Purchasing a Property in Portugal in 5 Steps

How To Purchase a Property in Portugal
How To Purchase a Property in Portugal

As a fully registered and licensed real estate company, will help you at all the stages of purchasing a property. We understand how complex the process can appear to those unfamiliar with Portuguese law and language.

We will seek to fully understand exactly what type of property you are looking for and how much you wish to spend. We will discuss with you the type of location, facilities and ensure that you have the benefit of all our local knowledge and experience.

You will be helped to choose properties which meet your criteria after which we will arrange viewing visits to those of most interest to you. We understand that our clients do not wish to waste precious time viewing properties that are not suitable.

Property purchase in Portugal is relatively straightforward and there are five basic steps to the buying process:

Obtaining a Fiscal number (tax number). The promise to buy and sell contract. Payment of taxes. Completion of the contract. Registration of the property into your own name.

Fiscal Numbers

For non-Portuguese clients it is important to know that you must obtain a fiscal number and open a Portuguese bank account. We will give you every assistance in obtaining these as well as offering you a choice of independent local lawyers to provide you with objective and legal advice on the purchase to ensure peace of mind in this important decision.

When you have chosen the property you want to purchase and you have agreed the purchase price with the vendor, a Promissory Contract(Contrato Promessa de Compra e Venda), which details the conditions of sale and other agreements regarding the transfer, will be drawn-up. The contract will also record a date for completion of the purchase. Once this has been signed, both parties become legally bound to see the transfer through. A deposit of 10% to 20% of the purchase price is usually lodged at this stage.

NB: The Promissory Contract is a legally binding contract. In the event that the purchaser withdraws from the sale after signing the promissory contract, he will lose the amount given as a deposit. Should the vendor withdraw from the sale, then he will have to re-pay double the amount given as a deposit.


Are payable in the Finance Department before the execution of the Deed of Purchase and Sale. There are currently two taxes payable on acquisition of a property in Portugal: The Portuguese Government Property tax (IMT – Imposto Municipal sobre as Transmissões Onerosas de Imóveis) and Stamp Duty (Imposto de Selo).

Stamp Duty – the current rate is 0.8% of the purchase price. IMT tax – is on a sliding scale based on purchase price and whether the property is for your permanent residence or is non-residence / a second home. Rustic land – the current tax rate is 5%. Building land and commercial property – the current tax rate is 6.5% Mortgage – the current tax rate is 6%

Completion of the contract

Takes place with the execution of the Deed of Purchase and Sale (Escritura Pública de Compra e Venda), which is signed before a notary and officially recorded. On signing the Deed of Purchase the balance of the purchase price is paid according to the provisions of the Promissory Contract.

Registration of the property

Into the new owners name is undertaken at the Land and Property Registry (Conservatória do Registo Predial) and in the Finance Department (Finanças) of the Câmara Municipal, after which the transfer is complete.

Other taxes to consider: The annual council tax – IMI (Imposto Municipal Imobiliário) differs from municipality to municipality and ranges between 0.4 and 0.8% of the council´s valuation of the property.