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Frequently asked questions

Property
Management
Barcelona

FAQ's

Real estate purchase

Buying a house in Spain can be reduced into a ten step process:

  1. Figure out the total cost of the operation
  2. Talk to the banks (if a mortgage is necessary)
  3. Start searching for your property 
  4. If you are a foreigner get your documentation sorted (NIE & bank account)
  5. Negotiate the best possible price
  6. Pay the reservation and start the Due Diligence
  7. Sign the downpayment contract
  8. Get a Notary and do the Mortgage revision
  9. Sign the property deed
  10. Pay the purchase taxes

 

Read full post: How to buy a House in Barcelona (a 10 step guide!)

A real estate buyer’s agent or personal shopper is an agent that will defend and uphold the interests of the buyer. These agents will help the buyer with the property search, negotiation, due diligence and purchase process. They are key for finding and buying property in a foreign market.

Real full post: Buyer’s agent in Barcelona

Real estate commissions in Spain can vary quite a bit since they are not regulated. Normally you should be offered the following:

  • Property sale: Between 3% and 6% of the final sale price (paid by the vendor)
  • Property rental: 10% + VAT of yearly rental income (paid by the owner)
  • Property purchase (buyer’s agent): 2% or 3% of the final purchase price (although these prices vary significantly depending on the agent, paid by the buyer)
  • Property management: In between 5% to 12% of monthly rental income. It depends on how many services are included in this fee (paid by the owner).

Read the full post: Real Estate Commissions In Spain (a guide)

Yes, you can buy property in Spain as a foreigner. There are no restrictions on foreign ownership of property in Spain, and the process for buying property is similar to that for Spanish nationals.

You’ll need a NIE number (foreign identification number) and a Spanish bank account.

Maximum LTV (loan to value) for foreigners is 70%.

Read full post: Can Foreigners Buy Property in Spain?

Yes, foreigners can get a mortgage in Spain.

When banks are analysing a mortgage it is not so much about your physical location but your fiscal residence (in which country you pay your taxes).

If your fiscal residence is outside Spain, you’ll be able to get financing up to 60% – 70% of the property value. How much you get in the end depends on your income and your profile. (Please be aware that not all countries will be approved by the Spanish banks when applying for a mortgage)

Buyers with their fiscal residence in Spain will be able to get a mortgage of up to 80% of the property value.

Read full post: Mortgages in Spain (a guide)

In Barcelona when buying a used property you’ll pay 10% of the purchase price in ITP (Impuesto sobre la transmisión patrimonial). Know that this percentage applies to Catalunya, and differs in the rest of Spain.

Read the full post: Property tax in Spain (a starter guide)

Finding luxury properties can be a challenge in Barcelona since not all of them hit the general market. That’s why we suggest hiring a personal shopper who can help you find some hidden opportunities. 

Additionally, Barcelona boasts newly constructed buildings tailored to the discerning tastes of the high-end market.

For example: Antares Barcelona

Real estate investments

The profitability of a real estate investment can be calculated in several ways.

One of the most popular ones is ROI (Return on investment). With this method, you divide the profit from the investment (income minus expenses) by the initial investment (purchase of investment + purchase costs + improvements or renovations). The result is expressed in a percentage.

Normally 5% or higher is a good place to be for any real estate investment.

Example: 

  • Initial investment: You’ve purchased a rental apartment for 100.000€ and spent 12.000€ in taxes and closing costs, plus another 10.000€ in renovations. Total initial investment: 122.000€.
  • Cash flow before tax: The flat has a monthly rent of 800€ and a monthly cost of 150€ (including insurance, property tax, community expenses, and an allowance for vacancy + repairs). Total monthly cash flow before tax: 650€ per month = 7800€ annually.
  • ROI: cash flow of 7800€ divided by 122.000€ of initial investment = 0,064 or 6,4%

Real estate sale

Selling a flat in Spain can be summed up in a ten step process:

