There are several ways of searching for a property in Spain: you can search on the internet on the various property websites, you can search in person in the location where you want to buy or you can also enlist the help of a property consultant. In this latter case you need to ask whether they will charge a commission for their advice, which usually consists of a percentage of the purchase price.
For the information on the house, it is important to request a nota simple, an informative extract on the property, from the Property Register. This can either be obtained online at the website www.registradores.org or in person at the Property Register relating to the property you are interested in buying, normally in the same town or city. To make a request for a nota simple you will need the property’s registration details (Registration property number, volume, book and sheet) or the details of the location of the property and the name or company name of the owner.
The nota simple is the basic information about the property: the description of the property, who is the owner and any encumbrances it has (such as a mortgage). If there is a mortgage on the property, you will need to ask the seller for a certificate issued by the mortgage lender bank stating the outstanding amount to be paid.
If it is a newly built property, it is also important to ask the property developer for the works license and the first occupancy license. In the case of second-hand housing, you need to ask the owner for the last receipt of payment of Property Tax (in Spanish, IBI), a certificate stating they are up-to-date with the shared expenses of the building (for properties in a horizontally divided building) and a statement (that can be made in the sale deed itself) that the house is not rented.