Be careful of ‘unscrupulous agents’ – British expats in Spain share advice for moving

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Louise and Martin Dell moved to Spain after dreaming of a new way of life. The expat pair had a disaster when they first moved and bought an unusable plot of land.

After a difficult period, they found the right property for them and used their experience to develop Kyero, which helps expats navigate the buying process.

The couple shared their top tips for relocation with Express.co.uk so new expats can avoid any costly mistakes.

Martin told Express.co.uk:“A reputable and professional lawyer is priceless.

“Find independent legal advice from a properly trained Spanish conveyancing lawyer.

“This is particularly important when it comes to things like public notary, which in Spain is used to check all the documentation is Government standard, but does not exist to provide legal advice to individuals.

“Unscrupulous agents or developers might try to convince you to save money on legal fees but this leaves you vulnerable to signing contracts to your disadvantage.

“Don’t rush the process, even if you are a cash buyer and have your solicitor check everything.”

Martin and Louise initially hired someone they thought was a lawyer but who didn’t actually have the right qualification.

Martin said it’s a “relatively easy mistake to make, if you don’t know what you’re doing” in Spain.

He added: “Don’t underestimate the costs of agent fees, legal fees, land registry fees, notary fees and taxes associated with Spanish property purchases.

“And make sure your budget includes exchange rates and other international fees.”

It’s easy for buyers to get excited when they find a dream bargain property but there are plenty of other costs to consider.

Legal fees and agent costs can add up so Britons should make sure they have enough saved before starting the process.

Martin told Express.co.uk: “Get your documents in order before you leave. You’ll need to make sure you have the right visas alongside the property paperwork.

“Residency has now changed since Brexit, but the Spanish Government is introducing new visas all the time.”

Relocating abroad to the EU has become a little more complicated since Brexit, but it’s still possible.

Expats will no longer be able to settle overseas without a visa and will need to make sure they have applied for Spanish residency.

Britons looking for a holiday home are unlikely to be heavily impacted as they may not want to spend long periods of time at their property.

Non-EU citizens, including Britons, can stay in the Schengen Zone for 90 out of every 180 days without a visa.

If Britons overstay the 90 day period, they could be fined, detained or banned from re-entry to Spain.

One British woman recently told Express.co.uk how she was detained overnight after unknowingly overstaying 90 days.

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