Conveyancing in Tenerife: Assistance with the purchase of real estate in Spain, the Canary Islands or Tenerife: You have come to the right place at Seb Leeson Consulting! We are your partner for complete legal and tax advice when purchasing in Tenerife, the Canary Islands or Spain! You have undoubtedly heard or read stories of duped people who have bought property in Spain or Tenerife. Or that no one can be trusted. Or that it is impossible if you do not speak the Spanish language. None of this applies if you work with Seb Leeson Consulting and we assist you with the purchase of your property!

What services do we offer? We always work with total solutions in which you are central. Your satisfaction is our priotiry. Our main assets are:

  • Assistance throughout Spain

  • We help you in English

  • We help and represent you and your intrests

  • Independant checks

  • Full conveyancing from beginning till the end

  • As a recognized Spanish “asesoria”, we are member of various professional organizations and insured for all our work


What does our assistance when buying real estate in Tenerife or Spain include, before you become the owner? Which solutions and which methods do we use? It is very simple: You are going to buy through a building promoter, broker or private individual. So everything looks good, but you still want (and that is a very good idea) that a specialist in your own language checks everything and is at your side to watch over your interests, so that you are not faced with unpleasant surprises afterwards.

We are going to guide you completely step by step during your purchase process, no matter what you buy, who you buy from and how much you pay for it!

Conveyancing in Tenerife: an overview

Buying a property in Tenerife or in general in Spain is similar to the procedure in several other countries, but there are several important differences. So having an independent English-speaking consultant assisting you is no superfluous luxury, it gives you more peace of mind and prevents any problems and high costs afterwards. We are fully insured as a Spanish company for our services for both Spain and the Canary Islands. Regardless of where or through whom you are buying in Spain, always be assisted by an independent party, such as Seb Leeson Consulting!

The information below is intended to give you a general overview of the purchase procedure to ensure that each transaction is completed in a smooth and correct manner. If you have any questions, you can always contact us.

ATTENTION! For specific cases, please refer to the following related articles that cover these topics:

NIE – Número de Identificación de Extranjero

Buying property in Tenerife or Spain as a private individual is not possible without the famous NIE. The NIE is a personal identification number, which also serves as a tax identification number, that every foreigner needs in order to be able to purchase a property in Spain. We obtain the NIE for you through the Policía Nacional of the area where you wish to purchase the property or you can obtain it yourself via a Spanish Embassy or Consulate.

The Spanish Tax Authority

After we have obtained your NIE, we will apply for your NIF. This is so that you will also be registered with the Spanish tax authorities. Buying property in Spain will unfortunately not go without paying taxes. Since 2018, you must be registered with the Spanish tax authorities in advance so that you can meet the tax obligations in Spain. After that, we will also request the Clave Digital (token) for you from the Spanish tax authorities so that you can conduct digital business with numerous authorities, such as the tax authorities, the municipality, etc. This is necessary for a smooth running of your purchase procedure and the taxes that accompany this. This Digital Key is valid for 2 years. As a recognized Spanish asesoria, we arrange the registration for you with the tax authorities in a telematic way so that you do not have to do anything!

The offer

Conveyancing in Tenerife: There are no fixed rules in Spain when it comes to placing a bid for the purchase of real estate. A question we get very often is “how much can I take off?”. There is no fixed answer to this, as it completely depends on the selling party. Is the seller in a rush to sell? Does he urgently need money? Is it priced way too high? Has it been for sale for a long time? These are just some of the factors that could influence the price and the bidding process.

Seb Leeson Consulting is the reference par excellence to fully assist you with the purchase of real estate in Spain, Tenerife or one of the other Spanish islands to go through a flawless procedure without stress. You buy real estate together with us at your side, our guidance with purchase is personally tailored to you; whether you buy directly from a private individual, through a real estate agent or from the construction promoter, let us assist and guide you, in your own language, with guarantees, you will not regret it!

Choosing Seb Leeson Consulting means choosing smooth and professional purchase guidance in Spain!

