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The Most Important Steps for Expats When Buying a Property in Spain

Buying a property in a foreign country can be an exciting yet complex endeavour. For expats considering purchasing property in Spain, particularly in Mijas Pueblo and the Costa del Sol, careful planning and a clear understanding of the process is essential.

This handy guide will outline the crucial steps that expats should take when it comes to navigating the Spanish property market, and how you can make your property-buying experience in Spain as smooth and as easy as possible!

Find a Reputable Real Estate Agent

Finding a real estate agent in Mijas is one of the first steps you should take in order to find a property. You should look for the following things in your search:

  1. They’re responsive: A trustworthy real estate agent is always just a call or email away. They should respond promptly and provide the information you’re asking for, as well as be happy to arrange property viewings when needed.
  2. They speak English: When you’re buying a property in Mijas, and particularly if you speak little Spanish, it’s important that your real estate agent has have a good understanding of both Spanish and English. This is crucial in order for you to liaise with them easily and to avoid any misunderstandings.
  3. They have an online presence: Do they have a website? Are they on social media? These are two of the biggest factors to pay attention to when searching for an agent. A huge percentage of property purchases are made online, so it’s important that they have a good presence.
  4. They know the area: Local knowledge is an absolute must. If your real estate agent has little to no experience in your chosen area, how can you expect them to sell a property there? A local agent will know where the best properties are located and can offer you invaluable local knowledge and advice, so be sure to do your research.

Get a NIE Number

A NIE (Número de Identificación de Extranjero) is a unique identification number that is assigned to foreigners that have an economic, professional or social interest in Spain. A NIE number is used for a wide range of administrative activities in Spain, including paying taxes, starting a job, opening a bank account, buying or selling property, buying a car and much, much more.

To apply for a NIE number, you’ll need to make an appointment (‘cita previa’) at your local Immigration Office. For those who are looking to move to Mijas and are applying from Spain, you’ll have a choice of many local offices across the province of Málaga, including Málaga city, Fuengirola, Benalmádena, Torremolinos, as well as Marbella and beyond.

However, if you are looking to live in Spain and need a visa, you can also apply from your local Spanish Consulate in your country of residence. It is important to note that having a NIE number does not grant you permission for residency.

Open a Bank Account

Although it isn’t compulsory to have a Spanish bank account, if you’re looking to obtain a mortgage, you are going to need one. You’ll also need a bank account to pay for things such as utilities, community fees, mortgage payments and other similar charges.

Before you open an account, we highly recommend shopping around as each bank’s services and charges can vary significantly from one to another. Some of the most popular banks in Spain include Banco Sabadell, BBVA, Santander and CaixaBank, amongst others.

Use a Lawyer

A local lawyer will be invaluable as you navigate the buying process in Spain. They will have all the necessary tools, contacts, and knowledge in order to best advise you throughout your journey. They can help with all manner of house-buying tasks, such as checking documents, checking legal requirements, ensuring that the property is free of debt, and many, many other related tasks.

They will also be fully up to date and confident of the laws and legislation in your area, as well as being able to recommend a wide range of services to you that may help you along the way.

Buying a Property with Mijas Properties

With a history dating back to 1984, our team boasts nearly four decades of expertise in acquiring properties within the charming Mijas Pueblo. As a highly esteemed and recommended real estate agency nestled within the village, our reputation has been forged through a blend of extensive local knowledge, unwavering professionalism, transparency, and a commitment to delivering exceptional service to all our valued clients.

Throughout our remarkable 39 years of operation, we’ve proudly assisted countless clients in realising their dreams of buying, selling, letting, and renting both residential and commercial properties in Mijas Pueblo and across the neighbouring areas.

Choose Mijas Properties as your dedicated partner in your real estate journey and let us help you turn your property aspirations into a reality. Simply get in touch with our team today.