1.- Take your time in negotiating the purchase price of the Spanish property. Ask the estate agent how long the property has been on the market for, why are the sellers selling if any offers have been made and how much for. Then armed with information, submit a “cheeky” offer. At least 15% below asking price, you can only go up from there onwards;
2.- If you are buying from a British seller and they have no mortgage on the property then you could agree to pay some of the purchase price in pounds. Generally I would recommend 80% in pounds and 20% in euros. An exchange rate will have to be agreed and the pound/euro rates and agreed figures inserted in the contract. Advantage is that the exchange rate risk is reduced.
3.- Use a FX company. Savings of up to 5% can be made on transfers. Some Spanish bank charge commissions to receive funds from abroad so currency companies arrange transfers in segments of less than 50,000 euros where no charge is made. Compare any rate quoted to you with other FX providers or your own bank.
4.- Consider a mortgage to part fund your property purchase. Spanish banks will lend up to 65%. As and when the pound recovers (if it does), you could use sterling to pay off the mortgage. If you rent your apartment, ask for payment to be made in euros into your Spanish bank.
5.- Some Spanish banks charge astronomical fees for bank cheques which are used at completion. We have discounted agreements with banks so cheques for completion will not cost the earth!