Buying or selling a house is a very important decision in a person’s life. That’s why we’ve written this guide to clarify and outline all the things you need to think about, whether you’re buying or selling.
These are the most common steps to buying or selling a house. ATIPIKA has proven experience of all the situations and issues that may arise.
ATIPIKA BARCELONA has conscientiously studied a range of properties with regards to price, location and characteristics. We have thoroughly analysed the state of the properties so that everything is clear from beginning to end
- The client will lose as little time as possible: we assign them a personal manager to get to know their circumstances and preferences.
- We have all the documentation necessary to avoid any unexpected issues and to get to know the property.
- We offer real-time updates on the properties. Our internal system gives us up-to-the-minute updates and control of all our properties, direct from the owner.
- We organise and prepare documentation for the sale, payment and deposit, accompany the client to the notary and offer an after-sales service for any questions they may have.
- We manage the properties acquired. If the prospective buyer wishes us to take care of the comprehensive management of the property, we offer a property administration and management service: we seek a balance between maximum profit, occupation and effective management of the properties.
- If you’re looking for a partner to manage, maintain and get the most out of letting your property, we have an administration department for international landlords. We act as a trusted partner and handle everything to do with your property in Barcelona or the surrounding area.
There are different things to think about depending on whether the house is for living in or an investment.
If the house is for living in, the decision will be influenced by more subjective factors personal to each individual, as well as objective criteria.
- The area required for your personal needs. We don’t recommend measuring in metres, but looking at space and distribution. New-builds are smaller but more practical, with smaller hallways.
- The type of building; for example, modern, old, refurbished or new-build.
- The direction in which the house faces. South-facing houses will have light and sun, but power consumption will go up in summer. It is important to assess the best direction for saving energy, according to the building and construction materials.
- Refurbishment. Are you looking for a house to do up or one that has already been refurbished? If it has already been refurbished, what has been done? If it needs doing up, how much will it cost to get it the way you want it? Ask us. We have the best professionals for refurbishing and interior and exterior decorating. We can handle any kind of refurbishment.
- Parking space or transport. A parking space can be included in the same deed or a separate deed. If a parking space is not included in the deed or the property does not have one, there is now a large supply of parking spaces in practically all nearby buildings. There is also the option of renting one; the city council offers parking spaces that are very competitive in terms of both price and services.
- Other subjective factors; for example, do you have family nearby? Are there good transport links with work? Is the property near certain schools, sports facilities or other services, depending on your hobbies?
If the house is an investment, there may be subjective factors but these will be based mainly on the value of the area, urban planning, the purchase price and the price for which the property can be let out in order to make sufficient profit (at least 5%).
This is a key point when considering buying a house.
If the purchase is being made with a mortgage, consider the following points:
- It is recommended that the amount of the mortgage does not exceed 40% of your net monthly income. Divide your annual net income by 12 and multiply by 0.4. This is the ideal amount to pay each month.
- Calculate any personal savings to add to this amount.
- Work out the transaction costs, which are usually approximately 12% of the total price. This includes property transfer tax and notary, administration and registration costs.
Depending on the appraisal value and the amount of the mortgage, these costs may be included in the mortgage, but nowadays this is rarely possible.
It is not our job to grant mortgages, but we do have all the necessary knowledge to give you the best advice according to your aspirations and objectives.
As a result, we are able to guide you on the best finance option according to your personal circumstances. We work with the main national banks and also international organisations that offer alternatives to credit.
If you have visited our website, we recommend that you make a note of the reference numbers of the houses you liked or on which you would like more information and give us a call. This is the easiest way for us to explain to you the characteristics of each property. If you prefer, you can contact us by email.
If you live far from the area or are away but would like to organise a visit, send us an email. This is our fastest means of communication and will be more direct if sent from our website.
We can hold an online conference or even talk via Skype. We have completed several sales in this way.
Once you’ve found a house you like, ATIPIKA will help you to negotiate, present your bid and find common ground in order to close the sale in a way that is satisfactory for both parties.
Once the client, ATIPIKA BARCELONA and the owner have reached an agreement on price, terms and conditions, how is this put into action? Bear in mind that the steps listed here are of a general nature and that all stages of the transaction can be personalised.
Reserve: This document is drawn up before payment of the deposit, and sets out the agreed price, timescale for payment of the deposit and confirmation that the property will be free of encumbrances by the time the deed is signed. This reserve prevents the property being marketed until the deposit is paid, which normally occurs within a maximum of 15 days but does not commit the owner 100%.
Deposit: This is a sales contract with a specified time limit, so that if the owner decides not to sell, Article 1454 of the Civil Code is applied. This specifies that the owner must return to the buyer double the amount paid. If, on the other hand, the client decides not to buy, he loses the amount paid. This amount is normally set at 10% of the total purchase price. This deposit may be paid after the reserve, or straight away if the client has immediate access to 10% of the total price.
