Buying a house in Portugal:
Portugal is one of the favorite locations to move abroad.
It’s no wonder that it is the first choice for many when looking to buy a home to relocate or to spend their holidays.
If you have your eye on that nice cottage with sea view in sunny Portugal, then you are in the right place.
Here is a step by step guide to take you through the entire process when buying a house in Portugal.
Choose a property
When buying a house in Portugal, first of all you need to find the right property for you.
There is no shortage of properties for sale in Portugal, so it shouldn’t be a problem to find the right property for the right price.
Here is a good place to start: https: www.listproperty4free.com/maps/portugal
However, if you are looking for a bargain here is were you can find one:
If you decided on the property you want to buy, here is what follows.
Real estate agents
Usually properties are sold through authorized real estate agents whom will be happy to guide you through the entire process. Most agents will be able to speak with you in English as well.
You may wish to hire a solicitor but this is not mandatory.
The real estate agents are prepared to deal with all aspects of the process and as the buyer you will not have to pay them any fees.
Personal fiscal number (Numero Fiscal de Contribuinte)
You cannot buy a property in Portugal without a personal fiscal number.
This number can be obtained right away at the Local Tax Office (Finanças).
Making an offer
Sellers will typically list their properties for a slightly higher price then they are prepared to sell for.
To make sure the asking price is right, have a look at similar properties for sale in the same area.
Once you made up you mind about how much you are willing to spend simply inform the agent and he or she will pass your offer on to the seller.
Once the price and other details have been agreed the actual legal process can begin.
The legal process has two stages:
1 – Preliminary “promissory buying and selling” contract (Contrato de Promessa de Compra e Venda)
2 – Completion contract (Escritura).
License of Use (Licença de Utilização)
Before you sign the preliminary contract you need to obtain a copy of the license of use from the local Town Hall (Camara Municipal)
This document certifies that the property is licensed to be used for a specific purpose (residential, commercial or industrial).
Preliminary contract (Contrato de Promessa de Compra e Venda)
Both the buyer and seller will sign a preliminary “promissory” contract, similar to an exchange of contracts in the UK.
This contract legally secures the purchase, and is subject to satisfactory searches having been returned.
When buying a house in Portugal you will usually pay a deposit of 10% of the selling price (or another amount agreed in advance) to the agent who will keep it in an escrow account.
The Portuguese law regulates that the deposit is forfeited in case you decide not to buy the property.
If the seller pulls out you will receive double the amount of your deposit.
Property Registration Certificate (Certidão de Teor)
You will need to get a Registration Certificate from the local Land Registry (Conservatória do Registo Predial) in order to complete the process at the Notary’s office.
This document proves who is the owner or owners of the property and if there are any unpaid charges or mortgages on it.
Property Tax document (Caderneta Predial)
You can obtain this document at the local tax office (Finanças).
This document certifies the property’s fiscal number and the inscription of the property for fiscal purposes, identifies the current owner and describes the property.
It also mentions how much the yearly tax is.
This document does not exist for new properties; instead, the building developer will issue a temporary certificate.
Completion (Escritura de compra e venda)
Completion will take place 3 to 4 weeks after signing the preliminary contract.
The “Escritura” (deeds of the property) will be read by the notary and it will be signed by the buyer and seller.
At this stage you need to pay the remaining balance of the purchase price, the transfer tax (Imposto de Sisa) and the notary’s fees.
The property is now officially yours and you will receive the keys.
The Land Registry Office (Conservatória do Registo Predial) and Local Tax Office (Finanças) will then have the property registered.
Congratulations! You successfully went through the process of buying a house in Portugal. Now you will need to make arrangements concerning the supply of electricity, water, gas, telephone, property insurance, etc.