A question we frequently get asked is if you can buy and sell property in Spain in a currency other than euros. The short answer is yes, and in fact it is done fairly frequently. Here’s a daft little example which in truth happens all the time.
Imagine the case of a British seller who wants to sell up and return to the United Kingdom. He finds a fellow Brit interested in buying his Spanish property. Normally, a buyer needs to change over his Pounds Sterling into euros, buy the house, and then the seller would need to change the euros into pounds again when he heads back to the UK. If both buyer and seller are ill-advised, they are going to pay steep commissions for the privilege of changing back the sales proceeds from one currency to the next and then back again. In truth it would make no sense in this particular case. Surprisingly, many buyers and sellers make this grievous mistake because they have not taken proper legal counsel.
In this particular scenario, it makes sense that the property is acquired and paid for only in pounds, thus cutting out all the pesky exchange rate commissions, not to mention the risk of fluctuation rates. The Spanish Notary will have no qualms in witnessing the conveyance in the mutually agreed currency (Pounds Sterling or Dollars). Your lawyer must add a few pointers to the deed to make it happen, otherwise the transaction will not be accepted by either the Spanish Tax Office or the Land Registry.
Notwithstanding the above, all property-related taxes need to be calculated and paid for in Euros, granted. That is only logical and obvious. What matters is that the bulk of the operation can go forward in the chosen currency, be it pounds, dollars or any other currency, without losing a great deal of the proceeds along the way to middlemen, exchange rate commissions and bank charges. By doing this, both parties stand to save between 2-4% of the sales price and avoid currency fluctuation risks. Not bad at all.