FAQ - Buying or selling properties in Mallorca



What do I need to buy a property in Mallorca?


To be able to buy and own a property in Spain you need a NIE-number (Número de Identidad de Extranjero) which is similar to a Spanish social security number but for foreign citizens. You can get the number either at the Spanish embassy in your country or in Spain.
It is common, but not mandatory, to hire a lawyer when buying property in Mallorca. Many choose to do so, since it is both a reassurance and a security. A lawyer can control that the paperwork is in order, advise you on the process if any questions should arise and also advise you regarding taxes and inheritance. A lawyer can also help you get your NIE-number.
Before you start looking for your dream property, it is good to determine how big an investment you can make. It is best if you have already discussed this with your bank. When you find the property that you are looking for, things usually move quite fast, and then it is good to have everything ready to ensure a smooth transaction.




How does the buying process work?


When you have found what you are looking for and agreed on the price with the seller, the buying process usually starts with the signing of a private agreement. In this agreement, all the information about the property, the price, and the date when the property will be available is specified. At the same time, the buyer pays a deposit which is normally 10% of the total price. The deposit should normally be paid within a few days.
Your lawyer, which we strongly recommend that you hire, will check that everything is correct before the agreement is signed.
The deposit is the guarantee for the purchase, and we will mark the property as reserved.
It is very important to prepare the agreement as soon as possible and to pay the deposit, since the property usually is for sale with several estate agents simultaneously.
After the agreement is signed, you usually have about 1-2 months until the date of access, when you will pay the remainder of the agreed price. But this is of course something that the buyer and seller will agree on.
Even if you can get access to the property immediately, the buying process and the preparations usually take a few weeks. Occasionally the process is shorter, anything from a week upwards. When the process is quicker than normal, a reservation fee is often paid in advance, while the first agreement is prepared. It is important to mention that this is not a binding contract; it is more a moral commitment between the parties.




Can the price increase?


In Spain it is not that common with bidding wars, instead a deal is made when the buyer and seller come to an agreement over the price.
But if more than one person is interested in the property, a bidding war is possible, but it is also not uncommon for the buyer and the seller to agree on a lower amount than the asking price. It is also important to know that there is no transparency in the bidding process, which means that the owner can negotiate with several parties at the same time without having to inform anyone else.




Do different estate agents offer different prices?


No matter whether the property is up for sale with different estate agents,it is always at the same price. If you find the same apartment or house at a different price, it is only because the price has not been updated after an increase or decrease. In the end it is the same property, the same owner – and the same price.




What are the extra costs other than the cost of the property?


The purchasing costs when buying a property in Spain are higher than in other countries, and there are certain costs that arise other than the cost of the property.

The transfer tax for a property is 8-11%, depending on the purchase price. The lower the amount, the lower the tax.
The costs of the public notary and the registration of the title deed are also something that will be added. A lawyer can help you calculate the exact amount, but the purchasing costs in total are approximately about 10-12% of the purchase amount.
Normally, this also includes the cost of your lawyer.

Although, if you purchase a newly constructed property you pay VAT instead of transfer tax, which is 10% no matter the purchase amount. If you buy a newly produced property, the total acquisition costs will be about 13-14%.

Example:
500,000 € new development
10% VAT = 50,000 €
1.2 % transfer tax = 6000 €
Public notary: approx. 900 €
Title deed registration: 700 €
Gestoria (an admin agency): approx. 550 €
Lawyer 5,000 + VAT 21% = 6050 €
–––––––––––––––––––
64.200 € = 12.849%

500,000 € second hand:
8.2 % transfer tax = 41,000 €
Notary public: approx. 900 €
Title deed registration: 700 €
Gestoria (an admin agency): approx. 550 €
Lawyer: 5,000 + VAT 21% = 6050 €
––––––––––––––––––––
49,200 = 9.84%





What are my responsibilities when buying a property?


It is always the buyer’s responsibility to carefully inspect the property before the contract is signed.
In Spain, second hand properties are sold ”as is”, and the owner does not have any obligation to inform you of any problems or defects.
We usually recommend that you do a last check of the property as close to the signing in the notary as possible, to ensure that it is in the same condition as during the viewing, and that everything agreed on has been fulfilled. It is better to play it safe and double check one extra time that everything seems to be in order.
If you want to make a simpler inspection, it can be done by a competent builder, but for a more thorough inspection, you have to hire an architect. This is paid for by the buyer.
After buying your property, you need to remember other practical details, like transferring the electricity and water contracts into your name. Usually your lawyer can help you with this.




Can a foreign citizen get a bank loan in Spain?


It is possible to get a bank loan in Spain as a non Spanish citizen. Normally you can borrow 60-70% of the apartment’s market value, i.e. the lowest value of the purchase amount based on an inspection made by an independent assessor, appointed by the bank.
It can be an advantage to get a mortgage on your new property in Spain because it lowers the net value, and thereby also the amount of property tax. We also recommend you make a will where the use of the property is protected. Discuss with your lawyer to get the best possible legal advice.




Which is the best period to buy a property in Mallorca?


There isn’t really any period that is better than the other. Most people buy and sell in spring and autumn, but of course you can buy at any time of the year. It can even be an advantage to buy during the less hectic periods.




How do I find the apartment I’m looking for?


You can start by sending us a request and tell us what you are looking for. We also work as property finders, which means that we actively look for properties that could suit you, depending on your preferences and criteria.
We also encourage you to keep your eyes open for apartments you would be interested in, and tell us about it so we can arrange a viewing. That way you do not need to register with several different estate agents. We bring everything together, because we have access to more or less all the properties on the market thanks to our cooperation with other agents.




Do I have to be there in person?


Of course it is easier if you are here in person, but there are always a way if you are not. We can arrange the first private agreement via e-mail, and the deposit can also be electronically transferred. If you can’t attend on the day of the signing with the notary, your estate agents or your lawyer can represent you with a notarial power of attorney.




Can I get the deposit back if I change my mind?


If you change your mind and decide not to go through with the purchase, even if a private agreement is signed, you will lose the paid deposit. If the buyer does not want to proceed, he or she will return the deposit, plus an additional amount for the same value.




What is included in the monthly fee?


In the monthly fee for your apartment, only the common costs are included, like cleaning in common areas, electricity in the stairwell, gardening, etc. The more amenities there are in the community, the higher the monthly fee. The costs of electricity, water, gas, heating and insurance are paid by the owner of each apartment.




How much tax do I have to pay for the property per year?


You pay a property tax on properties with a net value of over 700,000 euros per person. You also pay a yearly property tax that is called IBI (Impuestos Bienes Inmuebles), and a smaller yearly fee for the municipal waste collection.




What is the difference between tenant ownership and condominium?


A tenant ownership means you do not own the apartment itself, but instead becomes a part-owner in the housing cooperative, and the board needs to approve new members. There are also collective mortgages on the property. In Spain you instead own the actual apartment and it is counted as a property. There is often an external administrator who handles the financial issues in the building. Smaller repairs and renovations are normally paid from a common fund, while larger renovations are financed through contributions from the owners, which you pay according to your share.



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