Buying real estate in Portugal

When you have found your property, the Vendor or their legal representative will obtain a certificate (Escritura) from the local Land Registry confirming that the property is available to sell. This document will need to be produced to the Notary at the time of signing the contracts.

If the full purchase price is being paid immediately, a purchase contract will be drawn up by the Vendor's legal representative, covering the details of the contract, purchase price and date of completion. At the time of signing the contract, the Purchaser will pay a deposit usually about 10% of the agreed purchase price. If the purchaser should withdraw from the contract this deposit will be forfeited, whilst if the vendor should withdraw they will be obliged to forfeit double the value of the deposit. Buying Property in Portugal

Solicitor / Lawyer

The conveyancing (Escritura) will check that any searches and other legal requirements have been carried out, funds prepared and that both parties can agree a completion time. The transfer of title will then be prepared and will be signed by both parties or by their solicitors/lawyers, in the presence of a notary. The balance of the purchase money can then be handed over. The contract will be retained by the notary and a copy registered with Public Records. You will then have to arrange for registration with the Land Registry which ensures your proof of legal ownership and the Inland Revenue will also be notified for your property and rating taxes. Prior to buying your property you should apply for a tax number.


This will usually be a total of about 15% of the purchase price, slightly less for countryside property. The costs include Solicitor/Notary fees, Stamp Duty and Transfer Tax (SISA).

Property Tax

Property Transfer Tax (SISA), is payable when the registered owner of the property changes. However, if buying through an offshore company, you will not have to change the name of the registered owner of the property and avoid the tax, making the purchase more attractive to a another buyer with a higher realised sale price. Over 1% per year will be paid for services, this is known as a municipal tax.


Bennet & Co Solicitors & Notary

Cornishco, Solicitors in Spain & Portugal

Cornish & Co Solicitors

Fynn & Partners Solicitors

Legal Databases

Legal 21 Organisation

MacRoberts Solicitors

Mcateer & Co Solicitors

Reddy Charlton Mcnight Associates

Venables Group