Buying A Property In Portugal

Buying a property abroad is an exciting experience and Atlas Property Portugal can help you at each step of the way.   We offer a one-stop real-estate service that will accompany you from property purchase (legal, financing, survey, furnishing) through to rental and property management. With over 20 years experience, our aim is to give peace of mind so that your dream home is not just that but also a financial asset that appreciates in value. Our Licence no is AMI: 8416.

The Buying process - a Summary

We recommend that qualified legal and financial advice should be sought on any purchase.

Finding the right Property

Always use a government licensed estate agents, like Atlas Property Portugal, as they are subject to operate by industry defined rules. Our Licence no is AMI: 8416.  Based on your property criteria, we will arrange visits to appropriate homes, new developments etc. Just call us to discuss your specific needs and we will tailor a programme just for you.


Once you have found the right property, a deposit is normally paid to the selling agent or lawyer representing you in your purchase. This reservation deposit will reserve the property until contracts can be exchanged. If you are intending to take out a mortgage, then you should apply for the mortgage and the bank will liaise with your lawyer to make sure all is arranged in time for the title deed date.

Appoint A Fiscal Representative

Any non Portuguese, non-resident purchaser of property in Portugal, a Fiscal Representative in Portugal is recommnded. The Fiscal Representative will arrange your Portuguese Tax Number (needed for the purchase) and manage any taxation liabilities that you may have in Portugal on an ongoing basis.

Appoint a Lawyer

Having found the property you want the next step is to appoint a lawyer. Our suggestion is for you to use a lawyer that has long experience in dealing with non-Portuguese clients buying property in Portugal. We can recommended lawyers should you wish.

Property Checks / Property report

Having instructed a lawyer to handle the purchase, the lawyer will check items such as:

And produce a report of the findings for you to consider, before proceeding with the signing of Promissory Contracts. This takes about 3 to 4 weeks.

Promissory contracts.

Upon acceptance of the offer by the vendor, payment of the reservation deposit, and agreement to proceed with the purchase, the next step is to exchange Promissory contracts, i.e. that the parties agree to buy / sell.This Contract is legalised in the Notary Office and is legally binding on both sides.  Note: the law requires the seller to repay twice the deposit should he withdraw from the sale. Likewise, if the buyer fails to complete, he forfeits the total of his deposit.

Balance Payments / Completion

Following this, there is nothing required until around 4 to 6 weeks prior to the completion date. At this point you should start to prepare for the balance of the purchase price to be sent to your lawyer. The funds for the relevant taxes and closing costs should be transferred to the lawyers account to allow them to make all the payments on your behalf on the day of signing.After the signing of the final contract, the lawyer will then arrange:

The lawyer may also apply for the supply contracts (gas, electricity and water connections) on behalf your behalf

On-going commitments and obligations

If you spend less than 6 months per year in Portugal then you are classed as non-resident. You should:

If you spend more than six months a year in Portugal you are deemed a permanent resident and would be expected to pay taxes and social security contributions. Your fiscal representative can advise further on your specific case.

Enjoy your new home.