5 Essential Documents To Prepare To Sell Your HomeProperty News | 5 Essential Documents To Prepare To Sell Your Home

Wed 14 June 2023

Property News | 5 Essential Documents To Prepare To Sell Your Home

Getting your paperwork in order to relieve the stress of selling your property.

It is said that selling a property can be one of the most stressful processes we undertake in our lives. Buying, in comparison, is relatively easy, if your seller has their "ship in order" of course!

At Jacaranda Spain, we advise our prospective sellers to spend some time sorting out the paperwork before they begin the process of putting their house on the market. It can be frustrating, to have the progress of your sale held up by missing documents or discrepancies. This can also raise suspicion, on the buyers part, that there is something untoward. Much better to have complete transparency and full disclosure.

If you are not familiar with the selling process in Spain, it can be daunting. A good real estate agent will advise and help you along the way.  In addition, it is vital that you have a good abogado (solicitor) to deal efficiently with the buyers legal representation. If you do not speak Spanish, choose an agent and an abogado who speak your language. It is so important to understand all of the information without having to use an interpretor. NB. If you are totally daunted, you may feel more at ease if you consult with a gestor beforehand. This is a legal advisor who will work with you at a less costly rate than a solicitor, to ensure you have everything ready.

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All that said, it is still important that you have a level of understanding, with regard to the paperwork, especially here in Spain, where the process varies slightly. It is also important that you are familiar with the official language and the government bodies that hold record of your property.


1) Escritura de Compraventa-  These are your Title Deeds. For the completion of a sale the Escritura has to be signed by the seller, the buyer (or a person with "power of attorney")  and the Notario (Official Notary), at the offices of the Notario, who then holds it on file and registers the newly amended Deeds with the Land Registry. N.B. The Escritura de Compraventa is also known, simply, as the Escritura.  However, there are several other documents known as Escritura, so we advise using the full title on official documents or correspondance.

2) Utility bills - Keeping a copy of all your recent household costs and outgoings is wise. The buyer may ask to see them and they have to be produced at the notario. Also, if you live in a development or an apartment complex you will have management or community bills. In this instance, this is classed as an essential utility bill.

3) Impuesto sobre Bienes Inmuebles, "IBI" (pronounced Ee-Bee) - Also known as SUMA (pronounced SooMa) -  This is the real estate tax (or council tax in the UK).  Whether you pay at the SUMA office, at the bank, online or by direct debit you should have a recent invoice to print out.  On buying a property in Spain, you have to register with the Directorate of Cadastre (or Catastro), who will then calculate the " Valor Catastral" (Catastral Value), an estimated capital value, to calculate your property tax. It is also used to calculate Capital Gains Tax.

4) Certificado de Eficiencia Energética- This is your Energy Performance Certificate. You should have this, unless you bought the property before 2013, when the law changed to make it obligatory to produce a certificate to show the energy efficiency for insulation, glazing, water heating etc. The certificate is valid for 10 years so you may also need to renew it. If you have not got a valid certificate, a qualified technician will come to the property to carry out the inspection at a cost of around 175 euros.

5) An Inventory of the property, with contents to be included in the sale- So often, this can be a real "fly in the ointment" of a sale. If you are transparent from the start, there can be no quibbling about communication mix ups. It may seem obvious to you that your antique grandfather clock is going with you, but it could be that the buyer thinks it is part of the fixtures and fittings. Of course, the law is on your side in this case, but you still do not want it to be a deal breaker at the eleventh hour!

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Here at Jacaranda Spain, we understand that selling a much loved family home can be an enormous undertaking, both physically and mentally. We would like to assure our buyers and sellers that we are here to chat, whenever the occasion arises. We pride ourselves on facilitating all involved, to make the journey as pain free as possible, because, for everyone, it is the beginning of a momentous, new chapter.

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