  1. Figure out if it’s a good time to sell your property (is the market right?)
  2. Get a valuation on your flat
  3. Start the marketing process (pictures / photos / home staging)
  4. Publish your apartment
  5. Collect all necessary documents to sell your property
  6. Start the visits of potential buyers
  7. Negotiate the best possible price
  8. Sign the downpayment contract (contrato de arras)
  9. Sign the property deed
  10. Pay your sale taxes

 

Read full post: How to sell your flat in Barcelona

In order to sell your flat quickly and at the best price, it pays off to have all documents ready. Here is what you need:

  • Nota simple: Similar to a property ID, stating who owns it and if it has any debt on it.
  • Cédula de habitabilidad: This document states that your property is suitable as living quarters (legally required).
  • Certificado energético (CEE): This document states the energy efficiency of your property.
  • ITE (Technical building inspection): This document states if your building has passed its last technical inspection.
  • Last community meeting minutes: This is a summary of the last community meeting, held by the building administrator
  • IBI: This is the property tax. You’ll need the last paid receipt
  • Community expenses: You’ll need the last paid receipt of these expenses

Read full post: How to sell your flat in Barcelona

Real estate commissions in Spain can vary quite a bit since they are not regulated. Normally you should be offered the following:

  • Property sale: Between 3% and 6% of the final sale price (paid by the vendor)
  • Property rental: 10% + VAT of yearly rental income (paid by the owner)
  • Property purchase (buyer’s agent): 2% or 3% of the final purchase price (although these prices vary significantly depending on the agent, paid by the buyer)
  • Property management: In between 5% to 12% of monthly rental income. It depends on how many services are included in this fee (paid by the owner).

Read the full post: Real Estate Commissions In Spain (a guide)

There are two types of taxes to be paid after a property sale:

Capital gains tax: After the sale, having deducted any associated costs you’ll need to pay tax on your earnings. The percentage you pay on your earnings will depend on the tax bracket you’re in.

Plusvalia tax: This tax is calculated by the amount the land where the property is located on, has increased in value, from the moment of purchase until sale. The value of the land is established by the government.

Read the full post: Property tax in Spain (a starter guide)

Real estate rental

These are the 10 most important steps to consider, while renting an apartment in Barcelona:

  1. Get your documents in order (ID / work contract / last payslips)
  2. Decide between a long term or short term rental
  3. Start searching for your apartment in Barcelona
  4. Learn how to deal with local real estate agencies
  5. Figure out the best areas to live in Barcelona
  6. Start visiting apartments
  7. Sign the lease commitment and pay out the reservation
  8. Sign the rental contract
  9. Avoid scams
  10. Learn how to return the apartment after the rental period is over

 

Read full post: How To Rent An Apartment In Barcelona (A 10 Step Guide)

Short term rentals in Spain are those that last in between 32 days (minimum) to 11 months (maximum).

The properties rented in a short term fashion, are normally furnished with all utilities already activated (including wifi). After the completion of the contract, the landlord and tenant can agree to sign another contract, if they wish to extend the rental period.

Read full post: Short Term Rental In Barcelona Explained

In order to rent your Barcelona apartment on Airbnb, you need a tourist license.

Most districts in Barcelona (the popular ones) don’t issue new tourist licenses anymore. So you’ll have to buy a property that already has a tourist license, with the corresponding increase in price.

Read full post: Can you Airbnb your Barcelona Apartment?

If your tenant has stopped paying rent, you should always follow the legal procedures.

The following might sound counterintuitive. In Spain you cannot kick out your tenant, change the locks or do anything else that removes him from your property. At least not without legal consent. If you do it anyway, you’ll be punishable by law.

Read full post: My Tenant Isn’t Paying Rent, What To Do? (Spain 2022)

In 2019 the LAU (Ley de arrendamientos urbanos), which is the law regulating Spanish rentals, underwent some changes. Here are the most important ones:

  • Initial rental period was extended to 5 years if the landlord is an individual, and to 7 years if the landlord is a company.
  • Renewal periods have been extended to three years instead of one.
  • Any increases to rental cost shall be applied according to IPC (Spanish consume price index). All other increases have to be specified in the initial rental contract.

