FAQ Buying a Property - The Agency Marbella

Frequently Asked Questions about buying a property in Marbella

Teba Siles | · 9 min. read

At The Agency Marbella – The Belleside Team, we are dedicated to guiding you through every step of the property purchasing process. Whether you are new to the market or looking to expand your investments, our team of experts ensures that your journey is smooth and well-informed. With the right research and preparation, and by finding a trustworthy real estate agent, you can confidently navigate the Marbella property market. Let us assist you in turning your dream of owning a property in Marbella into a reality.

Step 1: Researching the area

Is Marbella a wonderful place to call home?

Marbella is more than just a popular tourist destination; it is renowned as one of Europe’s most desirable places to live. In fact, it tops the list as the perfect location to own your dream house. With its pleasant climate year-round and a welcoming atmosphere, Marbella offers an exceptional quality of life for individuals and families. The stunning scenery and abundant recreational activities make it an ideal place to settle down. Not to mention, the locals are friendly and hospitable. Marbella truly is an idyllic place to call home.

Is buying a property in Marbella costly?

Given its reputation as a haven for the affluent and famous, it’s no surprise that Marbella boasts some of the most exclusive real estate in Andalucía. From luxurious beach resorts to prestigious golf communities and upscale urban developments, the region features properties that can reach multimillion-dollar price tags. Celebrities like George Clooney, Antonio Banderas, and Eva Longoria have even purchased properties here. However, don’t let this deter you if you’re considering a move. Marbella offers a range of suburbs with varying price points. While areas like La Zagaleta, The Golden Mile, Sierra Blanca, and Los Monteros command premium prices, residential neighborhoods such as Nueva Andalucía, San Pedro de Alcántara, and Guadalmina offer more affordable housing options.

Why should I engage a real estate agent?

In today’s digital age, it may seem tempting to embark on a property search independently using online resources. However, it’s important not to overlook the invaluable role of a real estate agent. A reputable agent is there to simplify your search and prioritize your needs, sparing you the time and effort. They possess a keen eye for detail, helping you identify any potential issues that may go unnoticed in your excitement. Additionally, they provide insights into the investment potential of a property and act as your trusted local guide, offering comprehensive knowledge of the area. Their vast network of contacts can save you countless hours of research when it comes to finding reliable service providers and contractors. Most significantly, an agent is a skilled negotiator. Throughout the entire process, they advocate for your best interests, ensuring you secure the most favorable deal possible. With a real estate agent by your side, you can navigate the complexities of buying a property with confidence and peace of mind.

Step 2: Planning ahead for property purchase

What is an N.I.E number?

An N.I.E Number (Número de Identidad Extranjero) is a unique identification number assigned to foreigners in Spain. It is required for various purposes, such as opening a bank account, obtaining a Spanish phone number, and working or studying. You can apply for an N.I.E at the Police Station, through a legal administrator (gestor), or via a Spanish Consulate if you are applying from abroad. During the application process, you will need to provide proof of identification and a valid reason for obtaining an N.I.E, such as purchasing property or opening a bank account.

Can foreigners open a bank account in Spain?

Yes, once you have obtained an N.I.E number, you can apply to open a bank account in Spain. However, there are specific requirements that need to be met. Along with your N.I.E, you will typically be asked to provide proof of identity, proof of funds, tax declarations, and any other documentation requested by the bank. Many banks in Spain cater to foreigners, including Sabadell, CaixaBank, Santander, and Bankinter, among others. Some banks may also require a certificate of non-residency (Certificado de No Residente), which can be obtained from certain institutions like BBVA.

Should I purchase a property before selling my current home?

