Is it possible to sell a house without being registered?

sell a house

Registering a home in the Property Registry is not mandatory. The Law does not require us to do so and it is not an impediment to the acquisition, inheritance or constitution of real estate or land.

However, this procedure is necessary to request a mortgage or to sell a house, being the only legal title that proves and guarantees that we are the owners of a home in front of third parties.

Although currently in Spain you can sell a house without being registered, the operation can be complicated and it can end up being frustrated because buyers distrust the reasons why the property is not deeded.

The explanation is logical: sometimes, a home is not registered in the Property Registry because the building is irregular, because there are problems related to the ownership of the home or the land where it is built (in the case of inheritances, divorces, litigation with companies or individuals, etc.), because the construction has been carried out without the corresponding licenses or because there are tax charges on the property.

Prices up to 20% lower, more procedures for the buyer, and legal uncertainty

Almost all the houses are registered in the Property Registry. Even so, we can find houses without this document because their owners assume that it is enough to register them in Sky Marketing to prove their ownership, something that is false.

Other times, the home is not deed due to ignorance, forgetfulness, or because the owner wants to save on registration and notarial expenses.

Regardless of the reason, buying a home that is not registered can cause you more than one headache.

To begin with, and although it is true that unregistered homes have a value well below the average of similar properties in the same area (it is estimated that the prices are up to 20% lower), this does not mean that it is a profitable investment. In fact, far from being an advantage for the buyer, the transfer of this type of property is much more complex and in the long run, it can also be more expensive.

For starters, the registration costs are much higher. Specifically, they are double that of a normal sale, since the new owner must assume the payment of the Notary’s services and the property transfer taxes corresponding to the two homes. This amount may be greater than the savings we have achieved in the sale.

However, the biggest disadvantage of buying a house without being registered is not the economic one: it is the absence of legal coverage. This type of property may be encumbered by a mortgage, by a seizure entry from a public body or by any other type of charges such as easements or usufructs, in which case the buyer will have to assume a debt that does not correspond to him and even renounce to the property.

Can you sell a house without being registered and “legalize” its situation later?

From the legal and fiscal point of view, a house can be sold without notarization because this transaction is neither illegal nor is it a crime typified in our Penal Code.

If you are on “the other side,” that is, if you are thinking of buying a house that is not registered, you can do it, although you will take a lot of risks.

To begin, we recommend that you ask the reasons why the house does not have deeds and does not appear in the property registry or in the cadastre, something that only its current owner can clarify.

One of the most common causes for not registering home is that it has been executed in an “illegal” manner, that is, that the building permits corresponding to the type of land have not been requested. For this reason, almost all the owners of this type of housing have the deed of the plot and can sell it even if the building does not appear in the said document.

Obviously, this fact will condition the appraisal of the land (depending on whether it is urban, rustic, agrarian, buildable or non-buildable) and, of course, its price will be down.

The steps you must follow in this situation are:

  • Verify that the land deed really exists.
  • Request the simple note in the Property Registry to verify its ownership and its square meters (total area, buildable area, separation of boundaries, etc.).
  • Find out if you can legalize the situation of the house at the Town Hall (this is usually done at the Urban Technical Services).
  • If positive, check that the home complies with the current habitability decree and/or carries out the appropriate works.

→ It may interest you: How to know the cadastral value of your house step by step

I have bought a house that is not registered. How can I register it in the Property Registry? 

If you finally buy a home that has never been notarizedyou will have to pay the notary’s fees twice because the notary will have to attest to two sales contracts (the current one and the previous one). You must also pay twice the Capital Transfer Tax. Once these payments are made, the contract can be raised to Public Deed.

Afterward, you must go to the court of the place where the house is located and request a “domain file” This means, basically, that you must provide the title of the domain and the certification of the municipal cadastre to ensure that the property is not registered. A series of witnesses have to attend this act to attest to the transaction.

Among these people must be, necessarily, the previous owner of the property and the owners of buildings or adjoining land.

After this process, the home may be formally registered in the Property Registry by presenting the usual documents (Public Deed, proof of payment of the Property Transfer Tax and proof of payment of the municipal capital gain).

→ You are interested in: Registration price in the Property Registry

Can another person claim the property once it is registered?

From this moment on, the Law establishes a maximum of two years for a third party to claim ownership of the property. The “domain file” will be public during this time, and the person claiming ownership must prove their ownership by means of a legal document, such as a contract of sale or a will.

If finally, a judge determines that the seller did not have the right to dispose of the property for sale because it was not his, he must return to the buyer the amount of money needed, in addition to the investment made in the home by the new owner and compensation for damages. It will also assume the total of the judicial costs.

In general terms and, although a house can be sold without being registered at a lower price than usual, it is advisable that before making the decision, assess the possible consequences that this operation has from the administrative and economic point of view.
Do you want to buy a house? Are you looking for a home adjusted to your needs? Do you have doubts about what type of property suits you? Have you found the house of your dreams but want to get some advice before buying it? Contact Tajarat properties.



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