How to find the right property

Nowadays most searches for property start on the internet, usually with one of the big real estate portals, where you as a user, can select your search preferences and get a first glimpse at what is available for rent or purchase in, for example, Marbella. This is a good first step but unfortunately there are some culprits to be aware of. 

Old listings that don’t exist anymore

More often than not, many agents advertise properties that are no longer available on the market, simply to get you to contact them. Once you have been told the property isn’t available (in many cases it hasn’t been for a long time) you are asked for your search criteria and alternatives are being considered.

Multiple Listings

Many homeowners advertise their house with not 1, but several agents at the same time. Each of them creating their own online listing, with their own respective photos. This can be confusing as it happens fairly often that you may not necessarily realize you are looking at the same house and potentially end up visiting the same property twice, wasting a lot of time and effort. This usually happens when the property has been advertised for a long time.

Different Prices

Self-explanatory and you ought to think that shouldn’t happen, but unfortunately it does and usually to the disadvantage of the buyer.

How to avoid the above – work with a professional agent

The easiest way to avoid all those pitfalls is to work closely with one professional agent, who takes his time and learns exactly what you are looking for.

Once that process is complete, he can scan the market for you as well as arrange all the appointments, so you don’t have to be in contact with several agents at the same time whilst trying to keep an overview of where you are heading next for a viewing. This makes the process of looking at properties much more enjoyable and easier.

Since buying a property is usually one of the biggest decisions one takes in his lifetime you ought to look at many different options before making a final decision. This process can get very time-consuming and therefore it is good to a trustworthy partner by your side.

Find an experienced lawyer

Having a qualified and experienced lawyer by your side for your property purchase is absolutely essential. In addition, it is often advisable to choose one that speaks your native language, especially if you’re not fluent in Spanish.


We from Helios-Homes are happy to recommend you different Marbella based lawyers if you wish.

Checklist for your property purchase

Taxes when purchasing a property in Marbella


Payable by the buyer for the purchase of any Real Estate (villas, flats, land, commercial premises, garages), provided the vendor is not a developer or normally trading in the business of resale properties (waiver to VAT exemption).

 Reduced transfer tax for real estate companies or professionals that buy resale property and sell within 5 years.



Villas, apartments, or a garage that is annexed to an apartment or villa, where the vendor is a developer, promoter or habitual trader for brand-new properties.


Parcels of land, for the first sale of brand-new commercial premises.


The cost increases according to the number of pages or complexity of the title deed, and value of the property.


MUNICIPAL ADDED VALUE TAX (PLUS VALÍA)This can be as little as a few hundred Euros or as much as many thousands of Euros on a property with a lot of land that has not changed hands in many years. It is a tax by the town hall based upon the increase in the index value of a property between the year of purchase to the year of sale. This tax corresponds, by its nature, to the vendor who is responsible for its payment, unless


These are in the order of 1% of the selling price, more or less, depending on the lawyer and the price of the property.

To summarize the fees and Taxes:

The total official costs involved in purchasing a constructed residential property should be around 10-11% for resale properties or around 12% for new properties if VAT is paid on the purchase price.


In addition to the above you can expect to pay your lawyer roughly 1% of the purchase price in fees.

The Contract and Purchasing process

Like in other countries, the land registry provides the details as to who owns the Land/House or Apartment.


In most property purchase cases, a private Contract is drawn up, containing the legal description of the property, the purchase price, date of completion as well as the sellers and buyers details.


Once the private contract is signed, the deposit is paid, usually around 10% of the purchase price, followed by the completion and remaining monies paid around 30-60 days later.


Sometimes completion can also take a lot longer, to suit the needs and agreement of either the buyer, seller or both.


When buying a property still under construction (or off-plan), the purchase price is paid over instalments as the property nears completions and all payments must be guaranteed according to LAW 38/1999, by a bank or insurance company.


If for some reason the property is not finished by a certain date, then the purchaser has the right to reclaim the monies paid, plus legal interests. Additionally, Spanish law requires the property developer to give a ten-year assurance to the purchaser with respect to any basic building defects or faults.


Once the complete purchase price has been paid, the seller will issue the public deed of conveyance (escritura) to the purchaser, free of any encumbrances. This deed is issued in presence of a Spanish Notary and then passed on from the notary to the tax office.


There it gets assessed for Transfer Tax if the property is a resale or second hand property, or assessed for Stamp Duty if the property is sold directly by the developer. It’s then presented to the Property Registry for inscription. A provisional inscription in the registry is made immediately upon issuance of the deeds.

logo helios homes
ico 01

Local 70
Avenida de los Naciones Unidas
Puerto Banus
29660 Marbella

Compare Listings