Selling a property in Spain - The complete guide

Selling a property in Spain - The complete guide

by AH Solicitors

21st june 2023

spanish property

British nationals owning a home somewhere in the country. Last year, there were nearly 10,000 British buyers in Spain. If you're looking to sell your Spanish property, there are a few things you need to know.

If you’re thinking of selling your Spanish property. We have put together a complete guide to selling property in Spain to help you through the process.

So, let’s get your Spanish property on the market.

When thinking about selling your Spanish property, the eternal question remains: Is it a good time to sell Spanish property? In 2022 Estate agents in Spain were urging homeowners who are thinking of selling their properties to do so. They believed that this was a good time to sell, as prices were high, and demand was strong.

Analysts are unanimous that there will be fewer transactions on the Spanish property market in 2023. After an expected 600,000 this year, there will be around 550,000 next year. However, experts point out that half a million sales a year is a healthy number and indicates a balanced market. 

Experts are predicting slight price drops of 1–3% in house prices throughout 2023, with prices remaining competitive compared to other international markets. 

The process of selling a property in Spain - a step-by-step guide

So, how do you buy a property in Spain? Let's take a look at the main steps involved so you know what to expect.

1.   Find an estate agent.

You can sell your property in Spain without an estate agent, but you may benefit more by using one. Estate agents have local knowledge and expertise that can help you sell your property for a good price. They can also take care of time-consuming tasks like showing buyers around the property.

To choose an estate agent, it’s a good idea to look for English-speaking agents with experience of working with UK sellers and expats. A personal recommendation from someone you know is ideal.

Otherwise, you should look for a licensed, accredited agent who is registered with a professional body such as the Official School of Estate Agents (Colegio Oficial de Agentes de la Propiedad Inmobiliaria or API). Other trustworthy associations include AIM, MLS and ACI.


2. Advertise the property

Now that your property is ready to sell, it's time to put it on the market and advertise it to potential buyers. This will involve some preparatory work, such as making sure your home is clean and staged and taking high-quality photos. Your real estate agent will also play a vital role in advertising your property and generating interest from potential buyers.

You can also list it on popular property sites such as:


3. Find a solicitor

Find a good solicitor to oversee the sale and advise you. Here at Alonso and Haro, we are post-Brexit Spanish Property Lawyers, dedicated to providing the highest level of service. We are here to make your process smooth and can help you on your selling journey.


4. Choose a notary

In Spain, a notary is a public official who is responsible for overseeing the transfer of property. They are trained in Spanish law and are impartial, meaning they do not represent either the buyer or seller.

Notaries play a crucial role in the purchase of property in Spain. They are responsible for:

  • Preparing the necessary paperwork, including the purchase agreement and the deed of sale.
  • Calculating and collecting taxes- This is calculated by the Lawyer.
  • Registering the sale with the Land Registry- This is done by the Lawyer but registering the property with the land registry is only if you buy and not sell.

Once you have accepted an offer on your property, you will need to agree on a notary with the buyer. The notary will normally be selected by the buyer as they are the one who pay for the notary fees.

5. Prepare the documentation

Here’s what you (or your solicitor) will need to have ready to make sure the sale proceeds smoothly.

·      NIE and passport.

·      Power of Attorney (if applicable).

·      Original public purchase sale deed (Escritura de compraventa).

·      Land Registry Certificate (Nota Simple).

·      EPC (Energy Performance Certificate).

·      Latest council tax receipt (IBI).

·      Latest community fees receipt.

·      Recent payment of utility bills.


6. The deposit contract is drawn up and signed

Once you accept an offer for your property, a preliminary agreement between the parties will be signed (Booking contract) where the buyer must pay a deposit, which is not refundable. We’ll cover how much a deposit typically is in Spain, and what happens to it if either buyer or seller change their mind, further on in the article.


7. A meeting is held to close the transaction

The completion of the transaction will take place at the Public Notary office, in which the transfer deed must be executed by all parties (or their legal representative) in the presence of a Public Notary. Your solicitor can sign on our behalf with a power of attorney, so you do not need to travel to Spain.

