remaining costs (notary, Property Registry, administrative manager and stamp duty) are paid by the bank.
COSTS FOR BOTH THE BUYER AND THE SELLER OF A PROPERTY
Even if these costs are not directly associated with a property purchase, but are due for the maintenance and the running of the property, they do need to be taken into account when buying real estate. The costs concerned are, for example, utilities, which will naturally be changed to the name of the new owner, but this can take up to 2 months. The amount to be paid by each party will be calculated taking into account the period of time that either the buyer or the seller has owned the property. Below we have listed the most common costs that apply in this case.
- Owning property tax (Impuesto sobre Bienes Inmuebles – IBI): this tax is based on the property without distinction whether the owner is a resident or not. It is calculated on the basis of the cadastral value of the property. The payment period is set by the town hall, but in most cases this tax is due in November.
- Refuse collection (Tasa de recogida de basuras in Spanish): this is a small tax paid yearly per property, normally around 120 €. It covers drainage and refuse collection.
- Utilities: for example, electricity, water, gas, internet, etc. In Mallorca, electricity and water bills are normally due every 2 months.
- Community charges: although all properties sold in Mallorca are freehold, a purchaser will automatically become a member of the Community of Owners (comunidad de propietarios in Spanish) when the property is part of a development complex with shared facilities such as an elevator, a swimming pool or parking spaces.