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Portugal Property Buyers Guide

The Global Property Group, property investments, new property developments and resale property in Portugal.

Upon signature of the Promissory Contract you will have to pay a deposit which is usually 10% to 30% of the purchase price. You'll lose this amount if you fail to complete, unless the vendor is at fault in which case you'll be entitled to twice the deposit back.

Before signing the promissory contract, purchasers should check the current ownership of the property and whether it's free of charges and burdens. The vendor must be up to date with the payment of charges (such as mortgages) or debts (utility bills) and must sell the property with vacant possession.

Promissory Contract – This contract fully describes the property to be acquired as well as all the terms and conditions of the sale, being signed further to searches undertaken by us. At the time of signature, the purchaser will have to pay a certain percentage of the purchase price to the vendor which is usually in the region of 10 – 30% (please see Deposit below).

Deposit – It is common practice for the purchaser to give a deposit to the vendor upon signature of the Promissory Contract. The purchaser’s failure to complete due to his own fault will result in a loss of the deposit paid. If the contract is not signed through fault of the vendor, he must return to the purchaser double the amount of the deposit paid.

However, if the purchaser is applying for a mortgage, it is possible to sign the contract “Subject to Mortgage” which means that in the event of the purchaser not obtaining the mortgage, the vendor will have to return the deposit.

If the property is part of a Community of Owners, you should obtain a copy of its rules and ascertain what your property's share of the community charge will be. At the same time, check the payments are up to date.

If the property has only recently been completed, make sure that it has a Certificate of Completion of Works and a License for First Occupation.

If the property is still under construction, the vendor is obliged to make certain information and documentation available to you. This includes copies of the relevant maps and plans, registration details, the building license, a completion date along with the consequences of non-compliance with the terms of the Promissory Contract, and Bank Guarantees to cover funds paid over to the vendor by the purchaser prior to completion.

Once the work is complete, you need to sign the Title Deed (Escritura) before the Portuguese Public Notary.
Title Deed – The “Escritura Pública” effectively transfers ownership of the property. Prior to signature of this document before the Public Notary, the purchaser needs to pay IMT (please see IMT below). At the time of signature, the balance of the purchase price needs to be transferred to the vendor.

The Title Deed has to be entered into the appropriate Land Registry records so that ownership is fully protected against third parties.

Registration – By way of registration the purchaser becomes protected against third parties. Although he is already the owner of the property, it needs to be registered in his name for public purposes.

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Contact us now for more information.

We can also put clients in contact with banks, tax advisors, lawyers in Portugal.

A Guide to the Property Buying Process in Portugal

More and more people are buying property abroad and when you consider all the attractions, who can blame them? Whether it's a holiday home for occasional use or a base for your well-deserved retirement, the combination of extremely reasonable house prices and a favourable climate is compelling.

It won't surprise you to learn that whilst there are undoubtedly some similarities between the house buying processes at home and abroad, there are many more differences, particularly when it comes to the legalities. Did you know for instance that in Portugal it's customary to pay a deposit prior to completion and that you need to sign the Title Deed (Escritura) in front of the Portuguese Public Notary?

That's why it's vital that when you're buying property abroad you employ the services of a qualified expert.

In this section, you will find a brief description of the processes involved in a Portuguese conveyance transaction.

Searches – Before the Promissory Contract is signed it is advisable to check the Certificate of Ownership and Charges of the Property Registry, the Tax records of the property and the information lodged with the City Council. These documents show a full description of the property, to whom it belongs (and therefore, the person who can legally sell it), if it is free of charges and burdens (i.e. mortgages, easements, etc.), if all taxes in relation to it have been paid and whether it fulfils the requirements contained in the regulations issued by the City Council.

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