So you’ve found the ideal Tenerife property that you would like to buy. The next steps are relatively straightforward and we at FT Casa will be guiding you every step of the way so rest assured that you won’t have to do this on your own!
It is at this point that we would strongly advise you to contract the services of a professional independent lawyer. We work with several accredited lawyers and will be very happy to put you in contact with one. Some Tenerife estate agents offer the services of their own company lawyers but in our opinion, they can never be completely impartial and will always have a tendency to work in the interests of the agency. You can expect to pay anything between €1,500 – €2,000 for lawyers´ fees.
There are hundreds of Tenerife property sales being done every week and the first and most important task of the lawyer will be to do a check on the property to ascertain if there are any outstanding legal debts on the property (i.e. any type of embargo), to verify who the actual legal proprietor is and to give information on any mortgages associated with the property – this is done by requesting a Nota Simple from the Land Registry Office (Registro de Propiedad).
Once this has been obtained the next step is to draw up a preliminary purchase contract or a reservation contract. The information contained in this contract will be the names of both the vendor and the buyer, details of the property in question, the price and payment terms and the legal obligations of both parties including possible penalties should either party default.
The buyer must then pay a reservation deposit which is usually 10% of the purchase price and is usually paid within 5 – 7 days of the signing of the reservation contract. This is normally paid to a third party, i.e. your lawyer or the estate agency but in some instances it can be paid directly to the vendor.
Once the deposit has been paid, the property is then taken off the market and reserved for the buyer. The completion period can take anything between 1 – 3 months, depending on the individual requirements of the parties, i.e. you may need to obtain the obligatory fiscal number (NIE), you may decide to take out a mortgage on the property or you may not be able to be present for the signing of the contracts in which case you will need to organise a Power of Attorney at the Notary office. All of these things can obviously have an effect on the time scale but more often than not it is a relatively straightforward process and shouldn’t take more than a couple of months from start to finish.