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Buying a Spanish Property – How long does it take to complete?

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One of the first things my clients want to know when they’re buying a property in Spain is how long it will take before they become owners. There are no law regulating the time between signing a private contract and completing at the notary’s office. It all depends on how complex the purchase is.

The private contract – signed by both parties and including a deposit paid by the buyer – always states a time limit for completion. This date is agreed on by both parties and based on the type of purchase and the buyer’s and seller’s preferences.

In general, timescales are as follows:

3 to 4 weeks: for straightforward purchases, i.e. properties with no debts, all paperwork in order and financing already in place.

4 to 8 weeks: for slightly more complex purchases where, for example, an architect’s certificate is required or the buyer needs to obtain a mortgage. Spanish properties purchased from banks tend to fall into this category too.

Over 8 weeks: for those purchases where there are problems or time-consuming bureaucratic processes – for example, the property isn’t properly registered or the property forms part of inheritance or divorce proceedings.

In my experience, completion typically takes place between 4 to 6 weeks after the private contract is signed, but the buyer and seller can of course agree longer timelines if necessary.

If you’re thinking of buying a property in Spain, contact us to find out how Andalusian Lawyers can help you. And download our free guide to Buying Spanish Property.

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