The off-plan buying process
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Buying off-plan properties has regained popularity following a period in which it had a less than brilliant reputation.
However, new rules issued by the Spanish Supreme Court in 2016 reinforced the consumer’s right to reclaim deposits on off-plan properties, which has helped to refresh its reputation. Now, banks and building societies that received funds for deposit payments will be liable to the buyer for the total amount of the payments made by the buyer into the developer’s bank account.
However, you will need legal advice to navigate this law if needed, as it is not as clear-cut as it sounds.
The off-plan buying process
This generally happens in stages.
In the first stage, you will view the proposed development and get all the details about what is included in the property and when it will be completed.
This is when the price is negotiated and it is at this point that you will be asked to make a deposit and sign a contract that sets out when further payments are due and the completion date for the build.
The contracts are usually long and the lawyer needs to look over every clause to ensure you are protected and to see what the penalties are if you fail to make a payment at any stage. Also, with regard to the information above about deposits, the developer should provide you with a bank guarantee in respect of all payments made towards the property. This is to protect you in case the developer fails to complete the property.
During the second stage, you will make a series of payments towards the property; these are larger than the deposit.
At this point, you should make arrangements with your lawyer and the developer or real estate agent about the details for completion of the purchase.
If you aren’t in Spain full time, you can give your lawyer the power of attorney to organise everything that is needed.
The final stage of the process comes when the developer completes and registers the property.
If there are any snags with the property, ask the developer to correct them now before you reach the actual legal completion of the sale.
Getting fixtures and fittings corrected after completion can prove very difficult, so it is important to check the property thoroughly beforehand.
If everything is satisfactory and the building is registered and has its first occupation licence, you can complete the sale and make the final payment of the outstanding balance. Now you are ready to pay the taxes on the property and register it in your name.
At Altavista we have a wonderful selection of off-plan properties for sale in Marbella.
Please contact us for more information about them and we will also advise you further about the off-plan buying process.