The sales agreement

As soon as you have made your choice in the property you wish to purchase and there is a price agreement, either the broker or we will draw up a purchase agreement that must be signed by both buyer and seller and that indicates the upcoming sale. Buying property in Tenerife or Spain is generally done by signing an agreement before going to the notary, although this is not a legal obligation. It is therefore common for the buyer to pay a deposit of 10% of the agreed sales price when signing this document. You will lose this deposit if you should cancel the purchase.

This deposit remains on the account of the intermediary (broker, solicitor, third party, …) until the deed or, where appropriate, paid to the selling party. We always try to have an agreement with the other party that this deposit can be on our clients account, so that you enjoy a higher degree of protection.


Please contact us before signing any agreement, so that we can read it for you and watch over your interests! You must be sure that you understand what you are signing and buying!

Debt review

Conveyancing in Tenerife: In our assistance and conveyancing with the purchase of real estate in Spain, checking any debts on the real estate is a very important part of our work. In Spain and the Canary Islands you can take over debts on real estate, these are not automatically cleared when sold. Dramatic stories that you sometimes hear in the news usually have the origin that this has not been checked and that the buyer has not been assisted by an independent consultant. Or worse, that malicious intent was involved.

Buying real estate with a mortgage is still possible, you can even take over the mortgage, but this is not recommended. If there is still a mortgage on the property, this must also be settled after the deed has been signed. The settlement of a current credit can take some time, as the bank must be repaid, after which a deed must be executed again to remove the mortgage from the Register. It goes without saying that we will check and follow up on this for you!

Furthermore, it should also be checked that the seller has paid all other current bills, being water, electricity, the comunidad (if applicable), basura (garbage collection) and the IBI/SUMA (cadastral income – council tax). As a buyer you need to be sure that you are buying completely debt free, or that the debts are deducted from the price you pay to the seller!

A municipal capital gains tax must be paid by the seller when selling his real estate, but it is the legal obligation of the buyer to actually pay this to the government if the seller is a non-resident. So it is important to know in advance how much this is as this sum is deducted from the price. The capital gains tax is therefore not settled at the notary but later through the municipality. You will deduct this amount from the purchase price and Seb Leeson Consulting will pay this for you to the appropriate government authorities.

If the seller is not a tax resident, 3% must be deducted from the sales price. Again, the obligation to pay this to the Spanish tax authorities lies with the buyer. This is also not settled at the notary but by Seb Leeson Consulting at the competent authorities.

The payment

Usually you will have already paid 10% to us or to the seller’s representative as a deposit for the purchase of the property. There is still the balance to pay for the actual purchase. This can be done in several ways, which we will briefly explain here:

  • Via your own Spanish bank account: This has the advantage that you retain full control over your own finances, in other words you will transfer the funds for the purchase of your own (UK, USA, Swiss…) account to your own (new) Spanish bank account. You will also have to take into account that the seller will most likely want a certified Spanish bank cheque, which will cost you between 0.4% and 0.7% on the (purchase) amount of the cheque.

  • Via the Spanish Notary: This has the advantage that you do not have to open a Spanish account. But the notary will draw up an extra deed for this, which you will have to pay. This additional cost starts at approximately €450 and will increase depending on the amount that you have transferred to the Spanish notary.

  • Through our clients account: We have a special clients account with the Spanish private bank “Banca March” where we can receive your funds for the purchase of real estate. When we request certified bank checks to hand over to the seller at the signing of the deed, we only have to pay 50€ commission to the bank. So this is by far the cheapest way to complete your purchase.

  • Directly to the seller: You also have the option to transfer the sum to the seller prior to the sale. It goes without saying that this can entail the necessary problems and dangers and that we absolutely do not approve of this method.

The Spanish Bankaccount

In order to have us set up the direct debits for all your recurring costs, like water, electrics taxes etc, you will need to have a EURO account within the SEPA system of the European Union. Some banks will offer this, but we have experienced problems with Polish, Czech and Swiss banks so it is best to opt to have a Spanish account if you do not already have a full euro accounbt in a european country. A number of obligations will still have to be fulfilled. The advantage of the Spanish bank account is that you can keep everything neatly separated, the disadvantage is that the Spanish bank accounts are simply not cheap and all kinds of commissions are asked for.

