The Legal Aspects of Buying Real Estate in Marbella: A Guide for Buyers


Buying real estate in Marbella can be an exciting and rewarding experience. However, it is essential for buyers, both local and international, to be well-informed about the legal aspects of the purchasing process. Understanding the legal framework and requirements will ensure a smooth and secure transaction. In this blog post, we will provide a comprehensive guide for buyers on the legal aspects of buying real estate in Marbella.

Engage a Reputable Lawyer:

Before embarking on your real estate journey, it is crucial to engage a reputable lawyer who specializes in property transactions in Marbella. A lawyer with expertise in real estate law will guide you through the legal process, review contracts and documents, conduct due diligence, and protect your interests throughout the transaction. They will ensure compliance with all legal requirements and provide you with peace of mind.

Obtain a NIE Number:

As a foreign buyer, it is mandatory to obtain a NIE (Número de Identificación de Extranjero) number from the Spanish authorities. This unique identification number is required for all financial and legal transactions, including purchasing property. Your lawyer can assist you in obtaining this number, which will be essential throughout the buying process.

Conduct Due Diligence:

Before committing to a property purchase, thorough due diligence is essential. This includes verifying the property’s legal status, ownership, and any potential encumbrances or liens. Your lawyer will review the property’s title deed (escritura) and conduct searches at the Land Registry to ensure the property is free from any legal issues. This due diligence will provide you with a clear understanding of the property’s legal status and protect you from any unforeseen complications.

Review and Understand the Purchase Contract:

The purchase contract is a crucial legal document that outlines the terms and conditions of the sale. Your lawyer will carefully review the contract, ensuring that it includes all necessary clauses, such as the property description, purchase price, payment terms, completion date, and any specific conditions. Understanding the contract thoroughly will help you make informed decisions and safeguard your rights as a buyer.

Arrange Proper Financing:

If you require financing to purchase the property, it is important to explore the available options and engage with reputable financial institutions. Your lawyer can assist you in understanding the terms and conditions of the mortgage, ensuring compliance with all legal requirements and protecting your interests.

Paying Taxes and Fees:

As a buyer, you are responsible for paying certain taxes and fees associated with the purchase. These may include transfer tax (ITP or IVA), notary fees, registry fees, and legal fees. Your lawyer will provide you with a clear breakdown of all applicable costs, ensuring you are aware of the financial obligations associated with the transaction.

Completion and Registration:

Upon completion of the purchase, your lawyer will facilitate the transfer of ownership. They will ensure that all necessary documents are signed, the purchase price is paid, and the property is registered in your name at the Land Registry. This step is crucial to legally establish your ownership rights and secure your investment.


Understanding the legal aspects of buying real estate in Marbella is vital for a successful and secure transaction. Engaging a reputable lawyer, conducting thorough due diligence, reviewing the purchase contract, and complying with all legal requirements will protect your interests and provide peace of mind throughout the process. By following this guide and working closely with legal professionals, you can navigate the legal complexities of buying real estate in Marbella confidently and ensure a smooth and legally sound transaction.

real estate agent
Saumon Elhaie
Managing Director

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