The papers needed to buy or sell a home in 2023

The purchase of a house involves a significant investment and documents are required in order to carry out the sale and purchase. This ensures that the legal procedures are carried out correctly, guaranteeing compliance with the law and avoiding subsequent problems. In this article we talk about the necessary papers for the purchase of a property.

Documents to be provided by the seller of a property

To sell a property in Spain in 2023, a seller needs the following documents:

Title deed: Document that proves the ownership of the property.
The situation of the property in the Land Registry: This checks whether it has any encumbrances (if it does, these must be cancelled before the sale).
Energy efficiency certificate: This shows the energy consumption of the property and is obligatory in order to sell a house.
Certificate of habitability or licence of first occupation: This guarantees that the property meets the minimum habitability requirements.
Certificate of debts with the community of owners (if there is a community): It must be signed by the administrator and the president.
Statutes of the community of owners and documentation of recent meetings.
Book of the building (if there is one)
Last IBI receipts: It is advisable to have at least the last four receipts.
Deposit contract: It is not compulsory, but it is advisable.
Process and formalities for the sale of a property

These are the procedures and steps to follow in order to be able to carry out the sale and purchase of a second-hand house:


The reservation is a non-binding private document by which the buyer provides the seller with a small amount of money to secure the sale.

Earnest money contract

The earnest money contract is another contract whereby the buyer gives the seller an amount (usually higher than the reservation) to guarantee the transaction. It differs from the reservation contract in that it sets a time limit, conditions and reprisals for the party who backs out.

Signing of the deed

The transaction is formalised by signing the deed before a notary and thus changing the ownership of the house. After this step the buyer will have to pay the ITP (Impuesto de Transmisiones Patrimoniales) during the 30 days following the sale of the property. The amount depends on the autonomous community and varies between 4 and 10% of the value of the property.

Documents for selling a property as a non-resident

If you want to sell your home in Spain as a non-resident and pay taxes in another country, you will need to provide some additional documents in addition to those already mentioned. You will also need to provide your passport and proof that you are paying taxes in another country. 

You should also bear in mind that all the documents you provide in a foreign language must have an apostilled translation, i.e. an official translation that certifies the authenticity of these documents in Spanish. In any case, it is important to bear in mind that most real estate agencies are perfectly familiar with this procedure and will be able to help you.

What documents does the seller of a house need?

If you are the seller you will need to bring the following documents to the notary:

DNI/CIF or valid residence card.
Marital status, marital regime and address
Title deed of the property
Inheritance acceptance document (if applicable)
Receipt of the last IBI payment
Certificate of energy efficiency of the property
Certificate of payment of the community of owners
Certificate of habitability
Document accrediting payment of utilities
Certificate of outstanding mortgage debt and if there is one, request its cancellation.
Power of attorney (if someone is attending on behalf of the seller)


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