Buying Procedure in Portugal

Buying Procedure in Portugal

Offer of Acceptance

Once you have found your perfect property and your offer has been accepted, your first step is to instruct a lawyer. For local expertise please see our lawyers page. Why do we recommend these lawyers? Over the many years of sales, our varied international clients have recommended them too us as offering an efficient bilingual service. When you have Appointed your legal representative, we will convey to your lawyer all the sales details including agreed price, preferred dates for exchange and completion.


Promissory Contract (Exchange of Contract)

Now that you have appointed your legal representative, they will obtain all the necessary documentation for divulgence including checking the classification of the property at the land registry to ensure it has been correctly registered. They will also check the legal title to the property and carry out the searches to ensure that the land is registered both at the land registry and the tax office and that there are no liabilities registered or no restrictions on title.

Your lawyer will send you a report on title, setting out the legal characteristics on the property and once you have agreed with this you are in a position to exchange contracts and pay a 10% deposit. Signing the promissory contractually binds both parties to the terms set out in the promissory contract. It is legally binding on both the buyer and the seller. If the buyer defaults they will forfeit the deposit. If the seller defaults  they have to pay the buyer double the deposit. Before the signing of the promissory, both parties can withdraw from the transaction with no penalties. To secure your chosen property whilst your lawyer is conducting the due diligence, it is possible for both parties to sign a letter of intent with a reservation fee, refundable if your lawyer is not satisfied with their searches or legal title.


Escritura (Deeds/Completion)

The deed is the document which ensures the purchaser has the correct title to the property. Your lawyer will also register your purchase at the land registry department. The completion will be signed before a public notary who will verify the identity of both parties and confirm the details and documents supplied are correct from a legal and tax point of view. At this point your lawyer will have received your funds for the purchase and all associated purchase costs. This will allow them to make all payments on your behalf to the notary and all associated departments to complete the purchase. To ensure your funds arrive in time and to get your best rates for your currency exchange please click on the link to learn more about transferring money through an FX company.


Associated Purchase Costs


Stamp duty

Paid at the time of the deed to the public notary and charged on the declared value of the property, at the rate of a 0.8% Please note if you are obtaining a mortgage in Portugal you should account for an additional stamp duty of 0.6% on the value of the mortgage. Notary and registration fees. Payable via your lawyer at the local land registry and charged on the declared value of your property upon of completion.



Council tax, this is a tax that is paid by the owners of the property and can be paid annually or in two/three instalments. Rustic land is charged at 0.8% of the rateable valuation, not purchase price Building land (Urban) is charged at a rate between 0.3% and 0.5% depending on the council where the property is located.


Time Frame

Promissory contract can normally be signed within a timescale of 2 to 4 weeks, dependant upon the house documentation is up to date. Completion dates are agreed by both parties prior to the signing of the promissory contract and form the terms and conditions of the sale.


Buying Costs



This is the Portuguese Property Transfer Tax which is payable by the purchaser prior to completion. The rate is variable and is based on a sliding scale according to the price of the property, up to 6%. Your lawyer will always advise you of these costs at an early stage.


Portugal - Permanent Residence
Value that focuses on IMT (Euros) The Marginal Rate Apply (%) Amount Deductible (Euros)
Up to 92,407 0 0
Over 92,407 to 126,403 2 1848.14
Over 126,403 to 172,348 5 5640.23
Over 172,348 to 287,213 7 9087.19
Over 287 213 to 574 323 8 11959.32
Over 574.333 to 1.000.00 6 0

 More than €1.000.00 - Single rate of 7.5%


Portugal – Second Home

Value that focuses on IMT (Euros) The Marginal Rate Apply (%) Amount Deductible (Euros)
Up to 92,407 1 0
Over 92,407 to 126,403 2 924.07
Over 126,403 to 172,348 5 4716.16
Over 172,348 to 287,213 7 8163.12
Over 287 213 to 550,836 8 11035.25
Over 574.333 to 1.000.00 6 0
More than €1.000.000 - Single rate of 7.5%

Notary, stamp duty and registration fees These are payable by the purchaser upon signature of the deeds at the public notary and at the Land Registry when the transfer of property ownership is registered. The stamp duty is a flat rate of 0.8% of the property price.