Searching for the right property can be overwhelming. There are many factors you need to evaluate. Especially if you try to look for a flat remotely, your job is even more difficult. So we prepared a guide to find property for sale in Barcelona.
It’s a good idea to do your research before buying a home in Barcelona, as the Spanish real estate market has many quirks. Knowing what to expect when finding a property in Barcelona can help you avoid the pitfalls.
Factors to consider when buying property in Spain include property fraud, high capital gains tax and fluctuations in the Spanish property market.
Guide to find property for sale in Barcelona in 7 steps
Below is a logical order to make it easier. First Tip: If you need financing, talk to a bank first, then visit properties.
1) View real estate websites in Barcelona.
Take a look at some websites to see what’s going on. There are several, and most are in English (idealista.com, pisos.com, fotocase.es etc.). The listed price is usually marked up by 5 to 20% and includes the agent’s fee (3 to 6%). Taxes and extra costs are not in the price.
Here are the top-visited websites to buy a flat in Spain:
2) Calculate the total cost
The price of a house is not limited to what you see on the website. Transfer tax, closing costs and other services fees. So, let’s have a closer look at the total cost of buying property in sale in Barcelona.
Add 10% to the price for the transfer tax (it’s 5% if you’re under 33 and meet other requirements) plus 6,000€ in closing costs, legal, architect, and mortgage assistance (if needed). Be sure to ask the agent if they’re charging you. Although the seller pays them, some (Tecnocasa) also charge the buyer.
Calculate your savings and, if necessary, talk to some banks about a mortgage. No sense going any further until this is confirmed. We recommend Mortgage Direct, a professional mortgage broker. They can give some advice for free.
👉🏻 Pro Tip: Real estate agents may recommend you to get their own broker. Don’t hire the agent’s mortgage broker for assistance. You can read our article that explains the facts about mortgage brokers in Barcelona.
Savings needed. A Spanish ‘resident’ needs about 33% of the purchase price and a ‘non-resident’ about 50% in savings. A Spanish resident has a Spanish ID number (NIE) and has or will file an income tax return in Spain. Click for NIE information.
The amount you can borrow. For Spanish ‘residents’, up to 80% of the purchase price or 80% of the bank’s property assessment. For ‘non-residents’, it’s capped at 60%. Only banks located in Spain can grant a mortgage.
4) Make a ‘Wish List’.
Write down what you want and be ready to revise. Here’s a sample:
- Budget (include the extra costs)
- Property Type (house, apartment, etc.)
- Location General (Barcelona or a town/city nearby)
- Location Specific (The neighborhood in Barcelona)
- Size in square meters
- No. of Bedrooms & Bathrooms
- Must Have (such as a terrace, yard (garden), elevator)
- Nice to have
- Target Purchase Date
5) Discover the area of the property for sale
Walk the neighborhoods or drive the outskirts, so you know where you want to buy. Each area is distinct with its character, vibe, pros, cons, etc. Keep in mind that some illegal acts like squattering (Okupas) or robbing can be prevented or minimized by vigilant neighbours.
6) Visit properties
Now you’re ready to visit properties. Here are some options:
a) Look online, call the agent, visit the property and repeat until you find something. Knowing some Spanish will help. As will patience, it’s time-consuming. Be sure to do 1-5 above first.
b) Hire Spain Advisors. We first seek out property owners to avoid the agent and their fee. Then we send you several properties, and you tell us which ones to visit. We visit them with you (best) or make a video.
We also get some basic property information, point out property defects (there’s always a few), and discuss price and terms with the agent. Then you can decide whether to buy.
Our Method. We seldom look online. Since everyone is there, it’s hard to find a good deal. We contact owners and shoppers and visit small agencies to get their unlisted properties. There are hundreds in Barcelona. No license is needed to sell property in Spain so that anyone can sell.
7) Property for sale in Barcelona found
You found the property you want to buy. Move fast. If it’s a good deal, it won’t last long. See these property buying rules for a typical purchase.
Searching for a property is hard work. Doing things in the correct order will save you a lot of time and frustration. Contact us for advice at [email protected].