The answer is emphatically yes, you most certainly need a solicitor in Spain. There are so many pitfalls and things that could go wrong with buying your dream apartment or villa in Spain that the risks are very high. There are so many horror stories that it is unbelievable that people still buy properties without the services of and independent solicitor in Spain, who is working on your behalf.
When buying a property in your home country it is extremely rare that your would even consider buying a property without the use of a lawyer or solicitor. There have been many cases of foreigners being duped into buying properties or parting with deposits and it later transpires that the sellers do not actually own the property. There have also been many high profile cases of estate agents taking deposits on properties which is not passed on to the actual owners. It is imperative that a water tight contact is prepared and checked by your solicitor in Spain before any payments are exchanged.
Buying off plan can be a particularly dangerous situation and a signed agreement of the obligations of the developer needs to be covered.
You may find you are buying a villa or apartment in a community and it is therefore essential that your are fully aware of your responsibilities as joint owners, such as swimming pools, security and gardens etc. In Spain communities are governed by both national law and by their own local rules and regulations. Your solicitor in Spain will be able to warn you of any potential problems.
Your solicitor in Spain will also be able to conduct local area searches and ensure that the seller has legal title and that it is passed to correctly. The solicitor will also prepare the pre contract and formal sales contracts and handle the payment of deposits and release payments. All payments should be made via your solicitor in Spain.
The primary function of the solicitor is to ensure that you end up with your dream property that is legally yours.
It would be best to select a solicitor who specialises in Spanish property law. It does not really matter whether they are located in Spain or in your home country. If possible use a solicitor that has been recommended by a friend or colleague.