The Purchasing Process – Step by Step
Whether you are looking at purchasing an apartment for your own private use or as part of an investment strategy, we are here to ease the whole process. You will find in this section a detailed breakdown of every steps of the process and how we will make it hassle free.
Every project is unique, but they all start with one thing: we want to know everything.
If you haven’t done so yet, feel free to fill out our Property Search Form, for a free consultation with one of our flat hunting experts.
This consultation would allow to:
- validate your search: your dream property’s characteristics & budget versus actual market
- Define the extent of the support needed: at Barcelona Flat Hunter we do not believe in “one package suits everyone”. Each client is unique and as such should only be charged for the services he actually needs. Whether you wish to do all pre-research but need someone to be your “eyes on the ground” and conduct the pre-visits on your behalf, or have already identified the potential property but wish to be assisted moving further, Barcelona Flat Hunter puts its expertise to your service.
- Answer your questions: from general explanation on the purchasing process in Barcelona to the real-estate market characteristics and trends, we are here to answer your questions.
Picture on hand, we do all the ground work, from liaising with our extensive network to checking online and going through pre visit, we hunt on your behalf for your dream property.
Now, this is the phase where our team of expert makes a huge difference, time and money wise, as we do all the ground work on your behalf.
Upon identifying and visiting properties that match your requirements, a visit report with pictures will be sent to you together with our recommendations when it comes to the price to be offered , should you be interested in the property. Renovation estimated budget and rental value can as well be provided upon demand to have a full potential return on investment estimate.
Visits of selected apartments can then be organized to fit a short trip to Barcelona.
GOOD TO KNOW >>>In Spain, offers (also called “reservations”) come with a down payment of 1% of the value of the property. The owner has then 7 days to give his answer, keeping in mind that the first person who makes an offer has priority over all subsequent potential buyers (possibility to make a counter offer). If the offer is accepted, the 1% is considered as a first down payment, if it is refused then the amount is refunded entirely. Lastly, in case your offer is accepted but you change your mind, you would lose this deposit, it is thus important to ensure you have the funds for the purchase prior to the signature of an offer.
Once you found the gem you were looking for, we will assist you to make an offer in writing. This first step is essential as it not only states the amount you are ready to pay for the property but as well the timeline within which you wish to complete the transaction.
At Barcelona Flat Hunter, client interest comes first. As such, prior to making an offer, all aspects of the property will be cross checked to ensure that what was announced is correct and that there are no unpleasant surprises further down the road*.
Some of the verifications we carry out on your behalf:
- property registry to check the owner name, capacity and whether there are any limitations on the property
- cadastral to check that the property is not affected by any restrictions & was built according to the municipality plan
- certificates of habitability & energy
- community decisions when it comes to any upcoming renovations of the common areas
- Whenever a full renovation will be needed, our technical expert will come to carry out an initial structural check.
*Whenever any of the above points could not be checked prior to signing the offer, Barcelona Flat Hunter would ensure that clear reservations on these points are stated within the offer document to ensure your interest is protected.
The owner has accepted your offer and as such both sides are now ready to sign the pre-purchase agreement.
This contract is essential as it states all key aspects of the sales (price, timeline, description of the property) as well as sanctions in case of non-completion..
A payment by bank transfer of a minimum of 10% of the property value is required and you can either be present for the signature or mandate us or your lawyer as your representative to sign on your behalf (in such case a power of attorney would need to be done in Barcelona during your first visit).
The terms of the preliminary sale agreement would be carefully checked and a translation of the pre-purchase agreement will be provided for your reference.
GOOD TO KNOW >>>In Spain, under the preliminary sale agreement (called “Arras”), in the event of the buyer backing out of the agreement, the full amount of the deposit will be lost. If the seller backs out, he must pay the buyer twice the amount of the deposit that was put down when the Arras was signed. Both sides’ interests are thus protected.
The moment the arras contract has been signed and if you have not already done so, a Spanish bank account would need to be opened, a NIE (ID number for foreigners) requested and a notary selected.
Barcelona Flat Hunter will be able to assist you for all three and ease this part of the process.
Once the account open, you would then need to transfer the amount needed for the purchase to this account for the bank to prepare the certified bank checks that would be needed on the day of the signature.
Barcelona Flat Hunter would as well ensure that the notary of your choice receives all requested documents from the seller side prior to the day of the signature. These very same documents will be explained to you so that everything is clear prior to the signature day.
GOOD TO KNOW >>>The NIE can be applied for in the Spanish Consulate of your country of residence (all forms in Spanish will be prepared by us) and takes between 10 days and one month to obtain.
It is transaction time! The search and preparation phases are over; today you will seat together with the seller and sign the “escritura” in presence of the notary.
All original support documents provided by the seller will be handed over to the notary and on your side upon presenting the original NIE, loan agreement and the certified bank checks you will be all set.
Once the “escritura” signed, the seller will hand over the key of the property to you and the notary will prepare a copy of the signed agreement called “nota simple”. The original signed contract will be kept by the notary who will then carry forward all remaining procedures (taxes, registry) upon receiving a provision of funds from your side (approx 11% of the amount of the purchase).
The support from Barcelona Flat Hunter includes a post signature assistance that includes ensuring all utilities contracts are changed to your name and your details provided to the property management company (and invoices domiciled to your account).
Wish to go for an all-in-one solution? Barcelona Flat Hunter can as well renovate / decorate / furnish your apartment at extremely competitive price as well as rent it out when you are away.