Mortgage process in Barcelona 

Despite this post being written for Barcelona it covers the logic applied in all Spain.
This post is part of a previous post covering general information about mortgages in Barcelona and Spain.
May you need the big scenario, I recommend checking first the post: Mortgages in Barcelona Spain. 

May you don’t know us yet, let’s have a quick introduction: we’re ERA architects.
Actually, I’m Esther Rovira, architect and passive house designer in Barcelona and Catalonia for either passive houses, efficient houses and positive houses.
In this post ‘Mortgage process in Barcelona’, you’ll find the list of basics you need to know before you start your renovation in Barcelona.
I hope it helps you! Let’s explore the 4 basics of a positive home renovation.

In this post we’re covering this process:

  • Pre-evaluation
  • Property Valuation
  • Placing final offer
  • Sign the ‘arras’
  • The transaction

Pre-evaluation of your mortgage

The pre-evaluation process consists of analysing your financials, property use, income type, residency and existing previous debts and assets.
In order to do this pre-evaluation, you will need to prepare this information:

  • Passport copy and current address proof

  • Employment letter

  • Bank statement 

3 months for an individual, for a company owner also 3 years of audited accounts and tax returns PLUS a company complete profile

  • Loans & assets

  • Payslips 

3 months

  • Tax returns 

3 years

Note that most lenders require to find a property before they accept to do a pre-evaluation. This is the case of most banks in Spain. However you may find mortgage companies that are able to assist you on a pre-evaluation before you even have a property.

The pre-evaluation it’s usually for free and can take from 5 to 10 days once you hand in all documents. 

Once you have green light on the pre-evaluation for your mortgage in Barcelona or Spain, then you can move to searching for your property to buy and renovate. Finally place an offer to the seller.

Property valuation

Once you’ve found a property you love, your mortgage lender will do a property valuation combined with your personal profile to include specific terms to the mortgage such as:

  • Loan amount

  • Mortgage terms

  • Special conditions 

The terms may vary from the pre-evaluation approval depending on how much time has passed from that first study and also the specific conditions you may have requested.

This can take 15 to 30 days depending on how focused oriented your lender is (and we all know how the bank’s respond when we have an urgent requirement).

Placing an offer

After confirming the terms of the mortgage related to a specific property; you’re set to make an offer for you future desired home to renovate in Barcelona. In case it’s a approved, then the next steps are:

  • Pay a reservation deposit (1% of the offer)

  • Set a date to sign the preliminary contract (‘arras’ in Spanish)

  • Search for a Notary 

Sign the ‘arras’

It’s highly recommended to specify a mortgage clause in the ‘arras’ (preliminary contract) to safeguard a 10% deposit to be recovered in case the lender offers different terms in the final contract. In this way, you’ll be able to recover this deposit.

The transaction completion date is agreed during the arras signing date. It depends on the specific needs of each side (seller and buyer). In case no one has any specific conditions, then the time between the arras signature and the full transaction is usually 2 months. 

The transaction

When the agreed date comes, you need to go to the notary to review and sign the final offer provided by the bank. This is to confirm you’ve understood all terms and conditions from your mortgage lender.
Your lender representative will be present during this final signature in order to deliver the total amount of the purchase considering also taxes, and property related fees.
Expect to pay 10% of the purchase price in terms of taxes (‘Impuesto de transmisiones patrimoniales’). Also an extra 2.500€ onwards in terms of paperwork (‘escritura’, ‘registro propiedad’ and notary services).


  • Step-by-Step Process:
    • Outlines the mortgage process in five distinct steps: Pre-evaluation, Property Valuation, Placing Final Offer, Signing the ‘Arras,’ and the Transaction.
  • Pre-Evaluation Process:
    • Provide essential documents for a pre-evaluation: passport copy, proof of address, employment letters, bank statements, and more.
    • Some mortgage companies allow pre-evaluations before finding a property, a potential advantage over traditional banks.
    • The pre-evaluation is typically free and takes 5 to 10 days after submitting all required documents.
    • After pre-evaluation approval, the search for a property can start.
  • Property Valuation:
    • Combines personal profile with property data to define specific mortgage terms.
    • The terms may vary from pre-evaluation approval and can take 15 to 30 days, depending on the lender’s responsiveness.
  • Placing an Offer:
    • Steps after confirming mortgage terms for a specific property, including paying a reservation deposit and signing a preliminary contract (‘arras’).
  • Arras (preliminary contract):
    • Include a mortgage clause in the ‘arras’ to safeguard a 10% deposit (to recover if the lender offers different terms).
    • The transaction completion date is agreed upon during the ‘arras’ signing, typically taking around 2 months if no specific conditions are present.
  • Final Transaction Steps:
    • Reviewing and signing the final offer at the notary, with the lender representative present.
    • Highlights the expected costs, including 10% of the purchase price for taxes and additional fees for paperwork (2.500€)

I hope this post ‘Mortgage process in Barcelona’ gives you a comprehensive roadmap for navigating the mortgage process in Barcelona so you are able to take strategic decision-making throughout the journey (leave a comment below with your questions and we’ll answer them to keep on helping you).

You’re already moving forward by reading this post until the end. So congrats on your achievement so far!
The next baby step is to contact an expert before embarking into this journey.
If you want to talk to a specialist on mortgages in Spain who is also a fluent English speaker, you can book your first call here.

Best of luck on your positive home renovation adventure.
See you on the next post,


Founder of ERA architects

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