The costs associated to buying a property

Buying a home involves a series of costs for the buyer, and sometimes you are not quite sure to whom you have to pay and why. Theses extra costs can sum up a considerable amount and should be taken into account before buying. The seller, the estate agency, the notary, the administrative agents and the Property Registry all have to be paid. Here is a clearer picture:


Who do I have to pay?


The seller

The estate agency

The notary

Administrative agents

The Property Registry


Pay the seller the price of the home. If you paid a deposit before making the notarial deed, subtract that sum from the price you have to pay when you sign the purchase agreement. It may be that you signed an agreement securing the safe conclusion of the sale (contrato de arras) and turned in a sum to the seller as security. If so, subtract that sum from the price payable when you sign the notarial deed. Remember that if you decide not to buy after all, you will lose the money you put up as security. If the seller decides not to go through with the deal, he or she must give back twice the sum you put up as security.

Pay the estate agency. Remember that the person who ought to pay the estate agency is the person who hired their services. Therefore, if it is the seller who contracted the agency’s services (as generally happens), the agency can only present its claims for payment to the seller, never the buyer.

Pay the notary. The notary will charge fees, according to an official price list of notarial fees, for authorizing the deed of purchase and the mortgage loan deed. It is important for you to know that by law the seller has to pay the fees for the authorisation of the deed and the buyer has to pay the fees for the copies of the deed. The buyer only has to pay all notarial fees if buyer and seller have expressly agreed to that arrangement.

Pay administrative agents the cost of their services, if they have taken care of the paperwork for you. It is very important that your agent shows you the original bills issued by the notary, the registrar and the tax receipt, so that you will know how much you have paid for each service.

Pay the property registrar the fees charged for drawing up the entry of your property and, if you have agreed to this, the fees charged for registering the mortgage. The registrar’s fees are established by a regulated list, which is available to all users at each registration office.

           Before making any payments, demand to see the bills and make sure they include a breakdown of all the charges. The breakdown must also include VAT, contact information and identification number of the person or company that issued the bill. In the case of bills from notaries and registrars, if you do not agree with the items or sums you are being charged, you may file an appeal according to the instructions in the rules establishing the fee schedule.