Buying a property in Portugal, what to keep in mind
- Always work only with an officially licensed agent who has an AMI number.
- It is normal in portugal to sign a promissory contract. This contract is legally binding though even when not certified by a notary! Make sure to go over the contents thoroughly and clearly specify the contents, like method of payment, condition of the property, and the timeframe for completing the purchase.
- The deposit normally is between 10% to 15% of the total value. If the purchaser withdraws from the sale, he loses this amount. On the other hand, if the vendor withdraws, he is obliged to pay double this amount.
- Demand written proof that the property is free of charges, this can be by means of a note from the land registry or the tax authorities. It is essential that these documents are presented at completion of the contract.
- Demand valid building and residential permits, to prove that the property has been constructed legally.
- Demand proof that all relevant bills have been paid. This includes electricity, water, and telephone bills.
- If you plan to construct or expand on the property make sure to consult the building development plan. It shows what can be built, and where.
- Entry in the land registry should take place immediately after completion of the contract.
- It is often wise to consult a lawyer. A notary only attests the purchase, but has no further legal advisory role.