05: Vendors taxes and expenses to sell a property in Marbella

By Artur Loginov on

What are the taxes and costs of a vendor when selling a property in Marbella, Spain? What tax and cost do you pay when you sell a property? Do you want to sell a property in Marbella and are unsure what your expenses will be? It's very recommended to investigate this before putting your property for sale, sometimes even before buying a property, especially if it's an investment, so you have all the cards in advance!

Here is the complete list of taxes and expenses that you must pay when selling a property in Marbella.

Plusvalía (Capital Gain)

Every vendor must pay it (unless there is a sale loss, you can try and avoid it). It's calculated based on the years or months you owned the property times the cadastral value of the land. (Even if you own an apartment, it will be calculated on the proportion of the land on which the urbanisation stands). Usually, it's not a significant expense but something to consider.

Income tax

Only paid if you have received an income on the sale of your property, and different tax is applied if you are a nonresident (24%), resident (19%) if you are an EU/EEA citizen, or if a company (25%) is selling. All the costs you have incurred, both in the purchase and the sale (notaries, registry, lawyers, purchase taxes, agent commissions, among many others), are considered. Only the remaining difference is considered income. Also, reforms, depending on which ones, can also be considered. Of course, you need to have in hand all the official invoices for every single concept.

Real Estate fees

If you decide to use a professional real estate firm to sell your property in Marbella, you can always contact us! You don't have to use an agent, but using the right ones can increase the chances and speed of sales. In Marbella, the agent's fees in a sale process are always paid by the vendor, never the buyer, and typically are established in advance when listing the property. It's important to remember that the agent, the same as a lawyer or any other professional, must apply 21% VAT to the quantity when issuing his invoice.

Lawyer fees

Again, not obligatory to use a lawyer in the sale process, but highly recommended.

Mortgage cancellation fees

If you have a mortgage on the property all the costs and fees for cancelling the mortgage are paid by the vendor. This can be bank commission for early cancellation of the loan, notary, and registry fees for cancellation.

Retention of 3% from the sales price

This is not a tax, nor a cost, but something that we think is important to explain for a clearer picture. It must only apply when the vendor is a nonresident in Spain. The buyer, by law, must deduct in the notary 3% from the purchase price. This amount is deposited in the tax office after the title deed is signed, in the vendor's name. After the sale, the vendor can apply to the tax office to ask for the return of this amount to the vendor's bank account. The refund process can last for approximately 6 months, and eventually, the money will be deposited on the vendor's account, minus any unpaid taxes if such existed. Usually, if you had an income in the sale, the income tax will be directly deducted from the retention. Usually, the lawyers handle this. To apply for the refund, you need to wait for a minimum of one month after the title deed has been signed. Once the month has passed, the seller will have three months to submit the form to the tax office to claim the money back.

Taxes when selling a property in Marbella
Modern luxury villa for sale in La Reserva de Alcuzcuz, Benahavís

Some questions and answers

Who holds the 3% when you sell a property in Spain?

Typically, the buyer's lawyer keeps the 3% on his client's account and is responsible for depositing the money in the tax office in the vendor's name. He has up to 30 days to do so after the purchase has been made. The property that now belongs to the buyer is the guarantee of this process finalizing correctly.

Who pays Plusvalia tax in Spain?

The seller always pays the Plusvalia. If you are a nonresident, usually, the buyer will withhold this amount from the purchase price. It will be paid on your behalf after the completion of the sale.

How to sell a property in Spain?

The process starts with putting your property for sale and then choosing suitable real estate agents if you decide to do so. In parallel, it's very recommended to start investigating all your selling costs and taxes and estimate the income tax. At this stage, you need to hire a lawyer who will then represent you in the sale process. This information might help establish the final asking price at which the property will be marketed. We recommend that you control the property to be positioned on the internet correctly, always at the same asking price by everyone you instruct to sell the property.

After you get an offer for your property and the negotiation process is closed. A reservation or a private purchase contract must be prepared (we recommend using a lawyer already at this stage) with the first deposit payment you will receive. Normally nonrefundable unless some irregularities with the property are found later.

The rest of the payment is made in the notary simultaneously with the signing of the title deeds. The notary takes place around 2 months after the reservation / private purchase contract is signed in ordinary circumstances. If you have a mortgage on the property, it will be cancelled simultaneously on the same day as the notary. The buyer's funds deducted from the purchase price will cancel it. Unless you prefer to cancel it in advance but there is no particular reason for this. You have to be on top of all the taxes and costs to pay during the sale. They are described in this blog and control the changes of supply contracts of the property, like water, electricity bills, new domiciliation of the property taxes to the buyer, among others. A lawyer can help you with this. Good luck! And if you do want to use an excellent real estate agent to sell your property in Marbella, get in touch with us!

Artur Loginov
CEO & Partner Artur Loginov

Artur joined Drumelia in 2009 as a sales agent and since 2015, has been the head of the Sales Department.…