Property Selling Process in Portugal
When you decide to sell your property in Portugal with Tavira House and Home you will be guided through the process right from the valuation and marketing of your property to the exchange of contracts and completion. Selling property in Portugal is a straightforward process and does not require the use of a lawyer though it may be advisable to use one. It is prudent to list your property with a government registered real estate agent in Portugal as they will ensure from the start that there are no impediments that might delay or lose a potential sale. Tavira House and Home is licensed by the Portuguese government (AMI 9218). Our team of bi-lingual sales negotiators will make sure you understand the selling process, advise you on relevant details and keep you updated on the progress of your sale.
It is advisable to use an established local agent with a proven track record so you can benefit from his local knowledge and contacts. A reputable agent will ensure that all the relevant property documentation is in place before listing a property which will save time and potential problems during the sale procedure. Local agents are also in a good position to recommend efficient and trustworthy lawyers. Throughout the sale process the agent will liaise with all parties involved overseeing each stage and preempting any problems.
THE ESTATE AGENT’S DUE DILIGENCE:
A licensed estate agent in Portugal is obliged to hold copies of the documentation listed below to verify the property’s legal status and owner’s identity
- Seller’s Identification – passport or ID card
- Seller’s Fiscal Number – tax registration number
- Caderneta Predial - property tax document which shows the current property owner, the property tax number, the property’s dimensions plus the local taxes payable annually
- Conservatória do Registo Predial – property/land registration certificate. This is a description of the property detailing its legal owner and any outstanding debts on the property
- Licença de Construção - building licence. Necessary when a building is being sold under construction
- Licença de Utilização – habitation licence issued by the local town hall showing the property meets the legal construction requirements. All residential properties built after 1951 require a habitation licence.
- Escritura - Existing title deed dating from the current owner’s purchase. This is only necessary for resales
- Ficha Técnica - technical details of the construction of the property; relevant to all properties completed after March 2004
- Inventory – full list of items included in the sale
- Views the property with their Tavira House & Home agent
- Makes a verbal offer through the agent who will negotiate the purchase price on their behalf
- Once an offer has been accepted the agent will confirm this in writing to both parties (buyer and seller)
- Appoints a Portuguese lawyer.
- Pays a reservation fee to the lawyer, if required by the seller to do so
- Appoints a Power of Attorney if they are not going to be present for either of the contract signings. This is usually your appointed lawyer
- Obtains a tax number - this is normally done by the lawyer
- Sets up a bank account which can be arranged through the lawyer
- Agrees a date with vendor (though the agent or the lawyer) for the signing of the Promissory Contract (Exchange of contracts)
- Arranges to transfer a minimum 10% of the purchase price (deposit) to the lawyer ready to be paid to the seller upon the signing of the Promissory Contract. Any amount already paid as a reservation fee will be deducted from the deposit amount
- Signs Promissory Contract in the presence of the lawyer, unless he has given Power of Attorney to the lawyer to sign the Promissory Contract on his behalf
- Pays IMT (Transfer Tax) - usually transferred to the lawyer's bank account to be paid at Escritura
- Signs Escritura (completion final deed). The notary records the sale price and grants full security of ownership
THE PURCHASER'S LAWYER
- Receives the relevant property documents from the estate agent and/or the vendor
- Checks the documentation and cross references the information with the tax office and the land registry
- Meets the purchaser to discuss the property purchase
- Discusses whether a Power of Attorney is needed
- Sets a date agreed by the vendor and purchaser for the signing of the Promissory Contract
- Draws up the Promissory Contract
- Receives 10% deposit from the purchaser to be paid when the Promissory Contract is signed
- Is present at the signing of the Promissory Contract where a date is set for the Escritura (Completion)
- Arranges provisional registration of a mortgage, if applicable
- Receives payment of the IMT tax from the purchaser prior to Escritura and pays it to Finanças (tax office). IMT tax amounts are listed on page 4
- Is present at the signing of the Escritura at the public notary’s office
- Pays the notary’s fees
- Registers the sale with the Land Registry at a public notary’s office where the sale price is recorded and full security of ownership granted
The legal process for buying property in Portugal is in two stages; Contrato de Promessa de Compra e Venda (Exchange of Contracts) and the Escritura (Final Deed of Completion).
Contrato de Promessa de Compra e Venda - Exchange of Contracts
The purchaser should appoint a lawyer to whom he can give power of attorney to sign the contracts on his behalf if necessary. Once the purchase price is agreed both purchaser and vendor will sign a Promissory Contract and the purchaser pays a deposit of 10 - 30% of the purchase price. The deposit legally secures the property and under Portuguese law both purchaser and vendor are protected; if the vendor withdraws from the sale the deposit is doubled and returned and if the purchaser withdraws the deposit is forfeit. A date for the completion of the purchase is set at the signing of the Promissory Contract.
Escritura (Completion, Signing of the Final Deed)
The time taken to complete the sale, though normally thirty to sixty days, could be as little as fourteen days depending on whether a mortgage is required or not. Once the Escritura (Final Deed) has been signed the IMT (Land Transfer Tax) and Imposto de Selo (Stamp Duty) is paid and the remaining balance of the property purchase price, plus the notary’s fees, is paid by the purchaser. The property is now registered with the Land Registry Office and legally owned by the purchaser.
Tax registration number
Property tax document
Conservatória do Registo Predial
Land Registry Department
Licença de Utilização
Previous title deed
Technical details of the construction of the property
Contrato Promissória de Compra e Venda
Exchange of Contracts, commonly referred to in Portugal as Promissory
Land transfer tax
Imposto de Selo