Procedures and rules for the sale of real estate
In Spain, all property must be registered with the “Registro de Propiedad” (“Register de Propiedad”), the Land Registry. This information is publicly available and easy to find, knowing the data needed to search. The main document is called “nota simple” (“note simple”) and is an extract from the Land Registry. It indicates the name of the registered owner, and also mentions collateral, mortgages or debts associated with this property.
The extract also indicates complete information about the area of the land, the area of the building in m2, and the fact of the presence of buildings. Sometimes the real area exceeds that indicated in the extract, due to the presence of outbuildings or additional buildings, permits for which were not received by the Owners.
Only the owner specified in the land registry documentation, an individual or legal entity, can sell the property registered in his name. Third parties will need a notarized power of attorney.
All real estate transactions must be recorded in the Land Registry. A trip to the notary office is not enough. Transactions must be displayed on the register with a concomitant reduction of all officially established taxes and duties.
The purchase and sale is carried out in the presence of a notary, and due to the strict legislation against money laundering, all transactions must be extremely transparent. Cash bags and envelopes are a thing of the past. The full value of the property and the amount paid must be announced in the presence of a notary. Banks must provide certificates of funds passing through their accounts.
After making sure that the whole process is completed correctly, the notary public will notify the Land Registry on the completed sale and purchase transaction on the same day.