Nowadays the sale of a property is covered with a great documentary and technical complexity. Indeed, when dealing with operations of high economic and vital relevance, there are many constraints that should be considered.
Therefore, if you plan to sell a property you should have prepared the following documentation.
PROPERTY REGISTER EXTRACT
Firstly, it is advisable to take a registration note to verify that the property is registered in the owner’s name and to check whether there are any restrictions such as mortgages, rights of way etc. You can get this extract online for a very low administration fee.
2. CADASTRAL EXTRACT
You should go for the cadastral file of the property as well. Most likely, the information given in the cadastral extract is not coordinated with the property register information. However, although it is not mandatory, it is advisable to align the information in both registers especially if you are dealing with a rustic property. Therefore, a topographic map with geo-referenced coordinates will be necessary.
3. DOCUMENTS ABOUT THE URBAN CONDITIONS
This is undoubtedly an essential point. It is convenient to prepare:
- certificate of building inspection (“certificado de final de obra”), issued by the technicians (architect, surveyors, engineers …)
- certificate of building inspection (“certificado de final de obra”) issued by the townhall officials
- basic building project
- execution project
- Urban identity card. This is a certificate accrediting the urban circumstances of the real estate issued by the corresponding City Council.
- certificate of non-existence of urban infringement proceedings issued by the town council. It has become common practice to require this document in any sale, so it is advisable to apply for it as soon as possible as there are municipalities that usually take months to issue these documents.
- aerial photos. Despite not being absolutely essential, they can be useful to prove the age of the buildings. There is a public company called SITIBSA and a private company that can provide with a stock of aerial photographs of the last decades.
- Since the urban conditions are complex and often decisive in the decision of the sale, you should consider the request a survey about the urban conditions of the property to a technician. There have already been cases in which the physical reality of the real estate differed from what was included in the basic and execution project although the building inspection certificate has been issued by the council and the technicians (e.g. works have been done later, there has been an error in the certificates …) This issue can lead to contractual compliance problems, especially when standard clauses about the compliance of urban guidelines are included in the sales agreement Frequently, those issues endanger the sale.
CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY
In any transmission by sale, rental or assignment of use, a copy of the current occupancy certificate has to be provided. In case you do not have such certificate, this fact has to be expressly stated in the title deed or contract.
Please note that this document is also necessary when:
a.- contracting with suppliers (electricity, water, gas and telecommunication services)
b.- applying for a tourist rental license
CERTIFICATE OF ENERGY EFFICIENCY
Since 2013 this certificate is necessary for any sale. If you do not have this certificate on your disposal, an authorized technician can easily provide you with this document within a very short time frame.
In the moment of signing the public title deed you will have to provide the buyer with:
- Receipt of the land tax paid to the municipality (“impuesto sobre bienes inmuebles”), so-called IBI) of the last 4 years
- Receipt of the waste disposal fees paid for the last 4 years
- Last utility bills (water, electricity, gas …)
- Manual of maintenance instructions
CERTIFICATE BY THE COASTAL AUTHORITY
If the property to be sold is adjacent to the coast, a certificate issued by the Coastal Authority should be provided stating that the property is not affected by the 1988 Coastal Act, especially in case that the property is located within the 10 meters coastline which is determined as collective maritime property.
SALES PERMISSION BY THE MINISTRY OF DEFENCE
Finally, it has to be considered that a sale of a rural property (“rústico”) to a buyer whose domicile is not located in an EU member state may require a permission for sale issued by the Ministry of Defense.
Whether all these documents exist or not, can often be crucial for the sales process. If the documents need to be applied for when a potential buyer is found, this will result in a bureaucratic delay and this loss of time may be detrimental to the transaction. Therefore, those property owners who are considering selling their property should, at times, strive to obtain all necessary documents.