How much is the deposit?

Once a buyer has been found for your property, a deposit is requested from the buyer. The deposit paid is generally 10% but can be modified based upon buyer´s and seller´s consent. But what happens to the deposit if either party changes their mind?

  • If you (the seller) pull out of the deal, you may have to pay the buyer twice the amount of deposit they paid. This is seen as a form of compensation.
  • If the buyer backs out of the purchase, they will lose their deposit.

How long does it take to sell property in Spain?

The time it takes between putting your property on the market and finally handing over the keys can vary in Spain. It depends on where your property is located, and demand for your type of property in the market.

Can I speed up the process?

There are a few things you can do to improve your chances of a quicker sale in Spain. Here are some tips:

  • Take professional quality photos with good lighting - listing sites such as recommend uploading as many as 25-30 photos.
  • Make good use of online real estate listing portals, social media advertising and other digital marketing methods.
  • Include a floor plan in online listings.
  • Consider uploading a video or virtual tour of the property.
  • Research the market and seek expert advice to set a competitive sale price.
  • Declutter and deep clean the property - it’s recommended to remove personal items and ‘dress’ each room ready for viewings.
  • Take time to craft an appealing property description, highlighting and ‘selling’ its best features.

Fees and taxes for selling a property in Spain.

Now it's time to talk about the most important thing: how much it will cost you to sell a Spanish property. Here is a breakdown of the main fees and taxes you need to know about. What fees will I pay as the seller?

The good news for sellers is that in Spain, the buyer will pay many of the fees associated with the sale. But you will still have some fees to pay. These include the following:

  • Estate agent fee - if you use an agent to sell your home, expect to pay around 3-6% of the sale price in commission.
  • Fee for energy performance certificate - this can cost between €150 and €300.

If you don’t live in Spain and have a Spanish bank account, you may also face fees when transferring the proceeds of the sale back home to the UK.

Property taxes for sellers

As the seller, you can expect to pay taxes upon completion:


1.   Capital gains tax.

Capital gains tax (CGT) if you sell your property for a profit that exceeds the price you paid for it.

The rate of CGT depends firstly on your residency status. If you’re a non-resident, it’s set at a flat rate of 19%.

But if you’re a Spanish resident, different rules apply. The rate of CGT is calculated on a sliding scale depending on how much profit you make. Here are the current rates:

Profit from sale

CGT rate

First €6,000 - 19%

€6,000 to €50,000 - 21%

€50,000 to €200,000 - 23%

€200,000+ - 26%

2.   Plusvalía tax

This is based on the increase of the value of the land on which the property is located and is always paid by the seller.


The 3% non-resident retention tax of the property price by the buyer upon completion of the sale, who will pay it to the tax authorities to cover the seller’s Capital Gains Tax liabilities. If the 3% retained exceeds the taxes due, the seller can expect a refund once all taxes have been paid.

Note, if you have a mortgage, you will be required to pay cancellation fees.

Selling a property in Spain can be a complex process, but it's important to do your research and get professional advice to ensure that the sale goes smoothly.

If you need help selling your Spanish property, get in touch today.

For further advice about buying a property in Spain or any Spanish conveyancing needs, contact us. Or for updates on the Spanish property market, see here.

Your Ally in Spanish Real Estate Success

Hola! I'm Pilar Alonso, your trusted Spanish Property Solicitor. I was born in Spain, but now spend half my time in England, where I have a home and an office in Bolton, Lancashire. With a wealth of experience exceeding two decades, I've honed my skills to perfection in the intricacies of Spanish property law.

For the past decade, I've been the go-to expert for UK citizens seeking redemption from failed property investments post the 2008 financial crash. Now, it's time to refocus on what truly fuels my passion—making your dream of owning a piece of Spanish paradise a reality. 

Whether you're navigating property transactions, unravelling tax complexities, or securing your Spanish inheritance, I'm here as your dedicated ally. Let's turn your property aspirations into a success story!

Get in touch today!