A variety of professionals are required when purchasing property in Spain.
Estate agents (agentes inmobiliarios) are usually local to an area and therefore will only have properties for sale within that area. The agent earns commission from the sale of the property and will try to obtain the best possible price for the property, but will know what price the vendor will accept. They should also be able to give the buyer an estimation of all the other fees and the property charges for which they will be responsible.
Property searchers, as their title implies, will search for a property that is within the client's price bracket and matches their requirements. Many offer a personal service, taking the potential purchaser to view the properties they have short-listed. Some charge a fee while others take a percentage commission from the Inmobilario instead.
The notary is a public official and given the title of Notario. The notary is highly qualified in the Spanish legal system and is able to advise about the property transaction as well as family, succession and corporate laws. The state confers powers on the notary to legalise property purchase transactions that cannot be enforced by any other means. Notaries are Public Officials and provide legality to the contracts they supervise. They are liable for their professional actions. A notary is responsible for the conveyance, preparing the various documents and confirming the seller's title to the property, checking that there are no other mortgages on the property, etc. The notary is responsible for the legality of all documents that are signed before them in their personal capacity, which provides a guarantee for the client.
A buyer may choose their own notary.
A mortgage broker has a relationships with various Spanish banks and mortgage providers and understands how they react to certain cases and circumstances, and will act as the buyer's intermediary with the lender. Legislation ensures that mortgage brokers, or mortgage advisers, must have their own professional indemnity insurance and be registered with each bank and mortgage provider they represent.
Mortgage brokers receive their commission directly from the bank or lender with which they do business. Some of those who are registered in Spain will not charge they buyer fees for their services - it is suggested to verify this early on.
An architect or surveyor should be considered if purchasing an older property or one in need of renovation. They will have experience with planning and obtaining necessary permits and certificates, and be able to provide an estimate of the cost. They should also know of reputable registered builders who have their own insurance to cover their work, which is essential especially if taking out a mortgage for renovation or improvement works.
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