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Property Buying and Selling Information

Buying a property in Portugal
If you are buying a property in Portugal definitely it is advisable to get legal assistance from a Lawyer. At Elite Reality we have close affiliations with a number of lawyers specialising in property purchase and we are more than happy to assist you in finding the right lawyer for you.

When you buy a property the legal search must include several issues as:
  • OWNERSHIP (Who were and are the owners? Successive Owners? How they did acquire? Their marriage status?, etc). The idea is to find out about who is entitled to sell, who has full legitimacy.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE PROPERTY (are you buying the correct property, what is the caracteristics of the property? will it be able to serve your purposes?)
  • FISCAL HISTORY OF THE PROPERTY (Find out about taxes and fiscal obligations on the property due to other transactions happened in the past; to check if there is fiscal debts)
  • LICENCES (it is required to check if the property is licensed for the use that you to make of the property, check drawings and planning permissions)
  • COSTS: the legal fees and expenses: You will have to support the payment of the notary and registration fees; the purchase tax and the duty stamp; the utilities contracts (water, electricity and gas) and the fee with the legal assistance.
Your purchase process requires to be analised considering your individual interest and purpose. There are different perspectives to take in consideration: the fiscal, financial and personal matters, namely it will be necessary to qualify you as resident or non resident, to decide about the family ownership, if you are getting a mortgage make sure that you get the fair conditions.

After all the searches finalised a promissory note shall be signed if parties are not ready to complete despite they made up their minds in the decision of going ahead. With this contract signed there is a commitment between vendor and buyers that can not be broken without penalties. You must be sure that this contract is prepared by a Lawyer. Deed lehal consequences may occur if you do not get proper advice.

The promissory note must preview the total conditions of the purchase and sale as once it signed the obligations of each party are clear.

The transmission is done through a final contract that it will be used to apply the registration of the ownership into your name by the Land Registry Department. It is totally advisable that the contract is signed by a notary who will attribute a special legal value to the contract which will be totally considered legal and can`t be discussed in anyway.

Buying a property in Portugal is a detailed process and one that requires the correct representation. At Elite Realty we offer professional and personal service every step of the way.

For more information on buying a property abroad, please contact us today:

Selling a property in Portugal

The seller must make sure that all civic municipal responsibilities such as paying any outstanding Municipal Council Tax (rates) are up to date. Once a buyer has been found and a sale agreed the seller should also arrange to pay in full and then cancel utility services.

  • Engage a property solicitor
  • It is essential to engage the services of a property solicitor to act legally in the sale. The solicitor will deal with aspects such as drawing up a Procuração Publica which is signed in the Notary Office and registered.

  • The Sale
  • Whenever a property is bought and sold in Portugal a document called an Escritura Pública de Compra e Venda has to be drawn up, signed by both parties in front of a public notary and lodged at the local Land Registry (Conservatoria do Registo Predial), with copies issued to the involved parties. Once a buyer has been found the solicitors will need to get this document from the Land Registry.

  • Contract of Sale
  • Once the Escritura documents have been found a Contract of Sale (Contrato de Promessa de Compra e Venda) will be drawn up by the solicitor. It is drawn up by a Notary (Notário) and will eventually be signed by all parties and their legal representatives.

  • Exchange of contracts
  • The solicitors representing both parties will agree upon a date when contracts will be exchanged. This is usually one month after the Contract of Sale is drawn up.

    Before signing the contract both parties should check:
    - Details and identity of the vendor and purchaser
    - Description of the property
    - Surface area of property and land
    - Purchase price and breakdown of fees and who pays what
    - Details of the sales agent
    - Fixtures and fittings included in the sale
    - Details of the mortgage (start and completion)
    - Let-out clauses and penalties

    On the day agreed for exchange and signing of contracts both parties and their legal representatives must attend the notary's office (Notário).

    The seller should take the following documents:
    - Passport, Identity Card and Residency Card
    - Proof of income such as two years of tax returns or pay slips
    - Bank statements showing receipt of income and payment of loans
    - Proof of mortgage payments

    The notary will check that all the necessary documents are in order. Payment is normally handed over via cheque to the seller's legal representative. The notary will then orally go through the terms of sale before the parties and respective solicitors involved, who then sign the Escritura de Compra e Venda before the notary. The notary then records the sale in the official notary office books and certified photocopies are made of the entry as legal proof of sale.

    The original photocopy will carry the Seal of the Notary (Selo de Notário) but are unlike deeds in other countries as certified official copies can be requested at any time.

For more information on selling a property abroad, please contact us today: