General info on buying process

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13 Jul 2021 2:04 PM by Stevenfitzhugh Star rating. 1 posts Send private message

Hi - We are new to the forum and have just put an offer in on a property in L'Antilla near Huelva . We would like to have a survey done on the property but the estate agent seems to think this unnusual . Our solicitor says it is unnusual but recommends we get one done . We were wondering what other people who have purchased have ended up doing about a survey and also what expereriences buyers have had with spanish estate agents

Thank you !

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13 Jul 2021 3:21 PM by Jarvi Star rating in Halifax UK and Sucin.... 758 posts Send private message

I don't know the specific answer, but if you were buying a property in the UK would you have a survey done or not? Whichever way you answer that is in my opinion what you should go with. 

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13 Jul 2021 4:21 PM by baz1946 Star rating. 2299 posts Send private message

I have bought a few and still have them, never used any Estate Agent to buy any, if the price is, say 200.000€ you can bet the agent is getting 10 / 15 € out of the sale, go direct you could barter with the sellers. Had one agent to sell one place, he was a crook, told him so, took the house out of his hands, got a Norwegian Lady agent, superb in every aspect. End of the day the agent just sells a house with a shop front. Buying is Spain with a survey done is largely unusual but not unheard of, I have never had one done, the buyers that bought one never had one done either. If where you come from you have these done, then do it for piece of mind perhaps, pure choice. It might find something like a conservative shouldn't have been built but what the hell, one of mine had a large garage with no permission, told the buyers, couldn't care less, and still sold it. Just make sure no tax to pay in the future...If possible.

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13 Jul 2021 5:25 PM by Kavanagh Star rating in Oil Drum Lane Newcas.... 1203 posts Send private message

Kavanagh´s avatar

In Spain you will learn in time that it is generally a case of pay your money and take your chance. Regarding Estate Agents, most have a poor reputation and make an extortionate amount of money for doing almost nothing, that is why the industry attracts spivs. They will say anything to sell a property.

It is your choice if you want to engage a surveyor, but bear in mind when you get the report it will state ‘’we accept no liability for a single word in this report’’.

There is enough in the world for everyone, but not enough for the greedy!

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13 Jul 2021 7:54 PM by windtalker Star rating. 1868 posts Send private message

Rather than having a survey done

I would focus on whither the property is totally legal... thing's like a swimming pool / recently built extensions / habitation certificate and the house itself should  be on the deeds it is not uncommon in Spain that you are only buying a plot of land with no house registered built on it ...this is extremely common in the country side know as a rustic property ...good luck but think twice and only part with your money once.


This message was last edited by windtalker on 13/07/2021.

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19 Jul 2021 11:40 AM by Mona2012 Star rating. 1 posts Send private message

Surveys in Spain are quite unusual. I have just purchased my new house and I was asking about the same question but I went ahead without the survey in the end. 

As per a comment about agents, I must have been very lucky then as my agent was very good. He explained everything about the process (including what it means for a property to be legal, different land and dwelling categories, habitation certificate etc.) and helped me with so much more. I would be too scared to buy a house in Spain without him, especially after hearing 'the stories'. 

hope that helps


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19 Jul 2021 3:55 PM by Kavanagh Star rating in Oil Drum Lane Newcas.... 1203 posts Send private message

Kavanagh´s avatar

Hello Mona and welcome to EOS.

You are correct that not all estate agents in Spain are corrupt, in fact I purchased a villa 14 years ago and being a total newcomer to Spain did not have a clue. I had no problems and everything went well. However I had never heard of illegal properties, habitation certificates, debts assigned to properties. I was from the UK and naively believed that everything in Spain was the same as the UK and I had the same consumer protection.

This will always be a subject where buyers will have good and bad experiences.

The problem in Spain is effective regulation. Estate agents are unregulated, have no code of conduct and can do as they want. Spanish Lawyers are regulated and should act as the policeman on the job. Some do and some do not. If things do go wrong and you find yourself with an illegal build or a property with debts, some lawyers response will be ‘’SO WHAT, YOU NEVER ASKED’’. You could report them or complain to the Bar Association but they have shown little interest in the past. You could try and take legal proceedings but that could take 5 to 10 years to get it before a judge.



This message was last edited by Kavanagh on 20/07/2021.

There is enough in the world for everyone, but not enough for the greedy!

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21 Jul 2021 10:22 AM by Judicare Star rating. 1 posts Send private message


I don't think that this is a question of focusing on whether the property is illegal rather than having a survey - a buyer should do both. A buyer needs to make sure that the porperty is legal and also structurally sound, just like when buying in any country. It is unusual to have a survey in Spain but there are very good reasons why you should do so. I think part of the problem is that people get caught out by the higher cost of buying in Spain compared to the UK and therefore try and keep those costs down and a survey is easily dispensed with. Couple that with the misguided view that being somewhere warm means that there is likely to be fewer problems from a structural point of view and the fact that agents will discourage you from taking a survey because it can potentially get in the way of a sale and I woudl say that over 90% of people don't take out a survey. Most get away with it but some don't.



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21 Jul 2021 1:29 PM by windtalker Star rating. 1868 posts Send private message the UK a buyer would get a survey during the buying Spain you would have a survey done ... when you have had the property checked for outstanding debt / legality of the building it's very common in Spain for outstanding debt owed on the property .. it's not common to get a survey  ..this would be a personal request.


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21 Jul 2021 3:14 PM by Kavanagh Star rating in Oil Drum Lane Newcas.... 1203 posts Send private message

Kavanagh´s avatar

A lot would depend on what type of survey you get. In the UK if you are taking out a mortgage a so called ‘’survey’’ is compulsory, but the basic mortgage survey is little more than tyre kicking. Whatever survey you get (Basic, Home Buyers Report or Full Survey with Structural Report) there will be a disclaimer on the survey report of ‘’no liability’’.

Any property survey in Spain or the UK is usually a valuation and condition report and has nothing to do with the legality of the property. It is the lawyers/solicitors duty to carry out all legal checks that is what you pay them for. I believe the UK is strict on this but many countries take a more casual approach. I would suggest a ‘’buyer beware and trust no one’’ approach.

There is enough in the world for everyone, but not enough for the greedy!

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26 Jul 2021 12:19 PM by mariadecastro Star rating in Algeciras (Cadiz). 9380 posts Send private message

Legal Questions? Speak to Maria Direct

I totally recomment you to do a survey on the property. This is useful even for negotiating the proice.



Maria L. de Castro, JD, MA



El blog de Maria

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