Complete Guide: Buying Property in Portugal Step-by-Step

Owning a property in the vibrant country of Portugal is a dream for many. With its rich history, diverse culture, stunning landscapes, and friendly locals, it’s no wonder so many are attracted to its shores. However, buying property in Portugal involves multiple steps. Here is a thorough, step-by-step guide to simplify the process for prospective investors.

A step-by-step guide to buying property in Portugal

This journey starts with a search. Like any good search, you should begin by identifying what you need. What are your preferences in terms of location, size, type, and price range of the property? Online platforms, local real estate agencies, and recommendations from locals can provide a plethora of options. However, remember that each property is unique, just as each buyer is unique. It’s essential to ensure that the property meets your specific needs and budget.

2. Visiting Properties and Areas

The next logical step is to visit these properties and areas in person. Photographs and descriptions can provide a general sense of a property, but they can’t match the insight gained from a personal visit. This step allows you to assess the actual condition of the property, the neighborhood, accessibility to amenities, the view, and the vibe of the location. These factors can significantly influence your quality of life or return on investment, and hence, must not be overlooked.

Before putting in an offer, it is prudent to have all your legal and financial matters in order. This process includes obtaining a tax number (Número Identificação Fiscal) in Portugal, opening a personal bank account in a Portuguese bank, and arranging for mortgage or financing, if necessary. It’s recommended to hire a local lawyer during this stage. A professional can help navigate the intricate legal landscape, ensuring your interests are protected.

4. The Offer

Armed with a pre-approval for a mortgage and confidence in your choice, you can now make an offer. This process is not merely about quoting a price; it involves understanding and negotiating the terms of sale. It’s here that having a knowledgeable real estate agent or a savvy lawyer can prove invaluable. They can help you draft an offer, taking into consideration the price, the deposit, the completion date, and any other conditions pertinent to the deal.

5. Thorough Checks

Before signing any contracts, it’s essential to conduct a detailed check of the property. Your lawyer can help scrutinize the property’s title for any existing liens or encumbrances that might affect your ownership. Besides, arrange for a professional survey of the property to determine its structural condition. This step ensures you’re well aware of what you’re getting into and can save you from unpleasant surprises in the future.

6. Signing the Promissory Contract

Once all checks are completed and you’re satisfied with the terms, both parties sign the Promissory Contract of Sale and Purchase (Contrato Promessa Compra e Venda). This contract outlines the specifics of the deal, including the purchase price, deposit paid, completion date, details of both parties, and an inventory of items included in the sale.

7. Completion Date

The final step of the process is the completion date. On this day, the Public Deed (Escritura) is signed before a notary who certifies it. The remaining balance of the purchase price is paid, and all relevant fees and taxes are settled. Once the Deed is registered in the Land Registry, you become the official owner of the property.

Remember, involving a local lawyer or solicitor throughout this process is highly beneficial. They ensure that all legal requirements are met and provide invaluable guidance, making your property buying journey in Portugal smoother and stress-free.

Portugal is consistently ranked as one of the safest countries in the world. The low crime rate, political stability, and friendly locals make it a secure and welcoming place for foreigners. This sense of safety and security is another compelling reason for considering a property investment in Portugal.

Navigating the legal and financial intricacies of foreign real estate markets can feel overwhelming, but with proper guidance and due diligence, it becomes a manageable task. Be patient and meticulous during each step, ensure you understand every document and agreement, and don’t rush the process. After all, the end goal is not just a real estate transaction but securing a property that suits your lifestyle or investment needs.

Investing time and resources into comprehensive market research and utilizing local professional services can eliminate potential pitfalls, ultimately turning your dream of owning a Portuguese property into a reality. Whether you are in search of a coastal villa, a chic city apartment, or a charming country house, Portugal’s diverse real estate market has something to offer everyone.

To navigate Portugal’s real estate tax regulations effectively, refer to this comprehensive guide: link to comprehensive guide on Portugal’s real estate tax. If you are considering Portugal’s Golden Visa program, which offers residency to property investors, you can find a detailed guide here: link to guide on Portugal’s Golden Visa program. And if you’re still undecided about buying property in Portugal, here are five compelling reasons that might convince you: link to five reasons to buy property in Portugal.

With the right information and assistance, you can confidently navigate the Portuguese real estate market and make an informed decision. Take advantage of these resources to ensure a smoother and stress-free property buying journey in Portugal.

Remember, the key is to combine careful consideration, expert advice, and a clear understanding of your own needs and preferences to find the perfect property in this beautiful country. Happy property hunting!


  1. Do I need to have a residency in Portugal to buy property?No, you do not need to have residency in Portugal to buy property. Foreigners can purchase property in Portugal and even acquire residency through property investment via the Golden Visa Program.
  2. Do I need to open a bank account in Portugal to buy a property?Yes, you will need to open a bank account in Portugal. It’s necessary for the transaction process and to pay your annual property taxes and utility bills.
  3. Can I get a mortgage from a Portuguese bank?Yes, many Portuguese banks offer mortgage loans to foreign property buyers. The specific terms and conditions, however, will depend on the individual bank’s policies and your financial profile.
  4. What is a Promissory Contract of Sale and Purchase?A Promissory Contract of Sale and Purchase is a legally binding agreement between the buyer and seller. It outlines the specifics of the deal, including the purchase price, deposit paid, completion date, details of both parties, and an inventory of items included in the sale.
  5. What are the extra costs when buying property in Portugal?Apart from the purchase price, additional costs include property transfer tax (IMT), stamp duty, notary fees, registration fees, and legal fees. These costs usually amount to around 10-15% of the property purchase price.