Role of the lawyer and notary when buying real estate in Spain10.03.2019
Many English-speaking clients who are buying property for sale in Spain are often surprised at the payment method at the signing of the purchase deed in Spain: this takes place through bank checks.
The majority of the English find it strange and amazes them that a payment method that is so old (a client even called it medieval) is still valid in the 21st century, the century of computers and digital simplification. The main reason for this is the need to provide legal certainty for the purchase.
In the English system, the purchasing process and the guarantees are very different from those in Spain. In England, the notary appointed for the processing of the purchase is also responsible for receiving and processing all payments, checking & analyzing the legal status of the property and distributing the payments, all on a seemingly simple and more modern way via transfers etc.
In Spain, the deed of sale is drawn up by a notary, just like in England. However, not the notary is responsible for verifying and controlling the property, but the lawyer fulfills this function. Also for all payments the notary is not responsible but it is the lawyer's duty to receive and distribute it.
Do not understand me wrong, the role of the notary is and remains very essential to resolve any doubt or complexity in the purchase process, but it is the lawyer who investigates the real situation of the house in Spain (debts and charges) and for the payments are actually the parties themselves responsible, but usually the lawyer in Spain assists them in carrying out the distribution.
The only way to ensure legal certainty of both, the payment and receipt of the purchase price is by handing over a bank check at the time of signing the notarial deed.
On the demand of many customers of the reason why no bank transfers are used for payments a few days before signing, the answer is again the same: legal security. Imagine that the transfer of the purchase price was made a few days earlier and received by the seller, it could happen that the seller does not appear at the time of the signing of the deed. Then the buyer would have paid for a home and does not receive the keys for it.
In short and as always, do not hesitate to hire the services of a lawyer in Spain if you are going to buy a house, this will guarantee the purchase process.
The real estate agents of MedVilla can put you in touch with an independent (English) lawyer for all support in the legal field. It is important in any case that the lawyer is established in Spain and has good local knowledge and is also familiar with the type of property that you want to buy. (A lawyer who always deals with new homes in coastal areas is not so familiar with a lawyer who has homes on the campo as his main task.
Do you have any other questions about the buying process for your second home in Spain? Then contact our real estate agents.