A Buyer's Guide

Whether you are a private buyer or investing in a portfolio of properties in the Marbella Area, dealing with local estate agents can be fraught with difficulty. You can never be completely sure if you are getting impartial advice, but we can help you make sure that the information we give you is unbiased. We do this in a number of ways including the provision to you of a written undertaking and our unique commission disclosure system: we are the only agent that will disclose in advance what the commission terms are on any particular property thus you can be completely sure that we are not motivated by commission bias.

Marbella is undoubtedly one of the best locations in Europe to buy property. The fantastic weather, quality of life, great facilities and ease of communication combine to make Marbella a fabulous place to either own a holiday home or to live permanently.

Al the members of the Marbella Living Team know the area well and would be happy to advise prospective buyers on the best locations and type of properties that would suit their specific needs.

Marbella Living will make certain that your interests are best represented and your time is well spent during the purchase process. We act as your trusted single point of contact between you and finding the property of your dreams!

Our Services include:

  • Holding an initial consultation with you to discuss your needs.
  • Sourcing properties across agencies, developers and private listings in your budget and market;
  • Short-listing the best properties, pre-screening and prioritizing them from a value and quality perspective;
  • Viewing the properties together with you, vetting them and asking the right questions based on our prior experience in the marketplace;
  • Advising you without bias on the relative merits of each property;
  • Negotiating the best price and conditions for you;
  • Following through with lawyer recommendations, mortgage pre-approvals, as well as a host of after sales services.

What is the buying procedure?

Buying property in Marbella is very straightforward and when you buy with Marbella Living you can rest assured your purchase is handled professionally and correctly. Our experienced team deal with both buyer and seller when handling negotiations and help with any other questions. There are three basic stages of the purchase:

  1. Reservation Agreement & Deposit

    Buyer and Seller sign a simple offer and reservation agreement and the buyer pays a modest reservation deposit as a gesture of good faith. This confirms the agreement of buyer and seller, subject to the property searches, and takes the property off the market keeping it reserved by the seller for the buyer for an agreed period during which the lawyers will make the necessary checks and prepare a Private or Option Contract .

  2. Private or Option Contract

    When lawyers have confirmed that the legal position of the property is in order, the Private or Option contract is drawn up and signed by both buyer and seller. If any irregularities have been discovered, the buyer can withdraw and the reservation deposit returned.
    If all is well it is usual for 10% of the agreed purchase price to be paid by the buyer. This contract is binding on both parties and if the buyer withdraws he forfeits the deposit.

  3. Completion

    Completion of the purchase takes place at a notary where the deed of conveyance “Escritura Publica” is signed by both parties, the balance of the purchase price is paid and the buyer takes vacant possession of the unencumbered property. Your lawyer will then lodge the deed at the property registry to assure legal title.

What are the buying costs?

As a rule we recommend allowing 10% of the agreed purchase price to cover all your buying fees and taxes, around 2% more if you are obtaining a mortgage. The costs are generally:

  1. Transfer Tax

    For resale property this is 8% on the first €400,000, 9% on the next €300,000 and 10% on anything in excess f €700,000.
    There is no Transfer Tax for new homes. Instead they are subject 10 % Value Added Tax (known as IVA in Spain) plus 1.5% stamp duty. For plots, commercial premises or garages this increases to 21% VAT (IVA).

  2. Notary and Land Registry fees:

    Fixed by law on a sliding scale, around 1% to 1.5%.

  3. Lawyer’s fees:

    Typically 1% of the purchase price (plus VAT (IVA) of 21%) however for larger transactions we can usually negotiate a reduction from one of our recommended panel firms.

  4. Mortgage fees:

    An arrangement fee of around 1% of the advance is typical. In addition mortgages are taxed at around 1.5% of the advance.

Short Term Rental Service

Many buyers wish to use their new home for certain weeks in the year and to let their property to generate an income at other times. Income generated in this manner can be substantial because demand for quality rental property in the summer months is sometimes very high. We have an active and very busy rental department that can help you with this; we even have an innovative and flexible option whereby we can guarantee a minimum level of rental income to you. This is based on how many and which weeks you wish to rent the property in any year.

On-going support

After the purchase, Marbella Living will always be available for clients to offer any help that we can. Usually your lawyer will arrange to change the utilities into your name together with the Town Hall taxes, such as the I.B.I (local community taxes) and the Basura (rubbish collection). Equally, if the property is within a community, there will be community fees to pay that vary according to each community. For advice on insurance, tax, banks, finance or indeed any aspect of living on this part of the world we can introduce you to the best people who will be able to help and guide you.

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