The usual buying process of a property in Portugal

When buying a property in Portugal, it is advisable to have the process accompanied by a lawyer. We work with a number of lawyers together. The costs for the lawyers are included in our fixed prices.


The lawyer checks the legal situation of the real estate. The focus is on the ownership of the seller (certidao de teor), the presence of loads or the examination of basic security. In addition, it is checked whether the property exists officially in the form as it should be sold. We also like to check whether the conditions for a later tourist rental are given. 


The Portuguese Land Registry (registo predial) provides the legal valuation of the property and provides information on how the property is constructed. But you can also obtain information about the legitimacy of the seller and about the possible burdens of the property. The caderneta predial is an excerpt from the tax register containing information about the tax situation and the tax obligations associated with the property.


The examinations, which are routine work, are included in the purchase pre-contract that is customary for property purchases in Portugal (contrato de promessa de compra e venda). The preliminary contract is legally valid even without notarial participation. It is usual to pay a down payment of 5-10% of the total price. In the preliminary contract, the seller should already present the necessary energy passport of the property. The same applies to an extract of the land register entry.


The pre-contract must include the corresponding registration numbers of the two documents, which should always be checked for safety. In addition, houses that were build after 1951 should have an official license (licença de utilização) that matches the actual building conditions. This document sets out the purpose for which the property was built and also ensures that it is a legal use of the building.


The preliminary contract normally includes a passage obliging the other party to enforce the notarial contract of sale. Otherwise, as a rule, claims for damages are also formulated if the actual contract does not materialize for other reasons. In the preliminary contract, the seller must also inform about existing tenants or list them.


The subsequent purchase contract requires a notarial form, taking into account inheritance law, family law and tax law aspects and is pre-formulated by a lawyer. In contrast to other European countries, a registration of the buyer in the land register is not required for the acquisition process, so that the buyer becomes the owner of the property upon conclusion of the notarial contract of sale. However, the entry should be settled directly with the purchase or within o period of 2 month after the purchase.



What costs incurred when buying, you can find out here.


Information provided without guarantee