It’s impossible to live or buy a property in Spain and not have to deal with its often frustrating bureaucracy, and for that you’ll usually need professional help. So for which official matters should you hire a gestor, a lawyer or a notary?
Gestor (Agent)
There isn’t a direct translation for this type of job in English, mostly because it doesn’t really exist in many other countries.
Gestores are usually the first person you’ll contact when you must go through a bureaucratic process in Spain. If you want to buy a second-hand car in Spain from someone for example, they are several legal documents that need to be completed, which a gestor can help with. The most common reason that you’ll need a gestor, however, is to file and submit your taxes.
Lawyer (Abogado)
A lawyer in Spain is essentially like a lawyer in most countries around the world. They are legal professionals who know the ins and outs of the law in Spain. They also take on some of the roles that solicitors do in the UK such as helping you to buy a property.
Lawyers can legally represent you on many different matters and if you get into any trouble with the law, they can also defend you in court. You might contract a lawyer if you’re planning on buying a property in Spain. While it’s not necessary, it’s a good idea to hire one when you’re buying a house, particularly when you’re not familiar with the process.
The role of a notary in Spain is to advise and oversee the signing of contracts, notarial deeds and acts of legalisation. Notaries are not used on a regular basis like a gestor, or over a specific period, like a lawyer. Instead, you’ll probably only need to go and see a notary once for each process. Notaries only act on behalf of the law, they do not act on behalf of a client like a lawyer or a gestor.
If you’re buying a property in Spain, then you and the seller will have to meet in front of a notary to sign the official deeds, even if you have also hired a lawyer. Your lawyer will likely go with you to the signing. The notary will then log this in the public registry. This is usually the last step in the house-buying process in Spain.
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