fees for selling property

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14 Feb 2010 00:00 by joan1 Star rating. 98 posts Send private message

joan1´s avatar

Does anyone know if the fees for selling are the same as for purchasing, as we paid about 10,000 euros altogether for solicitors etc and wondered if it will be the same to sell.

Also is there any information we can access regarding inheritance tax, if a partner dies, or when children inherit, as we have heard many stories and some are quite worrying, our Son wouldn't know where to begin.

 

Joan1  





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14 Feb 2010 22:31 by bodyworker Star rating in By the Mar menor. 34 posts Send private message

Hi Joan,

Sorry to hear you paid 10,000 euros in commissions and fees etc to purchase your property.  Good news is hopefully you wont have to worry about the commissions again as the buyer normally pays it, but you need to confirm and agree this with your agent.

Regarding inheritence tax issues, my advice is to find a 'professional body' who has an established long standing office in your local area who deals in these affairs.  Don't foget to ask what all the fees are up front.

Good luck

Best regards 





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15 Feb 2010 06:57 by mariadecastro Star rating in Algeciras (Cadiz). 9290 posts Send private message

Legal Questions? Speak to Maria Direct

 Dear Joan:

Solicitors fees for buying and selling have traditionally be at 1%. But you can ask for an hourly rate or even try to obtain cheparer rates these days of financial difficulty.

Best,

Maria



_______________________

Maria L. de Castro, JD, MA

Lawyer

Director www.costaluzlawyers.es

El blog de Maria



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15 Feb 2010 09:37 by Faro Star rating in London. 1139 posts Send private message

Dear Joan

Forget the 1% + VAT fee especially if you have a high value property. In my opinion legal fees in Spain are far too high and I would love to see fees in general debated more.

I would suggest  emailing a few reputable firms and asking for a fixed fee quote and then check/clarify carefully what's included and what extras there might be on top. Give the firms as much information as possible such as location of property and whether there is a mortgage on the property and also if it is your intention to be here for completion or whether they will also need to draft a power of attorney for execution overseas etc. Also check what happens as regards fees if the sale does not proceed to completion. I would avoid hourly work on a routine conveyancing matters as any lawyer worth his salt will know exactly what's involved! Generally there is far less work for a solicitor on a sale compared to a purchase especially if your property is all legal/registered etc.

The most difficult area these days is dealing with the non-resident CGT retention which may well necessitate filing outstanding non-resident income tax returns and also numerous meetings with the Spanish tax authorities before the refund is issued. You need to clarify what tax work is included in any fee quoted. These days it seems to take 6+ months to get a CGT refund but you might be lucky and get it in 3 mths?

The other area to watch is the fee your bank will charge for receiving/clearing sales proceeds and also remitting sales proceeds overseas. Your own bank might well charge you for clearing the draft (cheque bancario) and also a % (generally 0.5%) for remitting funds overseas. A reputable firm will be able to do all this for you which could save you a small fortune in bank fees. Whatever about legal fees bank fees could well leave you speechless! Again you can negotiate with banks but they will want a generous %. The way around this is to use your solicitor's client account because they will have negotiated min/max fees and will be able to receive and remit funds back to UK for about EUR80 in total.

Without knowing all the facts you should not pay any more than EUR2,000 which should include VAT and also fees for non-resident income tax and capital gains tax. If it's the case you have not been submitting non-resident income tax returns then you might be quoted a couple of hundred EURO more.





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15 Feb 2010 12:27 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 4493 posts Send private message

Roberto´s avatar

Whilst the points made here about inheritance tax, CGT and bank charges are relevant, I would think the bulk of the "fees" for purchasing referred to were probably transfer tax, notary fees, and lawyers so-called conveyancing (registry checks etc.), none of which apply to the seller. The only tax applicable to the seller is Plus Valia, which is usually fairly low. Estate agent fees for selling a property need to be considered, which are typically 5%, although whether this is paid by the buyer or seller is a bit of glass half empty / half full argument. As for inheritance tax, it's such a complicated issue and depends even on what part of Spain you are in, the only advice for your son when and if such a time comes, would be to get proper legal help.



