Property buyers guide

Buying and selling a property in Spain will involve different procedures than those you are accustomed to in your home country. It is essential to know as much a possible about the various procedures in Spain. Once the property has been selected, there is a specific protocol to follow before signing any documents. At CPI we will take you step by step through each transaction until completion and final inspection.

Property Search and Selection

We offer an exclusive selection of property listings from direct owners and through our network partner agencies. Our selection of properties is continually updated and includes areas in and around Marbella, and country properties inland of the Costa del Sol. By using our Search Tools you can browse through properties on our website, or have one of our staff and consultants assist in the search process and coordinate all visits.

Property Report & Verification

Confirmation should be sought with the Land Registry (Registro de la Propiedad) to determine property ownership, and verify the property's characteristics as well as any potential pending charges, encumbrances or mortgages. We can also check for other debts, such as local taxes. We will help you to organize all necessary documents before signing the tittle deed. By law the new owner only has responsibility for the last 12 months of local taxes and common ownership expenses.

Private contract (Contrato de Arras)

The next step is to prove the terms of purchase in writing. A solicitor will draft a contract, for which you will need to make provisions for deposit. The standard deposit is 10% of the purchase price, and payable upon signature. The contract must include the completion date and transaction conditions assuring sellers that property is sold free of charges, tenants and mortgages.

Title Deed (“Escritura de Compra Venta Pública”)

On completion day you will go to the Notary Public to sign the Title Deed and make final payment to the vendor, who will in turn pass over possession of the property and keys ( you can give power of attorney to another person - possibly your lawyer ). Once the sale is completed, it is mandatory that the notary will send details of the title deed to the local Land Register including the identity of the new owner to prevent property from any duplicate sale. The notary and the Land Register act together to protect and guarantee your interests. You must also pay the relevant taxes and have the original title deed submitted to the Land Register for registration.

Transfer of services

Having completed the purchase you must engage or transfer utility services. Both electricity and water meters need to be transferred into your name. All regular bills can be paid by a direct debit "standing order" through your local bank or our clients account with CPI as administrators of your property.


You are responsible for obtaining insurance upon Possession of the property. Spanish insurance companies normally offer a split policy, whereby the property and its contents are assessed separately. In some property owners' associations, community fees may include coverage for building and/or third party risks. At CPI S.L. we have access to a network of experts who will present the most convenient insurance plan for your property, based on your specific needs.

Foreign ID Number (NIE)

All property owners in Spain, whether resident or not, must have this number before completing the purchase or other transactions, such as payment of annual taxes, purchase of a vehicle, insurance policies etc. We can assist you with application process for Foreign Identification (N.I.E.) number.

Transaction Costs

Apart from cost of property, you should count approximately 10 % of the purchase price to cover the fees and costs acquiring the property. This 10% will cover the solicitor's fees, land registry costs, transfer tax (8%), notary's fees etc. Invoices will be attached to the original registered Deeds when inscribed.