Step-by-step on how to buy a house in Portugal


Do you think about buying a house in Portugal? Then this article is for you! 

Don’t worry, we’re here to help you with this step-by-step guide on how to buy a house in Portugal! CHECK-IT-OUT:

1. House Hunt

Searching for a property will demand hard work, especially if you are still abroad. There are some ways to search for a property: From website search to the most traditional way of contacting a real estate agency, that can help you find the ideal house, with the characteristics you want; 

The most convenient website to search in is as it’s in English, and has a pretty convenient search console by specific zones.

The problem appears when you want a property in a specific location. You can find an amazing property online, and it can even be shown on the map as the most amazing location in town,  with the best description ever- but then, you contact the agent, you visit the property and you find out that the center of Porto they mentioned in the announcement- is actually 30 km from Porto, and the 2 bedroom apartment they described is actually a studio flat with a storage room without windows.

Disappointing? yes.

You have to remember that real estate agents in Portugal work for the seller – and not the buyer. Therefore, they can sometimes show you amazing properties and tell you magnificent stories- but if you’re not familiar with the prices of the area you’re buying in, you might find yourself doing the worst deal ever.

And honestly? The best deals we have found for our clients were through walking along the streets through published signs, or through people we know in the city that suggested their properties for sale. You know how it is when you live like a local. The neighbor knows someone that knows somebody that is actually thinking of selling his property.

Anyway – if you are doing it alone learn the market prices, learn about the neighborhoods and try to avoid critical mistakes that can cost you a fortune.

2. Visit

Visit, visit, and visit. And if you can visit more! A visit to the property is essential for a successful purchase. And if you can’t visit- send someone you trust to visit for you. Take a look at the video we made for you on “How to Examine a Property for Investment in Portugal” where we gathered for you lots of helpful information on what you should know when checking a house in Portugal. 

3. Close the conditions

Buying conditions can vary a lot from a seller to seller and a good deal can make all the difference, but you need to negotiate and put everything into paper. Usually, it’s normal to propose between 10-20% of the total amount as a down payment for the promissory contract and the rest at the time of the Deed- after 60 days. 

This is something that no one tells you, but experience made us prepared, so: prepare your documents even before starting the process of searching. Having it at the time of the negotiation facilitates its progress and it can be a real asset. Not only saves time for you, but depending on the property, there might be other buyers, and usually, whoever presents the first documentation in order will have the preference to proceed with the purchase.

5. Transfer money or apply for financing

Payment for the property is one of the steps that raises the greatest doubts among buyers. What is the best way to transfer money from abroad to Portugal? Is it possible to get a bank loan as a foreigner in Portugal?

There are many doubts, but regarding the transaction, everything is simple and can be cheaper through online platforms. You just need to plan properly to check the transaction limits.

But, when we talk about financing, the process is longer and might take some time to get the process approved. Usually, when we know that our client wishes to buy a property with a bank loan- we will start all the process of the bank before even starting searching for a property. We have to make sure that we have approval from the bank before securing our clients in advance. But we’ll talk about it in another article.

6. Make the deed

Negotiation completed, payment set, it’s time to move the property documentation to your name. When payment is made directly with the seller, both of them just need to be present for the signature. If the financing is carried out, the presence of a representative bank is required. The deed is signed by one of the notaries in town, where you can choose the one who has the lower values. Don’t forget to prepare extra payment for the Purchasing taxes you will have to pay at the time of the deed (IMT, IS)  

Once the deed is signed, the property is registered in your name and that’s it, the house is officially yours! congratulations:)

Can I buy a house in Portugal while living abroad?

Yes. It is possible to buy a house in Portugal while still living abroad, but you will need a professional in the country to intermediate the process. Actually, 50% of the processes we completed this year (2021) were done remotely, due to the pandemic.

All you need is to give a Power of attorney to the one who will represent you in the process (can be also a lawyer) and to follow the steps. Make sure you do it with a trustable firm/lawyer to ensure you the safest process.

Need help in doing your next property investment/purchase in Portugal? Feel free to contact us! We do everything from A to Z, even if you are abroad. We take care of the documentation, financing, property allocation, negotiation, legal process, restoration, and property management. We are here to save you time, and money and to do the best investment possible for you.

We are not selling you a property, we are buying a property with you.

Are you ready to buy your house here? Give us a call 🙂