 

Read full post: New rules for renting property in Spain

In 2020 the Catalan government tried to implement the rental price index.

Landlords would from now on be restricted, in the amount of rent they’d be able to charge from their tenants.

Each property would have a rental price index number (defined by location and condition of the property), which was then multiplied by the useful square meters of the real estate. The result would give the landlord, the maximum rent applicable.

The regulation went out of effect at the end of 2022.

Read full post: Rental Price Index for Barcelona Apartments Explained!

You’ll pay taxes on your rental income after deducting all expenses associated to the property.

The percentage you pay on your income will depend on your tax bracket in Spain.

For long-term rental contracts (5 years) there is a 60% tax deduction which is not available for short or medium-term contracts.

Read the full post: Property tax in Spain (a starter guide)

Property Management

When hiring a property manager, make sure you check which services are included in their standard fee.

  • Marketing: Normally includes professional photography and video. Also publishing the flat in online portals.
  • Tenant screening: Finding new safe tenants through full background checks.
  • Maintenance: Organising small repairs, cleaning service and solving property issues.
  • Key holding and first response to alarm.
  • Property inspection: Checking up on tenants.
  • Rent collection: Depending if the rental is short or long term.

Depending on what’s included the fee could vary from 5% to 12%  + vat of monthly rental income.

General real estate documentation

The “contrato de arras” is the equivalent for a downpayment contract or deposit contract in any real estate operation.

In Spain there are three different types of contrato de arras. The most common by far, is the “contrato de Arras penitenciales“. This legal form establishes, that if the buyer backs out of the deal he’ll loose the amount deposited so far. If on the other hand the seller backs out, he’ll have to give the buyer twice the amount received as downpayment.

It’s customary to pay out 10% of the price of the property, at this stage.

A “escritura de compraventa” (property deed) is a legal document that is used to transfer the ownership of a property from the seller to the buyer.

It is a public document that is signed by both parties in front of a Notary Public. It includes details such as the names of the parties involved, the property address, the purchase price, and any conditions or obligations associated with the sale. The “escritura de compraventa” is the legal proof of ownership and is required to be registered in the Spanish Land Registry (Registro de la Propiedad).

A Spanish Nota Simple is a document issued by the Spanish Land Registry that provides information about a property’s legal status.

In it you’ll find the owner’s name, property boundaries, and any encumbrances or liens on the property. It’s advisable to request a Nota Simple before buying a property to ensure that the property is legally available to purchase and it is not subject to any legal issues.

Read full post: What is the Nota Simple

A Spanish cédula de habitabilidad (habitability certificate) is a document that certifies that a property meets the necessary health and safety standards to be considered suitable for habitation.

It is issued by the local town hall and is required for all properties that are going to be used as a primary residence.

The cédula de habitabilidad states that the property has been inspected and complies with regulations regarding electricity, plumbing, fire safety, and other health and safety standards. A property can be legally bought and sold without a cédula de habitabilidad, but it is required in order to legally occupy the property as a primary residence.

A Spanish energy certificate, also known as Certificado Energético, is a document that shows the energy efficiency of a property.

It’s issued by a certified technician and it’s required when selling, renting or building a property. It will show the building’s energy consumption and CO2 emissions and will be rated on a scale from A to G (A being the most efficient and G the least).

Every building in Spain needs to pass the ITE (technical building inspection), once a certain time has passed after the completion of construction.

In Cataluña the law requires all buildings to pass this inspection 45 years after it was originally built. And every 10 years after that.

A qualified inspector will make a notice of all deficiencies in the building. Only after the community of owners has repaired all of these deficiencies will the building be able to pass the ITE.

IBI (Impuesto sobre Bienes Inmuebles in Spanish) is a property tax in Spain, that is imposed on the ownership of real estate.

It is based on the cadastral value of the property, and is paid annually to the local town hall. The property owner is responsible for paying the IBI.

Community expenses are charges paid monthly by property owners, who’s real estate is part of a building.

These charges might represent such costs as: cleaning the common areas, elevator costs, janitorial fees, common areas light usage, etc.

 

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