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The cost of a lawyer’s fees to represent you in the purchase of property in Spain can vary depending on a number of factors, including:

In general, lawyer fees in Spain are usually charged at a percentage of the value of the property, plus VAT. The percentage usually ranges between 1% and 2%, but can be higher in complex cases or high-value properties.

Why are attorneys’ fees calculated based on a percentage of the value of the property? Don’t they charge by the hour?

The reason may be historically determined by the calculation of fees based on the official “Fee Scales” of the Spanish Bar Associations.

As we have seen in this article, the Bar Associations in Spain are distributed in judicial districts or by provinces. Historically, these institutions determined “minimum” fees that the lawyer had to charge for each service.

In the past, these scales were mandatory, but today their monitoring is completely voluntary, meaning that the lawyer is free or not to use the criteria established in these standards for his offer to the client.

The only exception to this “freedom of fee agreement” is established in the calculation of legal costs in the event of a judicial dispute. In these cases, these scales are usually used as references in the event of a judicial dispute. the exclusive effects of valuing that item (the fees) in the incidents of cost assessments or sworn accounts of lawyers.

Let’s see how a lawyer involved in a real estate transaction in different parts of Spain would quote, following the scales of each association or district:

Lawyer fees Malaga

 The Malaga Bar Association approved its own scales on September 18, 2006.

According to this scale, the different actions carried out by the lawyer are valued with a series of “points”, which accumulate as the process progresses. Finally, the total number of points generated is multiplied by an amount that is updated each year, and which is approved by the Malaga Bar Association. For the year 2023 the value of the officially approved point is 71,50 EUR (plus VAT 21%).

Let’s see how it works in a purchase and sale transaction:

*This percentage is increased by 50% for complicated contractual operations, such as a language other than Spanish, or one of the parties to the contract being a foreign national.

**If in addition to “drafting” the contract, the lawyer “negotiates” its clauses until reaching an agreement, it increases by 100%.

Therefore, at a glance, without focusing on the consultations, opinions, meetings, etc. that may arise from a real estate sale, and focusing only on the service of preparing and negotiating a real estate purchase and sale contract.

Let’s assume a case, a specific case of sale:

SUBTOTAL: 6.792 EUR + VAT

To this amount must be added the fees derived from the drafting and negotiation of the purchase and sale contract:

For a property of 500.000 EUR:

SUBTOTAL: 1,5% x 500,000 EUR = 7.500 EUR + VAT

Therefore, according to the fee scale of the Malaga Bar Association, updated to 2023, if we add the actions prior and after the purchase and sale contract, to the fees derived from the drafting and negotiation of the purchase and sale contract, the result is:

6,792 + 7,500 = 14,292 EUR total fees for legal assistance in a real estate purchase and sale transaction in Malaga.

According to this calculation, the total fees accrued by the lawyer for this sale could be 3% of the value of the property.

This amount, which is the one officially calculated through the official scale of Malaga, is what justifies the quote that is usually offered by the province’s lawyers for advice on property purchase and sale transactions, and which ranges between 1 -3 % of the value of the property + VAT.

Lawyer fees Valencia

The Valencia Bar Association approved its own scales on September 9, 2007.

These scales quantify the services of a lawyer in a real estate transaction based on the “value” or “amount” of the transaction. That is, the “price” agreed upon for the sale between buyer and seller. According to this value, percentages are applied on a scale, which are defined according to the functions or services entrusted to the Valencian lawyer.

In this way, based on the official scale and considering the phases and services that the lawyer would perform in a home or property purchase transaction in Valencia, we can make a simulation of the fees that would result from applying said scales.

Therefore, for an example of a real estate sale for an amount of 500,000 EUR, the fees according to the fee scale of the Valencia Bar Association would be as follows:

SUBTOTAL: 4.600 EUR + VAT

To this amount must be added the fees derived from the drafting and negotiation of the purchase and sale contract:

SUBTOTAL: 20.003,4 EUR + VAT

Therefore, according to the fee scale of the Alicante Bar Association, if we add the actions prior and after the purchase and sale contract, to the fees derived from the drafting and negotiation of the purchase and sale contract, the result is:

4,600 + 20,003.4 = 24,603.4 EUR total fees for legal assistance in a real estate purchase and sale transaction in Valencia region.

According to this calculation, the total fees accrued by the lawyer for this sale could be 5% of the value of the property.

This amount, which is the one that is officially calculated through the official scale of Valencia, is the one that should be charged based on this document. However, the reality is that most qualified and registered solicitors quote brokerage quotes for advising on property purchase and sale transactions range between 1-3% of the property value + VAT.