Choosing a lawyer for purchasing a property in Spain
Estate agents may not be able to give you adequate legal advice when buying property as it is likely that they are neither trained lawyers nor sufficiently independent from the seller to represent your true interests.
Some estate agents have been known to recommend the services of a Gestor for dealing with the legal aspects of buying a property. A Gestor is an administrative agent who specialises in carrying out a wide range of bureaucratic and administrative tasks for clients in Spain. However they are not trained lawyers, so it is strongly advised that you use the services of a trained lawyer to draft or review contracts, perform a due diligence, or provide any legal advice.
So there is no getting away from the fact that you will need to hire an independent Spanish lawyer to make your purchase legally sound and secure. Ideally, you should hire a lawyer who can provide you with an integrated service that not only protects you in the purchase but also optimises your fiscal situation as a result of the purchase. Of course, you will also need a lawyer who speaks your own language and can provide you with translated documents. This is important as you HAVE to read all documents before signing them, no matter what anyone says.
Final responsibility always rests with you.
Given that foreigners have been buying property in Spain for many years it is not difficult to find a good Spanish lawyer who will look after your interests and deal with you in your own language.
The best way to find a lawyer is by recommendation, either from a friend or a good agent. Agents should recommend independent law firms rather than in-house lawyers. Be sceptical if you are offered an in-house lawyer, as their independence may be compromised.
Whichever law firm or lawyer you choose, ask for some background information that allows you to verify reputation, independence, etc.
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