Tips and advice for purchasing in Portugal
Always work with certified professionals. Above all, it is most important that you have a Portuguese Lawyer to represent you in the acquisition of the property. This professional shall do all the necessary searches on the property, shall confirm that all the documents are in order and will defend your interests and position in the negotiations with the other party.
Negotiations prior to the signature of the Promissory Contract
Inform your lawyer of all the terms and conditions previous to the signature of any contract. On negotiations phase the most important issues to be discussed between the parties are the price, conditions of payment, deposit to pay simultaneously with the signature of the promissory contract of purchase and sale together with any special concern that any or both parties may like to see inserted in the promissory contract.
Promissory Contract and Notarial Deed (Completion)
There must be always a written promissory contract to protect the purchaser’s position and interests. With the signing of the contract the Lawyer must check the following relevant documentation of the property: Land Registry Certificate, Predial Certificate and Habitation License.
At this stage the lawyer must also confirm that there are no mortgages, liens or responsibilities on the property.
Completion of the property purchase takes place in the period of time agreed by the parties at the offices of a Public Notary. The Notary records the transaction, which is often referred to as the «Escritura». It is also time for the Purchaser to pay the balance of the price and take possession of the property.
Terms and Conditions of the purchase and sale
In case of any change to the terms and conditions agreed with the vendor the lawyer must be immediately informed.
The purchaser must fulfill all the terms and conditions agreed in order to avoid any penalties. Therefore, when acquiring a property the purchaser must be informed by the lawyer of all costs and expenses involved as well as all the obligations.
A survey to the property is advisable in case such property is not new. Any defects that may be found must be listed and the vendor must be responsible for the repair of such defects.
It is important to confirm with the lawyer what the maintenance costs of the property such as infrastructure charges, property tax and condominium fees are in order to avoid future surprises.
The lawyer must inform the purchaser of all the necessary and relevant information on the Portuguese Fiscal System, mainly regarding the taxes due when acquiring a property in Portugal (Transfer Property Tax, Stamp Duty and Annual Property Tax).
A fiscal representative must be appointed to represent you before the Tax Administration in all the matters related to the property.
This information has been kindly provided by Paula Xabregas a Lawyer based in Faro, Portugal – Click here for further information