Buyer´s Guide
Buying a property in Marbella, Spain

The Buying Process

The purchase process is slightly different depending on if the property is existing (resale) or an “off-plan” new development. Both are secure processes if done through a lawyer. We can recommend and arrange both lawyers and different mortgage option for you.


Step 1: Make an Offer
When you have found a property that you prefer we will advise on a realistic offer.

Step 2: Pay the Reservation Deposit
It is usually advisable to pay a reservation deposit, that average from 6,000 euro for a lower priced property to a larger, negotiable figure for higher budgets. This deposit is to secure the property at the agreed price. Should you then change your mind, for no particular reason, 100% of the deposit can be withheld by the seller. This is to cover the seller’s inconvenience of having missed the opportunity to find another buyer or having started to plan the move himself. Should however, the seller changes his mind the whole 100% is refunded to you.

Step 3: A Private Purchase Contract
This is a legal contract which will be prepared by lawyers, usually within 3 weeks of paying the reservation deposit. It is your commitment to buy the property and normally a deposit of 10% will be required. While preparing the contract the lawyer will conduct searches to establish property ownership, land registry, freedom from debts etc. Once this contract is signed and the money paid, there will be no money refund if you should change your mind, unless the lawyer later discovers a problem with, for instance the property ownership. Should however, the seller changes his mind, the money will be refunded.

Step 4: Signing the Title Deeds
This is called the ‘escritura’ in Spain and is the full and legal title of ownership. It will usually be ready within 2 to 4 weeks of signing the Private Purchase Contract depending on whether there are more extensive searches needed, like when buying land from a number of owners. The signing will be done with your lawyer present and in front of a Notary, an official of the state, who will check all aspects of the purchase and ensure you fully understand and agree to all details. Before signing, the remaining balance has to be paid as well as Notary fees, land registry costs and anything else due.

New Developments:

Step 1: Select a Property
When you have chosen a particular development, we will help you select the most appropriate unit. Whether it is for your own use, rental or re-sale, it is important to consider the cost per sq meter, orientation, views, when the development is complete etc.

Step 2: Pay the Reservation Deposit
The same process as for Resale

Step 3: A Private Purchase Contract
The percentage can vary with the different developments. 30% plus IVA (VAT) is most common. Sometimes stage payments are due at specific points of construction, like when the roof is put on. The lawyer will ensure that bank guarantees are in place so your payments are fully secured. In other respects the same apply as for resale.

Step 4: Signing the Title Deeds
This will take place at the completion of construction, normally 18 to 24 months from start of construction. You will view the property before signing for ‘snagging’. The signing will be the same as for resale. If your strategy is to sell before completion, to realize the profit between the pre-construction price and current price, we will plan the resale with you and the new buyer will do the completion.

Some key tax and cost issues:

It is always important to go through the full tax and ownership options before acting. Here are some basics to keep in mind:

  • New constructions carry 10% IVA (VAT) on all stages of payment
  • Notary and Registry fees are set by law and according to a sliding scale. Both fees together are app. 1,5% of the purchase price.
  • Resale is between 8-10% depending on the purchase price, but it is ITP, a transfer tax
  • IBI is an annual real estate tax, usually 0.3-1,3% of the assumed value of the property from  the town hall.
  • Resident in E.U. or E.E.A.: 19% as from 2016.
  • Non-resident in E.U. or E.E.A. (rest of the world): 24%
  • The rubbish collection fee (basura) is usually between 70 and 200 euros per annum.
  • If the property is part of a community, which most apartments, townhouses and some villas are, there will be an annual community fee set by the community committee. This fee will cover gardening, pool maintenance, security, building maintenance, cleaning of the community communal areas etc.


Property Testimonials

Warmest recommendations!


"We were recommended from a friend to contact Unique´x Properties, he bought his dream property through them a few years ago. Gert at Unique´x Properties helped us through the entire buying process, from a fundamental analysis of what we asked for in terms of location, size of property, price level and other imported features for us. During 48 hours we were shown a dozen of properties very effective where Gert explained the advantages and disadvantages of each property with respect to our wishes. We also got help with the entire process of finding a lawyer and bank manager in place, things that I´m very glad I did not have to do myself. When we bought the apartment we also got help with renovation and interior design to get a high Scandinavian level of our apartment, we are very satisfaction with everything according to our purchase. Can really give my warmest recommendations to use Unique´x Properties, as a buyer we could not be more pleased with the choice of residence and the service level we received. "

Mattias and Sebastian

Simply excellent!


"We spent a fantastic 10 days’ vacation in Lily. The apartment was very clean and nicely decorated - everything worked. The “urbanisation” that is the community where Lily is located was above expectations: very beautiful, clean and quiet - we felt very safe in the apartment - this is of importance to us. Equally appreciated were the excellent sporting facilities: it is really unique to be able to run by the shore line for so long without any disturbance from traffic and enjoy the services of small outdoor gyms build along the jogging route. However, the most appreciated experience was the service we received from Christa. All inquiries were answered very quickly and clearly - the reception and departure services were just in a class of its own, simply excellent."

Anniina B.

We will definitely be using Unique´x Properties for future investments...


"After a personal contact that seemed serious and good from the beginning, we used Unique´x Properties in our search for suitable investment in the area around Marbella. Throughout the process, we always received good information and great service on the occasions we visit Marbella to search for an apartment. This despite the fact that the process took some time before we finally made our purchase. Once we decided to buy, the purchase was handled exemplary in every way. The most impressive was otherwise that after completing our purchase the after sale service was equally good, not least the contact in place during the renovation of our property. We have chosen to let Unique´x Properties also manage the rental of our apartment which also handled at least as professional and generated rentals exceeded expectations in the first year. We will definitely be using Unique´x Properties for future investments and we can highly recommend them. "

Michael. F

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