How to buy a house in Spain: Part 1 - Before you visit

Feb 4, 2019

Welcome back to the Open Door blog!


Over the next few posts, we’re going to talk to you about the most efficient way to buy a property in Spain. Also if you're considering moving elsewhere overseas our advice is applicable.

We’ll be covering viewings, offers, mortgages and legal support; but first...


What should you do before you travel?


Many people’s property search begins by browsing online portals (such as Kyero, Rightmove overseas, Thinkspain or Funda Europe), reading property magazines or watching popular television shows. It can seem like a big leap to go from browsing websites, to booking a flight, to actually how to begin turning an idea into reality.


The good news is that there are lots of things that you can do before you leave your home country:


1. Research

We previously explained factors that you should think about when choosing a property; considered the importance of location; and shared six questions that we ask our clients to help them focus their property search. However, once you have fixed your criteria, the Internet is a fantastic resource.


Sites like Kyero, Rightmove Overseas, Funda Europe, Thinkspain and Idealista (as well as our own property listings in Spain) allow you to see a huge range of properties at once, to suit any circumstance or budget – all without spending time or money on a visit. But be targeted in your search, and realise not everything you see on the internet is actually available, as stated before.


2. Contact agents

Of course, it’s possible to conduct your search alone but the advice and guidance of a trustworthy, experienced and ‘on the ground’ agency can make all the difference in your property hunt, particularly if you’re out of the country and it's the first time buying abroad.


Many listings are in English but, further down the line, the process and associated documents will become almost exclusively Spanish – so it helps to get someone on your side early.

There are several multilingual agents which can help you out. Our team is native in Dutch and Spanish and we speak English and some German too. 


3. Arrange viewings

The best approach for maximising your time and money is to arrange a number of viewings over the course of a few days, and plan one visit to see them all.


In theory, you could view four or five properties a day but this can be exhausting – particularly if you’re not accustomed to Spain and/or don't know the location. So it might be better to spend a little more time in the area and spread your visits out over the course of a few days.

Plan your visits ahead and make a detailed planning where you make sure that you understand exactly where each property is located, and factor in travel time, how you will travel (car hire vs. taxis), the property details and the associated cost. 


Even if the first few properties that you see don’t prove to be your dream property, you’ll learn a lot more about the area, and refine your search criteria, by seeing a few options in person. You can then instruct your local agent to search on your behalf, especially companies like Open Door which have access to high-quality bank properties all over the country and should be able to send you a shortlist.


In our next post, we’ll explain what to do when you’re in Spain – and how best to use that time to find your perfect property. If you have any questions in the meantime, please get in touch – the team will be happy to help!