_______________________

 

"Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason"

Mark Twain

 

 

 




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15 Feb 2010 12:59 by Manyarna Star rating in the UK- Heart is in .... 59 posts Send private message

I would get an exact quote for all the fees not an example as although i expected and costed lawyers fees of 1% some have a minimum amount they charge of €1,800 euros? Dont know if that is normal?or the normal minimum amount?





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15 Feb 2010 13:39 by Faro Star rating in London. 1139 posts Send private message

In fairness there has to be minimum fees. For example if you are buying  property in the countryside for EUR20k then you will not get a lawyer to do that for ony 1% + VAT. Minimum fees tend to be around EUR1,500 + VAT but you do have to check very carefully what's included. Definitely as Manyarna says get a detailed written quote as I have heard of cases where lawyers said one thing and then denied ever saying it and charged an arm and a leg!

Also as regards your earlier question regarding inheritance you should prepare a Spanish will. If preparing a Spanish will do not appoint an executor (albacea) as it can complicate matters and also it's not necessary in Spain.  Providing you at least have a valid will in UK or Ireland dealing with your worldwide assets then you are ok even if you don't have a Spanish will.  Inheritance is a complex area and you need to consider areas such as nationality, domicile and residence and also possibly inheritance tax or capital acquisitions tax for the beneficiary.

A good solicitor experienced in probate will be able to sit down with you and do the sums and also generally explain UK or Irish probate law. If your affairs are complex then your solicitor might need to liaise with you solicitor or accountant in your home country. Sometimes the problem the beneficiary faces is how to pay the inheritance tax if there is no money in the estate.

But there is plently on information on spanish inheritance on the internet.





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28 Dec 2016 19:42 by verona Star rating. 31 posts Send private message

Good evening 

im hop get someone could shed some light on my question so I know I'm not getting ripped off.

im currently sellout my apartment in Spain and the solicitor has quoted 0.75% of the sale price plus IVA.

I have now been informed we need the following: 

I order to sale it correctly we must obtain the CEE (Energy certificate) and the habitation certificate.

 

The cost is 185 euros for the CEE and 581 euros for the habitation certificate.-  (Architect certificate 210 euros + Town Hall Tax 187 euros + 184 euros solicitors fees)

This sounds expensive and we already have a habitation certificate that we purchased when we bought the property, do I need to buy another one?

Thanks in anticipation.





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28 Dec 2016 21:25 by Tadd1966 Star rating in Los Montesinos. 1755 posts Send private message

Shop around many solicitors offer a fixed fee

Just a thought us this the same solicitor you used when you bought off plan and asked for a discount etc.

Did you ever get the discount

 


This message was last edited by Tadd1966 on 28/12/2016.

_______________________
“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge”



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28 Dec 2016 22:45 by verona Star rating. 31 posts Send private message

No, different solicitor and I didn't get a discount.





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29 Dec 2016 08:18 by Tadd1966 Star rating in Los Montesinos. 1755 posts Send private message

Sorry to hear that you got no discount

Have you asked your old solicitor for a quite



_______________________
“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge”



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29 Dec 2016 08:54 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5239 posts Send private message

Joan. The transfer of a property can only be done by a notary.  That is so whether one employs a solicitor or not.

 If you are selling, apart from the very clear info provided by Roberto, there is no reason whatsoevert to have solicitor when selling.   What are they going to do, apart from hold your hand at the notary's office ? 

So don’t waste your money.





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29 Dec 2016 09:21 by valentinaradu Star rating in Manilva. 71 posts Send private message

As a reply to the post placed by Verona I also believe is not mandatory to have a solicitor dealing with the sale. Unless you are not in Spain and you need someone to sign for you. You need to take into consideration a plusvalia tax also. For the energy certificate, I have heard quotes from architects of around 100 to 200 euros and I believe the amount of 187 euros from the Town Hall to issue the first occupation license is a bit steep. I have worked for four years in a town planning department in Spain and if a property had a license, the fees to issue the certificate were minimum. Why can´t you present the same one from when you bought? Have you done any works, extensions, etc needing a new license?

What town is your property located in?



_______________________
Valentina Radu Translator/Interpreter Business Development Executive Martínez- Echevarría Lawyers



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29 Dec 2016 09:59 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5239 posts Send private message

Val   I also believe is not mandatory to have a solicitor dealing with the sale

Let us not be in any doubt YOU DO NOT NEED A SOLICITOR TO BUY OR SELL in Spain (nor for that matter in UK either) but if you want one you may do so.  Since 1983 I have bought and sold in Spain, and assisted others to do so too; I have never had one and have never had any problems because of that.