Option to purchase: This is a type of agreement between both parties, with or without a deposit, which specifies a rental price with a longer-term deed. During this time, the amount of the rent paid is deducted as part of the purchase. In short, the owner finances part of the purchase until the client is ready to sign the deed according to the set price. If the client is unable to sign the deed within the agreed period of time or stops paying rent, he loses everything he has paid up to that time. There are several versions of this option that ATIPIKA BARCELONA, the owner and the client may agree depending on the interests of all parties.
Public deed: Once the owner and the client are ready to sign the deed, an official contract is drawn up before a notary detailing the seller, the buyer, the item being purchased and the taxes arising from this transaction for both parties. This is when the owner presents all the documentation setting out that the property is free of encumbrances and up-to-date with tax and community charges, the certificate of occupancy and the certificate of energy efficiency.
If one of the parties, whether the buyer or the seller, is NOT a resident, he must provide an identity document with photo and signature, as well as his NIE (Foreigners’ Identification Number). He may have a certificate of residence containing his NIE. In all cases, the NIE is obligatory.
If the notary does not receive from the owner the original documents requested or they are not correct, he will not sign. He will also not sign unless the owner is present.
In order for the sale to be concluded, the owner must provide the following documentation:
- Valid certificate of occupancy, which has not expired and is an original copy: we recommend that the owner request this when he decides to sell the house.
- Certificate of energy efficiency: In accordance with European regulations and from 1 June 2014, all properties that are either sold or let must comply with European regulations and owners must request a certificate showing the degree of energy efficiency.
- Certificate from the residents’ association: This document certifies that the seller is up-to-date with all community payments up to the date when the deed is signed. It must be an original copy signed by the administrator and the secretary.
- Certificate of encumbrance: If the house has an outstanding mortgage, this mortgage is cancelled from the moment the deed is signed except for the remaining amount to be paid directly in the transaction. The seller must therefore request a certificate showing the amount outstanding and provide the original copy. However, ATIPIKA BARCELONA will be there throughout the process to prepare for every possible eventuality and avoid any unexpected issues.
- IBI: The Impuesto de Bienes Inmuebles [property tax] is an annual tax. The seller must provide proof that he has paid the last quarter. The notary will check with the authorities that there no outstanding payments before signing.
All payments must be made by bank-approved cheque and photocopies must be attached to the deed.
When the deed is signed, a copy of the keys must also be delivered or a date of departure agreed with the current tenants of the property.
Once the transaction is complete, the notary delivers an uncertified copy so that each of the parties can complete tax formalities and pay their taxes.
ATIPIKA has the best legal, tax and finance experts to advise on this.
- Capital gains tax: The seller must pay this within 30 calendar days. The amount is calculated by the city council and we recommend that you take it into account when working out the cost.
- ITP [property transfer tax]: The seller must also pay capital gains caused by the difference between the price for which he bought the house and the price for which he sold it. This property transfer tax is paid in the following tax year. The first 6000 euros are paid at 19% and the rest at 21%. There are several exceptions depending on the circumstances of the seller: age, dependence, etc. If you have any questions, send us an email. If the property sold is officially the seller’s main residence, and the latter goes on to buy another main residence within the following two tax years, he is exempt from paying this tax. You must also bear in mind that if it is a main residence and the person selling it has a spouse or partner, the non-owning spouse or partner must authorise the sale with his or her signature.
If the seller is NOT a resident, he or she will withhold 3% of the amount to be paid and deposit it with the Spanish tax office. In accordance with the agreement with each country, once there is proof of payment or exemption, the seller may request a refund as appropriate.
Furthermore, the notary will retain the amount of capital gains tax when the deed is signed to avoid non-payment if the seller leaves the country.
In Catalonia, the same percentage of tax is currently paid whether the house is new-build or second-hand; however, VAT is paid on new-builds and property transfer tax on second-hand properties.
- VAT (Value-Added Tax): This is set at 10% of the total value of the property.
- ITP (property transfer tax): This is set at 10% of the total value of the property.
- AJD (stamp duty): Whenever a public document is issued before a notary, you must pay 1% of the value of the asset.
- Apart from these costs, which account for 11% of the total value, you must also take into account the costs of registering and recording the deed, which vary according to the body that carries this out (bank or administrator), and the value of the house. You should factor in at least an additional 1% for each of these, making the total amount between 12% and 13% of the total value.
If the buyer is NOT a resident, he must obtain a NIE (Foreigners’ Identification Number) in order to complete the transaction. He must also present a photo document (passport) to prove ownership. Since the tax liability arises in Spain, he will pay the taxes established in Spain.
ATIPIKA BARCELONA can adapt to any requirements buyers may have with regards to refurbishment. We can offer the best service in association with renowned experts, even if the client is not in our country, through videoconference and all available means. Contact us.
We can carry out both small refurbishment projects and major building work, or even develop a new-build.
We have the best professionals in the world of architecture and decoration, and we adapt to the requirements and wishes of our clients.
We can carry out individual projects or turnkey commercial projects on offices or shops.
If you need to get in touch with us, send an email at Info@atipika.eu
Our purchasing guide will allow you to understand and sum up all the important steps when buying a property. Atipika’s polyglot team will attend any of your queries.
Our renting guide explains all the necessary steps in order to lease a property, as well as all any other relevant information about the process.