The buying process explained

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It’s almost the end of the peak summer season and now your attention turns to making your dream a reality and investing in property in Portugal.

Nothing is daunting about the process of buying property here and there are no restrictions on foreigners. There is no additional paperwork or criteria, you will simply need a VAT identification number, known as a ‘número de identificação fiscal’ (NIF) or ‘número de contribuinte’.

Once we’ve helped you find your dream home, the buying process is normally done in 3 stages - Reservation, Promissory and Final Deed. On average this can take between 1 and 4 months.

Reservation – you will appoint a multi-lingual lawyer and be asked to put down a reservation fee of around €6,000 - €10,000. This is fully refundable and stays in your lawyer’s account, not with the vendor.

The reservation shows the vendor that you are serious about the purchase and they will normally agree to remove the property from the market for 2-4 weeks so that the lawyers can carry out legal checks on the property - documentation etc.

Promissory Contract – this is the second stage and the first legal contract signing.  At this point, the purchase/sale is legally binding for both parties. Under Portuguese law, should the buyer withdraw from the purchase they lose their entire deposit. If the vendor pulls out, then the vendor has to pay double the amount of the deposit to the buyer.

A 10% - 30?posit is usually made, inclusive of the reservation fee already paid. This is generally carried out within 2-4 weeks of reservation.

Final Deed – this is the last stage of contract signing and payment is carried out in front of a notary. The remainder of the funds are paid in full and all documents are changed into the new owner’s name. The final deed date is typically confirmed at the reservation or promissory stage.

Let us find your dream home - contact our knowledgeable team of Property Advisors: email: or call us: +351 308 800 878 or 0800 014 8201 free from the UK.

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Published in: Miscellaneous / News and Updates / Portugal Property / Property / Property for sale in Portugal / Site News