New builds in the south of Spain: The Costa del Sol and the Costa de la Luz

We are often called in for the handover of new buildings. Here, we inspect the newly completed property, together with the buyer, and draw up an inspection report with a list of defects. When buying real estate directly from a developer, warranty periods that are sometimes different to the usual ones for construction may apply.

This form of approval is different to the technical approval carried out by the construction company: this is necessary in order to obtain the habitation permit (‘licencia de primera ocupación’) from the local municipality. In the developer model, this approval is carried out between the commissioning party, the developer and the construction company. This involves the architect and the site manager (‘aparejador’) and not the prospective buyer, because the property doesn’t belong to you yet. In fact, the property won’t belong to you until you’ve paid the final instalment and the declaration of new construction (‘escritura de obra nueva’) and the transfer of ownership have taken place at the notary.

When the big handover arrives, a lot of money is also at stake for the developer, namely the last big payment – 20% or 30% of the purchase sum – depending on the agreement. The developer needs the money sooner rather than later at this stage and therefore will try to get this process done quickly – fairly or otherwise. Depending on the developer, they may place a great deal of psychological pressure on the buyers. For example, the developer might send a whole group of people to the inspection: the boss or agent, site manager, architect, translator, master bricklayer, the building technician… sometimes with rather transparent intentions. They will all talk to the buyer in a bid to pressure them into signing the slip of paper.

Before making the payment, ideally you should carry about an inspection of your own with an expert who knows all the ropes. Does everything match the specifications on the sales prospectus? Are all the technical installations working? Are the fittings, windows, doors, floor coverings and plumbing fixtures and fittings in perfect condition and free of defects? Are there any visible defects on inspection?

At bühler & partners, we’re here to help you with this.


Our home inspector service is a straightforward and inexpensive appraisal to professional standards. It can help you to cut out practically all risks typical of buying a house in Andalusia. We recommend it for anyone looking to buy a property. More:

Home inspector service from bühler & partners