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How to buy apartment or villa in Barcelona


Barcelona has elaborated legislation that regulates all the aspects of real estate transactions in Barcelona and protects parties of transaction rights and that is why spanish properties purchase causes minimum risks for the buyer.

In accordance with spanish legislation non-resident can buy residential and commercial properties. Real estate in Spain can be purchased by a private person or a legal entity. Properties can be sold by the owner only or by a person indicated by the owner and this person must have warranty of authority.

In Spain there is a standard procedure of real estate purchase/sale execution.

1. After choosing a property the buyer should consider Nota Simple Informativa del Registro de la Propiedad, which is a special document that is issued by the state register of properties, where this property is registered. Nota Simple contains all the information about the property: the owner of the property, size, description, possible debts and other information.

2. Memorandum of sale (Contrato de Arras) is signed, conditions and methods of payments are indicated (art. 1454 of Civil Code of Spain).

Memorandum of sale is signed and earnest money is payed with the aim of eliminating the property from sale and its reservation for a time needed for mortgage loan formalization and preparation of all the documents needed (1-2 months). The size of earnest money can vary from three thousand euros to 10% of the total property price. It depends on the seller wish and real estate agencies rules.
If the seller finds another buyer or abandons to implement the transaction, he pays the earnest money at double rate to the buyer. If the buyer abandons to implement the transaction, the earnest money is kept by the seller.

3. After signing the memorandum of sale, the buyer (not-resident) must formalize N.I.E. (Foreign Identification Number). N.I.E is needed for buying and formalization of the right for registration of ownership, taxes payment, execution of the contracts for water and electricity, buying a car, etc.

N. I. E. is issued by a police department dedicated in foreign residents questions. The buyer can apply for N.I.E. personally o via a person that has warranty of authority.

To get NIE the buyer should provide the following documents:


4. After getting N. I. E. the buyer opens an account with a spanish bank and transfer the money (necessary for buying the property) to this account. All the payments connected with the property buying, insurance payment, utility payments, home loan payments should be made from this bank account.

If the buyer formalizes a mortgage loan, the process of buying will be longer because banks need time to consider the application.

5. In the notarial office in the presence of spanish notary officer buyer and seller sign the official document of real estate purchase Escritura Publica, the notary officer signs the document. In this moment the rest of money should be given to the seller via bank check. If the buyer formalizes a mortgage loan, the bank check will be provided by a bank representative which will be present in the notarial office, in this case it will be indicated in the contract that the property is pledged in bank, and it will be indicated the sum of the mortgage loan and mortgage pattern. After repayment of credit the contract is re-executed. In the notarial office after signing the contract Escritura Publica the property owner is given a certified copy Escritura Publica and the keys of the property.

The notary officer forwards the original document Escritura Publica to the properties register (Registro de la Propiedad), where it should be registered within three months. After the registration process the buyer gets the registered original document Escritura Publica and Nota Simple Informativa. In case of mortgage loan formalization the original document is forwarded to the bank. The buyer gets the original of registration statement – Nota Simple. From this moment the buyer becomes fully legitimate property owner and possesses all the legal rights of the owner.


Escritura Publica — is a notarial contract with the note of registration in state property register (Registro de la Propiedad). This document confirms the real estate title and contains detailed information about its characteristics. The buyer can formalize the real estate title for any quantity of individuals (degree of relationship is not important), defining certain rights for each of them. The contract of property purchase gets its registration number, record number, number of the page and book for recording it in the property register.

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