Information for the buyers

Information for the buyers

Buying a property In Portugal – 4 Easy Steps

Portugal’s property buying process is actually quite straightforward - here are some simple steps to follow:

Step 1 – The Offer

As with any property hunt, the first stage is to find a property you like and make an offer on it. A little negotiation may be necessary and your estate agent should be able to handle this for you. Make sure you are dealing with a licensed estate agent like Panoramic Properties who will ensure you understand the whole process and guide you through as stress-free as possible.

Once you’ve agreed a price, you will need to find a Portuguese lawyer who will check all the documentation to see if everything is legal and up-to-date.

Step 2– Promissory contract and deposit

The next stage is to arrange and sign the promissory contract (Contrato Promessa de Compra e Venda). This is a legal binding agreement between you and the seller to complete the sale.

This contract should include all the terms and conditions of the sale and needs to be signed in the presence of the the legal representatives. You will need to place a deposit at this point – normally 10% of the purchase price.

If you back out of the sale from this point onwards, you will lose your deposit. On the other hand, if the seller pulls out you will be entitled to twice your deposit.

Step 3 – Legal Checks & Portuguese Paperwork

The time scale from promissory contract to completion varies and can be anything from 4 weeks to 4 months - it all depends on the agreement between the buyer and seller.

Buyers need to arrange a Portuguese fiscal number (Numero Fiscal de Contribuinte)

Your lawyer needs to complete all the legal checks on the property (including verifying it is free of debt) and obtain copies of some official documents:

Habitation license (Licenca de Utilizacão), Property registration document (Certidao de Teor), Property tax document (Caderneta Predial) and Energy certificate.

 Once all this paperwork is in order, you should be ready to arrange completion.

Step 4– Completion

At completion you (or an appointed representative) will be required to meet with the seller and the Notario to sign the deeds of sale (Escritura de Compra e Venda). You will need to have arranged for the transfer of the outstanding balance of the purchase price and will also be required to pay various taxes at this point.

These include:

  • Property transfer tax (Imposto Municipal Sobre Transmissao Onerosa de Imoveis – IMT)
  • Notary and registration costs
  • Stamp duty
  • Legal fees

If you do want to have your solicitor (or someone else) act on your behalf, you will need to give them your power of attorney. This can be arranged by your Notary and is known as Procurcao Publica).

Once the deeds have been signed and all taxes paid, the Notario will file details of the registration (Registo) with the Land Registry (Conservatoria do Registo Predial) and the property is yours!