“Lawyers and real estate agencies are not needed for buying a property”

On real estate world, there are different points of views around the need or not to get services of a real estate agency and a legal advisor to carry out a real estate operation.

From Ramallo Abogados, we want to answer some FAQs which are common between the buyers once this scenario shows up:

– Do we actually need to have legal and real estate services for a real estate sale?

The answer is no, you do not need at all just to buy or sell, but they are necessary (both) to know what exactly to buy. What does it mean? A real estate professional will help us to identify in a proper way the product which suits the best to our needs. That’s not only about the price, but also the usefulness of the property in the future or real estate performance in case of investment, It means also the kind of property, orientation, strategic location… The legal services of a lawyer will help you to avoid problems, and therefore, at the end of the day, will make you to save unnecessary expenses and unexpected extra costs, which usually shows up if you don’t have professional help next to you since the beginning.

– Which ones are the advantages then for a buyer if gets the services in advance instead of during or after the sales?

Mainly, it will avoid problems, which can be because of bad investments, cost overruns, low-price sales or overpriced purchases, charges, unknown leases or third-party rights over the asset we buy.

– When the buyer is Spanish, in the most cases, they always try to avoid ‘intermediaries’ by all. It means they are not up to hiring legal and real estate services, what does Ramallo Abogados think it happens?

The Spanish buyer tries to save costs because they believe that they are unnecessary, but if you check the amount of the investment and the cost of the lawyer, most of the time, they do not involve a high cost for protection against future problems. The majority of Spanish buyers turn to lawyers to solve problems once the sale has been already done, and it is always more expensive because of late timing circumstances.

– Are there differences in the context if the buyer is Spanish or foreign?

Yes, the foreign buyer always provide to himself/herself a real estate professional and a lawyer, «AND», not «OR». Usually, Spanish buyers assumes that real estate agency or notary is who should notify them any possible legal problems of the asset or property that they are buying, but this is not true at all. Real estate agency sells real estate and the notary is a public service, who usually advises of existing and registered charges, but nothing else, and it does not avoid problems or protect your interests as a buyer.

– In the case of being the buyer a foreign citizen, why does Ramallo Abogados consider that it will be more convenient to have a real estate agency and a legal advisor?

The lack of knowledge of a different country, different legal environment and legal habits, the real estate market situation… these are some of the reasons which make better to hire a real estate or legal professional. The language barrier can be another advantage of hiring a professional for proper assistance, provide local contacts for different issues as future maintenance or refurbishment for example…

– Legal services are not required for buyers until they don’t face any problem because of the sale, as it may be unknown hidden vices, problems with the bank, the signed mortgage… How can make the difference to contract legal services before starting the sale operation?

Purchasing an asset requires a prior due diligence, which means to control the legal situation about possible charges, registries and licenses. It takes around 2-4 weeks from receiving all the requested documentation and depending on the asset to be purchased. Once the legal situation is known and clear, the proper conditions and deadlines can be settled in a private contract of sale will command the signing of the public deed. Among the conditions and withholdings, they can be settled in case of not canceled debts by the selling party, or in case of being foreign, 3% holding tax, capital gains, IBI debts, extensions of terms subjects to the signing of the public deed in Notary with different conditions to become material in advance that signing, which can be the presentation of licenses, granting of mortgages, or any guarantee to protects the interests of the buyer.

From Ramallo Abogados, we really hope these words make clearer and better the knowing and the issues you need to be aware if you are thinking to buy a property in Spain, and we will be happy to advise you and handle any sale you are wondering to make in Málaga or Marbella since the beginning of all, which is to find the best opportunity for you.

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