Is it possible to buy a house in Spain during the State of Sanitary Alarm?
von María José García Garrido
Buying a house during the State of Alarm is possible despite the mobility limitations decreed by the Government. The Royal Decree that includes the measures as a consequence of the COVID-19 does not prohibit the purchase and sale of homes. However, in practice it is difficult to carry out some of the formalities involved in this type of operation, although it is not impossible.
Some questions posed by our customers are:
- Can I come to sign the deed of sale?
- Could I lose the deposit if I don't sign the purchase-sale agreement within the deadline?
- Is it possible to terminate the deposit contract without penalty?
If you are in the middle of buying a house, we invite you to read on.
The key to buying a home during the State of Alarm
Going to the notary is an act forbidden by the State of Alarm.
So, how am I going to fulfill my obligation to execute the sale within the time limit if I can't come to sign the deed of purchase?
As you can see, in some cases such a move may be justified. So it is possible.
The key to signing the deed of sale is at:
- Determine whether the signing of the deed of sale of the property is urgent.
- If the parties agree to sign despite the circumstances.
The Notary and his advisor or legal representative will be able to clarify the urgency of your case and, consequently, decide whether the signing is undelayable or can wait.
In addition, your lawyer can sign for you through a power of attorney. This opens up more possibilities for you to make the desired purchase.
According to the Mortgage Law, the notary's intervention is an obligatory procedure for the purchase of the house. And this is because as a buyer you have to be duly informed by the notary about the conditions of the transaction.
The notaries have not closed since they are considered essential activities. However, given the restrictions on movement, the notaries are only dealing with those actions of an urgent nature and those operations in which the parties are happy to sign despite the circumstances.
It is advisable to contact the notary's office by phone to make the consultation.
The fact of being cited in a notary's office is a justification for making this journey.
Of course, you must comply with the health measures recommended by the Authorities.
Are the expiry dates of the deposit contracts suspended with the alarm condition?
If you are in the middle of a purchase process, signed a deposit contract and it is about to expire, you must move your card.
The terms of the deposit contracts have not been suspended due to the state of alarm.
What we are doing for our clients who do not have the urgency to sign the purchase of the house is to negotiate with the seller the suspension of the sale.
Our firm is empowered to represent our clients through powers of attorney without them even having to appear before a notary. That's how we make their lives easier.
What to do if the deposit contract expires and you cannot go to the notary to sign?
Our recommendation is to sign an Annex to the deposit contract to agree to suspend the operation due to force majeure, extending this period until the end of the State of Alarm and life returns, in some way, to normal.
However, the terms of the deposit contract and the circumstances in the buyer's own country must be taken into account.
Is it possible to terminate the deposit contract without penalty?
It is not possible to invoke the current situation to terminate the deposit contract.
There must be real reasons caused by the State of Alarm that prevent the operation from being carried out in order to be able to comply with the deposit contract. However, he will have to prove the reasons that made it impossible for him to fulfil his obligation.
However, as we say, it is always possible to reach an agreement with the seller to postpone the sale. And we insist that you be at the drafting of your deposit contract.
Normally the penalty on deposit contracts that are not executed is 10%.
As we say, the only way is to postpone the signing by agreeing on an Annex to the contract.
Is this a good time to buy a home?
Everything points to the fact that in the short - medium term it will be a good time for real estate investment.
You know that in every crisis there are always opportunities.
Against this background, the expected downward price adjustment will come as a result of rising GDP and unemployment.
So much so that real estate experts are already announcing the drop in house prices, predicting a drop of between 8% and 10%.
If you want to live in one of the most prestigious areas of the Mediterranean Coast and enjoy a relaxed life by the sea, now is a good time to consider investing in a second home or retiring here.
If you have any questions about this, please contact us.
María José García Garrido
Abogada (Spanische Anwältin)
Bildquelle: © terng99 - Adobe Stock
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