How to buy and sell property in Spain other than in euros

Raymundo LarraĆ­n Nesbitt, January, 7. 2020

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By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Lawyer – Abogado
7th of January 2020

A question we frequently get asked is if you can buy and sell property in Spain in a currency other than euros. Short answer is yes, and in fact it is done fairly frequently. I’m going to write a daft little example which in truth happens all the time.

Imagine the case of a British seller who wants to sell up and return to the United Kingdom. He finds a fellow British interested in buying his Spanish property. Normally, a buyer needs to change over his sterling pounds into euros, buy the house, and then the seller would need to change again the euros into sterling pounds when he heads back to the UK. If both buyer and seller are ill-advised, they are going to pay steep commissions for the privilege of changing back the sales proceeds from one currency to the next and then back again. In truth it would make no sense in this particular case. Surprisingly, many buyers and sellers make this grievous mistake because they have not taken proper legal counsel.

In this particular scenario, it makes sense that the property is acquired and paid for only in pounds. Thus, cutting out all the pesky exchange rate commissions not to mention the risk of fluctuation rates. The Spanish Notary will have no qualms to witness the conveyance in the mutually agreed currency (sterling pounds). Your lawyer must add a few pointers to the deed to make it happen, otherwise the transaction will not be accepted by either the Spanish Tax Office or the Land Registry.

Notwithstanding the above, all property-related taxes need to be calculated and paid for in euros, granted. But that is only blatant. What matters is that the bulk of the operation can go forward in your chosen currency without losing a great deal of the proceeds along the way in middlemen, exchange rate commissions and bank charges. On doing this, both parties stand to save between 2 – 5 % of the sales proceeds, let alone avoiding FX currency fluctuation risks. Not bad at all, eh?

 

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Buying property in Spain from a private seller (Resale Property) – 21st of February 2017
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