Property Buying Process in Portugal

Buying Process in Portugal


Our commitment to our client’s is too keep them informed on all the steps involved when buying a property here, before even starting to view. The Portuguese legal system is sometimes a little, let’s say unusual, when compared to other countries. For example, you may find the house you’re buying is different on the paperwork than in person. Making sure you’re covered and protected from future fines and complications is of the utmost importance to us.


The buying process itself is simple and the 5 key steps involved are detailed below:


Step 1 - Agree an Offer & Appoint a Lawyer

Once you’ve found the property you want to purchase, we agree a price and terms with the owner’s and confirm the pertinent details in writing. Ideally, you’ll already have a lawyer in place, or in mind, to represent you in the purchase process. We’re happy to help recommend a law firm for you if you haven’t already appointed one. They will then obtain a Portuguese tax number for you.


Step 2 – Property Report & Promissory Contract Approval

Once appointed your lawyer will examine all the property paperwork, notify of any abnormalities and prepare a property report along with the Promissory Contract draft for your perusal and approval.


Step 3 – Exchange of Promissory Contract

After the contract has been approved by both parties, the agreed deposit, typically 10%, will be paid to your lawyer who in turn will pay this to the vendors lawyer and the contracts will be signed. This is the point at which no party can pull out of the sale without repercussions.


Step 4 - The Final Deed (Escritura)

The final balance of funds should now be deposited with your lawyer (or the bank if financing is involved in Portugal), the property will now be registered in the land registry under your name and the relevant stamp duty and transfer taxes paid.


Step 5 – Completion

Once the deed has been signed and all parties have settled their relevant taxes and expenses the property will be then be transferred into your name in the Land Registry (Registo Predial) and you are the official new owners of the property.



There are of course variables to be taken into account in certain situations. Company ownership is a fairly common occurrence here, especially on higher end property, although this is slowly being phased out, and expert advice should be taken before proceeding with a purchase in this way.


Our team are always on hand to answer any question you might have when buying a property here. The more information you have before you set off on your property search, the easier it then becomes when we find you the perfect home!