The only times there have been any prolems is when the other party has had a solicitor, and they have caused problems for their clients.  Even to resolve those I have never needed a lawyer. But as I say,  it's your choice

 


This message was last edited by johnzx on 29/12/2016.


This message was last edited by johnzx on 29/12/2016.



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29 Dec 2016 20:01 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 4493 posts Send private message

Roberto´s avatar

I have already replied to some of the recent questions posted here by Verona on the other thread (about habitation certificates), but since the OP (Joan) started this in 2010 and my reply which John referred to was back then also, I'll just add this: as John says, you don't really need a lawyer when selling, but I do understand that anyone with little or no Spanish and / or experience of dealing with property transactions in Spain may feel like they need some help. But a percentage of the sale price for selling is outrageous IMHO. Ask for a fixed price or take Maria's advice (also from back in 2010 but totally relevant today - and she's a lawyer so she knows!) and ask for an hourly rate. Unless something goes wrong, the lawyer will only be holding your hand for a couple of hours!



_______________________

 

"Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason"

Mark Twain

 

 

 




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29 Dec 2016 21:03 by verona Star rating. 31 posts Send private message

I didn't use a solicitor when I purchased but have been advised by my agent to get one when selling as they assist with getting the 3% back that the local government hold. Also difficult with not being there and not knowing how everything works. When I bought, I had help from a Spanish speaking friend who had done the procedure many times before.

I am astounded though at how much it costs to sell a property in Spain. The agent wants 5% + IVA. It's almost making it not worthwhile.





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29 Dec 2016 21:40 by Tadd1966 Star rating in Los Montesinos. 1755 posts Send private message

Vrona

a bit confused

I didn't use a solicitor when I purchased

One post you stated you instructed your lawyer to ask for a discountwink



_______________________
“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge”



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29 Dec 2016 22:45 by verona Star rating. 31 posts Send private message

You are correct, however, he couldn't get me a discount and so I didn't require his services in the end and went through the transaction without him or any solicitor for that matter.





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29 Dec 2016 23:05 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 4493 posts Send private message

Roberto´s avatar

Obviously if you're not in Spain you will need someone to act on your behalf, but if it's mainly to reclaim the 3% retention, which is not exactly legal work, you may find a gestor is cheaper. And the fees you've been quoted (not to mention the questionablility of what you're being told you need) do seem excessive. Shop around, or seek out the friend who helped when you bought (which is when you probably should have used a lawyer!)  

And for the record, the 3% is paid to Hacienda (the central tax department) not the "local government".

I guess most people don't think too much about selling when they're buying, but there's clearly a lesson here. Both buying and selling in Spain is an expensive business (no doubt one of the reasons the market hasn't recovered much since the crash NINE years ago). Setting aside the hefty transfer taxes, most Spaniards try to avoid using agents and lawyers if they can, whereas in the UK most people wouldn't bother doing their own conveyancing just to save a few hundred quid, and don't baulk at paying an agent 1 or 2% to sell.

And lastly, I hope you are aware of the Plus Valia tax - which is payable to the local council and which you will be liable for? Sorry to be the bearer of more bad news if you weren't.



_______________________

 

"Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason"

Mark Twain

 

 

 




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29 Dec 2016 23:09 by bobaol Star rating. 2257 posts Send private message

bobaol´s avatar

@verona

I am astounded though at how much it costs to sell a property in Spain. The agent wants 5% + IVA. It's almost making it not worthwhile.

You should try selling and buying. I worked out that, selling my house for €`170k (about 40k less than I paid for it) and buying one at €225k would have cost me in the region of €35,000. All in fees, taxes etc so money you'd never, ever get back. Needless to say, we decided not to move.

Oh, as an aside, the estate agent told us the habitation cert was now only valid 5 years and not 10. However, when I showed the 1st licence to the town hall (8 years) they told me it wasn't necessary but would produce a 2nd licence (valid 5 years) for less than €100. No architect or solicitor necessary. 

And I don't know why they want energy efficient certificates in Spain. They could just print off "inadequate" and photocopy them for a couple of cents.

 

 

 





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