In order to open the bank account, you will need to provide the following:

  • Latest tax return; translated to Spanish

  • Proof of origin funds that you will use for the purchase

Notary Public


Buying real estate in Tenerife or Spain is also done with a notary and our guidance and assistance during the purchase also includes this very important moment. Even though it is perfectly possible to do the transaction without a notary, we absolutely advise against this! An appointment is made at a Notary of the buyer’s choice, usually between 1 and 3 months after the signing of the purchase agreement. At this moment the notarial deed is signed, the seller will be paid and the keys will be handed over to you.

The Spanish notary will prepare the deed based on the information we provide him. He will therefore not conduct an investigation into the property you are buying! He is also not responsible for the transaction, the correctness of the information or the documentation provided! That is why you always need an independent party to assist you and to be sure that everything runs smoothly!


Conveyancing in Tenerife: Your purchase must also be registered here with the competent authorities. However, the notary does not do this automatically and you as the new owner are responsible for this. It goes without saying that we will take care of this for you.

The Registration procedure in the Land Registry often takes several weeks and there are also costs involved, based on the purchase value of your property. These are the Registration Rights.


Your biggest additional cost with the purchase are the transfer taxes. These depend on a number of parameters:

  • You buy used real estate
  • You buy new construction
  • You buy through an auction or bank repossession: exceptions or other rules regularly apply here

This also depends on the region where the property is located. For example, the transfer taxes in Madrid are not equal to Andalucia, and they are not equal to the Canary Islands. An overview of the costs and taxes with your purchase can be found on the page “taxes > buying”.

You must arrange the declaration and payment of this tax yourself after signing the authentic deed, the notary does not take care of this. Again, it goes without saying that we will look after this for you.


Just like at home, here too the utilities must be transferred from the previous owner to your name. This includes the signing of an electricity contract, water supply, garbage collection, registration with the municipality, council taxes, etc. All these formalities are also included in our conveyancing in Tenerife, so you don’t have to worry about anything, we take care of everything!


You must inform the municipality and the Catastre that you are the new owner of your property. Every year you will have to pay a council tax, which here is called the Impuesto sobre los Bienes Inmuebles (IBI) or in some municipalities SUMA. We have this tax direct/debited to your bank account for all our clientsso that you never pay late and therefore do not incur fines.

You will most likely also be eligible to pay the non-resident tax.

Conveyancing in Tenerife: in the end

Seb Leeson Consulting is the reference par excellence to fully assist you with the purchase of real estate in Spain, and the conveyancing in Tenerife or one of the other Spanish islands to go through a flawless procedure without stress. You buy real estate together with us at your side, our guidance with purchase is personally tailored to you; whether you buy directly from a private individual, through a real estate agent or from the construction promoter, let us assist and guide you, in your own language, with guarantees, you will not regret it!

Choosing Seb Leeson Consulting means choosing smooth and professional purchase guidance in Spain!

Conveyancing: Special cases

  • BANK REPOSSESSIONS: The procedure for the purchase of a bank repossession is different from a “normal” purchase procedure for real estate. Read the article that explains everything about buying bank repossessions in Spain: Buying bank repossession in Spain.

  • NEW CONSTRUCTION: The purchase of a new construction is also different from the purchase of existing real estate. You will often buy “on plan” and pay in installments to the construction promoter. Read our article on buying new construction in Tenerife.

  • COMPANY: The purchase through a foreign registered company is possible if you want to purchase real estate in Spain. You can therefore perfectly purchase real estate in Spain with your Britisch or US company, which can be a significant tax advantage. This requires an additional procedure that we can take care of for you. Read our article about buying real estate in Spain with a company.

  • BUYOUT/DIVORCE: In the event of a divorce or “buyout” of a co-owner of the Spanish real estate, the necessary formalities must also be completed. Read our article about divisions and buy-out of partners here.

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