Looking after your interests

Real bliss is to have peace of mind

When you decide to buy a property in Portugal we always advise that you use a lawyer to look after your interests during the whole purchase process. We work with a number of leading law firms in Portugal who offer independent advice, are proactive and who we have successfully used many times with our clients when buying or selling property.

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Do beware if a vendor, or agent, suggests that you do not need to use a lawyer – the system here does not require it, but we strongly recommend that you do as it will provide you with peace of mind and ensure you avoid any of the pitfalls that can befall a buyer in a country that is not their own. You would not buy a property at home without a lawyer so do not do so abroad.

An advogado is a Portuguese lawyer who specialises in property law. During your time with us we will introduce you to lawyers either before you arrive or once you have viewed properties with us. We trust them to look after you, however you are free to choose any lawyer you please, but make sure to ask them to confirm the services they will provide, their legal costs and the overall costs of the purchase in writing before you instruct them to do anything. Legal costs are usually between 1% to 1.25% of the purchase price, plus IVA (VAT).

If you are unable to come back over to Portugal for signing the various contracts before completion then it is best to arrange a power of attorney with your lawyer. With this in place they can open up a Portuguese bank account for you, apply for your Portuguese tax identification number known as NIF and represent you at the Promissory Contract and Deed stages. To arrange a power of attorney you would sign a document before a notary either in Portugal or your home country which authorises the lawyer to act on your behalf. We recommend you do this while you are with us once you have found the right property, so it is out of the way and all done and dusted.

Once instructed by you, and before signing the Promissory Contract, your lawyer should carry out their due diligence on the property you have chosen to purchase to check a number of things:

That the owner of the property  is who they purport to be
They will compare the plans of the property to the land registry to ensure they match up
If there are any charges, rights of way or debts over the property 
If you are buying a property in a condominium the lawyer will ask the vendors lawyer to obtain a certificate from the condominium to see if the property has any debts
They will also check that the property is connected to mains water and electricity by requesting water an electricity receipts

Once these searches have been carried out, the lawyer will prepare the Promissory Contract describing the property, the price agreed, when the deposit and balance of the purchase price is to be paid and the date for completion. If there is a mortgage, it will be mentioned in the contract.

The lawyer will prepare the deed of property purchase with the notary and will attend completion with you or on their own using the power of attorney. After completion the lawyer will register the property in your name and will change the utility bills over to your name and details.

If you would like us to put you in touch with our colleagues then please let us know and we can arrange this for you.