Signing at the notary office

At the notary office in Coin, Malaga

Well it was a bizarre, but enjoyable experience.  

Our nearest notary to the property is in Coin, the nearest big town to our finca.  So we had agreed with our solicitor to turn up at a certain time (and don’t be late) as the notary had to leave at 11am.  So being very British we arrived early and had a coffee in the square just along from the notary office in Coin.  We were not sure how easy it would be to find or what parking was like so we thought better get there in good time!

There is a typical Spanish square near the notary office with a few bars and cafes and the local Coin Taxi rank and offices.  Just up from the square is a large underground car park which is a pay on departure – so make sure you have some change for the machine on exit.

We went into the notary office at the agreed time, however, the seller had forgotten his money/payment for the estate agents commission and had to go back to get it – which took about 40 minutes.

Whilst we were waiting our solicitor took us in to meet the notary and to sign our Spanish Will.  Although we have English wills, it was important to have Spanish wills for the assets we now have and may collect over the years. More about making a spanish will later.

Anyway, after the signing of the wills, we then waited for the seller to arrive.  When he did we all shook hands and went into the notary’s office.  They read through the contracts and confirmed each points with both parties (our English solicitor translating everything for us at every stage).  Then it was a case of signing the document and being told to hand over a banker’s draft with the balance of the agreed asking price, whilst the seller then passed us the keys!  We were then told we were now the new owners of the finca and relevant land in Monda.  Everyone got up and shook hands and kissed us to congratulate us – it was a bizarre experience, but very enjoyable.  After months of looking at properties, chasing relevant paperwork, email exchanges and phone calls we were now the owners of our own casa in Spain.

The notary then went out of the room to make copies of the documentation and then various amounts of cash exchanged hands.  We paid for the furniture we had agreed to buy and left as happy homeowners of a finca in Spain.

The whole experience reminded me of the days over years ago when we bought our first house, as excited new homeowners we wanted to race to the finca and open up, but first we had to sort out a post box so we had an address to change the electricity and other utility bills into our name.

We had a busy day planned with all sorts of people arriving later that day at the house, but more of that on Day 1 in Casa Goodwin.

In summary, I had never used a notary before buying a house in Spain.  I have now used one in England to give Power of Attorney to my Spanish solicitor and for two different occasions in Spain – to sign my will and to buy a house.  The offices in Coin were busy with people coming and going throughout the day.  The reception staff were friendly and efficient and the whole place seemed to run like clockwork.  We could have done it on our own, but I was very pleased I had an experienced English speaking lawyer with me to advise me as to what was going on and to translate the comments every step of the way.  I would strongly recommend this to any ex-pat who might not speak the language or know the system very well.