Selling a house in Spain : list of documents required

Jos Deuling,  Sunday, 26 May 2013

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This article is part of a series of seven articles about selling a property in Spain. The other articles in the series cover the following topics:

The estate agent selling your home in Spain needs photocopies of the following documents :
  1. Title deed, the Escritura Pública
  2. Passport
  3. NIE certificate
  4. IBI (Impuesto sobre Bienes Inmuebles)
  5. Cadastral certificate, the certificado catastral
  6. Latest electricity bill
  7. Latest water bill
  8. Latest phone bill. If applicable.
  9. Latest receipt of the Community of Owners (Comunidad de Propietarios).
  10. Receipts of the taxes paid at the time of purchase of the property

You may want to make photocopies of all receipts of the last 4 years. It gives the buyers insight into the costs they can expect.

Title deed, the Escritura Pública

This is a certified copy of the original deed. The original document is in the archives of the notary. The Escritura Pública is proof that the property is registered in the property register, the Registra de la Propiedad. The agent needs a photocopy of the Escritura Pública in order to apply for a Nota Simple in the Property Register.

A Nota Simple is an extract from the Property Register and contains the following information :
  1. Current owner
  2. Mortgage debts and unpaid taxes. In Spain, these are linked to the property.
  3. Boundaries of the parcel.
  4. Total square footage of the parcel, and of the house if present.
  5. Classification of the land: urbano or rústico.
  6. Easements as right of way.

NIE certificate

The NIE certificate contains the tax number for non-residents, the Número de Identificación the Entranjeros.

IBI (Impuesto sobre Bienes Inmuebles)

The IBI (Impuesto sobre Bienes Inmuebles) is proof of payment of the annual property tax. Take note that after the sale of your home you can recover a portion of the amount of the tax.

The IBI also contains the Valor Catastral, the cadastral value. It is the value that the Spanish tax authorities assign to the property. The Valor Catatstral is used for the calculation of Capital Gains Tax.

On the IBI, you will also find the Referencia Catastral, the land registry identification number. You need this number when you apply for a Certificado Catastral at the Land Registry.

Certificado Catastral

The Certificado Catastral is an extract from the Land Registry. It is a description of the physical characteristics of the property. The dimensions of the house are described and the boundaries of the plot. The Certificado Catastral gives an accurate description of what exactly is being sold. It indicates what you buy, the Escritura Pública indicates from whom you buy it.

It is a bit confusing that there are two bodies in Spain, which deal with the registration of real estate. The Spanish Land Registry has a description of the physical aspects of the property, the Spanish Property Registry has information about the owner of the property and details of any mortgage debt and unpaid taxes.

The data on the Certificado Catastral are more reliable than the cadastral data on the Escritura Pública. It is, therefore, advisable to get a Certificado Catastral from the Land Registry and to include it in the list of documents for the buyers. It can take some time before you receive the document, from two weeks to a few months. You should apply for it early on.

Electricity and water bills

It’s for the buyers nice to know how much they will be spending monthly on electricity and water.

Latest receipt of the Community of Owners (Comunidad de Propietarios)

In addition to a photocopy of the last Cuota, the proof of payment of the contribution to the Community of Owners, it is also useful to copy the Articles of Association of the Community of Owners and perhaps the minutes of the last meeting.

Receipts of the taxes paid at the time of purchase of the property

When purchasing the property, you have paid transfer tax and possibly also stamp duty and the Plus Valia. Make a copy of these documents so that the buyers can see what you originally paid for the home.

Spanish property for sale. Appartements, villas and houses for sale on the Costa del Sol, Costa Brava and Costa Blanca. For sale by owner and by agent. 
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