Buying and registering property in Portugal
Buying property in Portugal is relatively simple as the country has an open attitude to foreign buyers in the form of a preferential tax regime, Golden Visa programme and no restrictions what the type of property a
Here’s how it works in Portugal
1. Find a property. A local real estate agency offers properties that match your preferences as a buyer. The city, district and your budget are the main things to take into account. Once you have found one or more options that interest you, the agency will arrange viewings. Don’t hesitate to ask your real estate agent any questions about the property, payment procedures or potential discounts.
2. Get a lawyer. Before buying real estate, you will need a lawyer to take care of all the necessary documentation.
3. Get a tax number and open a bank account. A tax identification number (número de identificação fiscal or NIF) will allow you to open a bank account to buy the property.
4. Sign the preliminary sales contract and pay the deposit. The preliminary sales contract (Contrato Promessa de Compra e Venda) is formalised by a notary. You will need to make a down payment from 10% to 30% of the price. Doing this reserves the property and takes it off the market. If the agreement is broken by seller, they will have to pay you back double that sum.
5. Get the sales contracts notarised. All the agreements between parties must be certified by a notary.
6. Pay municipal real estate purchase tax.
7. Do the due diligence. Between the provisional and final sale agreements (1–6 months), your lawyer carries out the due diligence and gets the following documents:
- excerpt from land register (Centidã de Teor), containing information regarding location and type of the property as well as all modifications to property ownership;
- tax registration of the property (Caderneta Urbana/Rustica Predial or Caderneta Predial) defining the surface area of the land, floor space and number of residential buildings;
- habitation licence (Licença de Habitação) issued by local authorities confirming the property meets regulatory standards (for property built after 1951);
- technical certificate of the property (Ficha Técnica de Habitaçã) outlining the construction’s specifications and plans, contractor and supplier details (for buildings certified after 30 March 2004);
- energy performance certificate (Certificado Energetico) proving conformity with energy regulations.
8. Sign the final sales contract (Escritura Publica de Compra e Venda) before a notary public and pay the remaining amount.
9. Register your property and get the title deed. The transaction is considered final as soon as the new owner’s name is recorded on the official land register (Conservatoria de Registo Predial). To get the title deed (Certidão de Teor), you must send certified copies of the sales contract to the land register and tax authorities.
|Stamp duty||0.8% of the contractual price
(+ 0.6% for purchase on a mortgage)
|Title transfer tax
(based on property type,
value and location)
(as % of contractual price)
|Agency commission(VAT is 21% of the commission)||3–5 % + VAT|
|NIF fees(individual tax identification number)||€7.5|
|Title registration1. Property purchase with cash
2. Property purchase with mortgage
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