The decision of whether to purchase a property before selling your current home depends on your individual financial situation and preferences. Advantages of buying a property before selling your current home include having a place to move into once your existing home is sold, avoiding the need to rent or stay with family members temporarily, and minimizing the cost of moving your belongings. However, it’s important to consider the potential financial burden of managing two mortgages if your current home doesn’t sell quickly. On the other hand, selling your current home before purchasing a new property eliminates the need to handle two mortgages simultaneously. It also allows you more time to find the right property while controlling your temporary living arrangements. However, there is the risk of not finding a suitable property within your desired timeframe. Ultimately, it is recommended to carefully evaluate your financial circumstances and weigh the pros and cons before deciding the best approach for your specific situation.

Step 3: Finding the right property

What is the best offer to make on a house?

The best offer you can make when negotiating is one that is written, reasonable, and demonstrates your serious intent. Putting your offer down in writing increases your chances of success and obtaining the best deal possible. However, there are cases where face-to-face negotiations with the seller can also be effective. Making an offer through your agent is highly recommended, as they can guide you through the negotiation process and help you reach an ideal agreement.

How many properties should I view before making an offer?

The number of properties you should view before making an offer varies depending on several factors. Firstly, it depends on the specific market niche you are exploring and the number of available properties within that niche. Secondly, it can also depend on your level of experience in the market. Additionally, it may depend on the areas you are interested in or open to considering for your property purchase. Ultimately, the goal of viewing multiple properties is to gain market insights and understand price ranges. Keeping an open mind throughout the viewing process is key to finding the right property for your needs.

What is a reservation contract?

In Spain, a reservation contract is an essential document in the property buying process. It allows you to reserve the property for an agreed-upon time. If, for any reason, you decide not to proceed with the purchase, you may lose your reservation fee, unless there are specific conditions stated in the contract that protect your investment. However, if you go ahead with the purchase, the reservation fee will be included in the final purchase price. Rest assured that in the event the seller backs out of the deal after you have paid the reservation fee, the standard reservation contract mandates that they repay you double the amount initially paid. This provision helps safeguard your interests and provides a level of assurance during the transaction process.

What if I need a mortgage?

If you are considering a mortgage, it’s important to understand the associated fees in Spain. Mortgage rates typically range from 1.5% to 2.5% per annum, depending on the bank and your residency status. It’s worth noting that banks offer two types of mortgages: fixed and variable. While a variable mortgage may initially offer lower rates, the payment amount can fluctuate based on market conditions.

On the other hand, a fixed mortgage provides stability and consistency in your monthly payments, making it a safer choice in the long run. When applying for a mortgage, the bank will determine the interest rate based on a percentage established by the bank itself (e.g., 1) and the value of EURIBOR at the time of the mortgage request. The interest rate is reviewed annually, so it can change based on the fluctuation of EURIBOR. It’s advisable to carefully consider your options and consult with mortgage professionals to select the best mortgage type for your specific needs. We hope this information clarifies the post-purchase process and provides valuable insights into mortgage fees. Our team is here to assist you every step of the way, ensuring a seamless and successful property ownership experience. Feel free to reach out to us if you have any further questions or require additional support.

Step 4: You bought the property – Now what?

What happens after I buy the property?

Congratulations on your property purchase! Now that you’ve signed the title deed at the notary’s office, the property’s possession and full responsibility have been transferred to you. The next steps involve the registration of the deeds at the Land Registry, which typically takes up to three months. Once registered, you’ll have access to the original deeds and invoices related to the transaction, allowing you to proceed with changing utility bills into your name and bank details.

When does the seller move out of the house?

Regarding the seller’s move-out timeline, typically, once all the contracts are signed at the notary’s office, and you have received the keys to the property, you can move in immediately. However, if the seller requires more time to vacate the property, it is essential to have prior communication and agreement between both parties. By establishing clear expectations and negotiating an agreed-upon time frame, you can ensure a smooth transition.

We hope this guide provides valuable insights and answers your questions about buying a property in Marbella. At The Agency Marbella – The Belleside Team, we are committed to making your property purchase as seamless and enjoyable as possible. Should you have any further questions or need additional support, please do not hesitate to contact us.