9 common errors that will cost you money


1. Not hiring an independent lawyer to look after your interests: don´t depend only on the recommendations of the estate agent or builder.

Good solicitors often have to say no to a purchase and this could be more difficult for a solicitor who is very dependent on the referrals of a particular agent. An estate agent and a buyer´s solicitor could have a clear conflict of interest. This is particularly important in times of crisis as more than ever, agents need to make the sale and some solicitors need the referrals: some solicitors even pay for these referrals.

2. When buying an off-plan property : not asking for a bank guarantee.

A bank guarantee is a promise of payment from the bank. If a particular borrower defaults on a loan, or the client doesn´t receive the promised property, the bank will cover the loss.

3. Not performing the due diligence, such as checking any planning infractions or charges that may be attached to the property. Your lawyer can do this for you.


4. Not checking that the square metres that appear on the cadastral plan and registry coincide with the each other and actual square metres of the property.  This is important; spoken words don´t count when buying a property. Written documents must coincide with each other and the actual specifications of the dwelling and be checked by qualified professionals such as your lawyer and surveyor.

5.  Not having the “certificado de habitación” (habitation certificate) or the “licencia de segunda ocupación” (the license of second occupation).

6. Not checking the payment status of the community of owners. Are there any outstanding debts? Again your lawyer can check this for you.

Read the small print when buying property in Spain

7. Not checking any future tax implications with your lawyer, be it about purchase, sale, donation, or inheritance tax

8. Not checking if the property you are about to purchase has the appropriate water and electricity bulletins. This can be an expensive and time consuming process after you´ve bought the property. However your lawyer can make sure that all of this paperwork is in order beforehand.

9. Not hiring and independent surveyor: an independent surveyor checks and double checks that all of the details on the paperwork relevant to the property coincide with the actual characteristics of the dwelling.    

Read more about Moving to Spain

Buying your dream home in Spain