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Mar 04, 2014

Buying costs in Portugal are moderate


How high are realtors’ and lawyers’ fees in Portugal? What about other property purchase costs?

Transaction Costs

Who Pays?
Municipal Transfer Tax 6.50% buyer
Legal fees 1% - 2% buyer
Registration fees 0.20% - 1.20% buyer
Stamp Duty 0.80% buyer
Real estate agent´s fee 3% - 5% (+23% VAT) seller
Costs paid by buyer 8.50% - 10.50%
Costs paid by seller 3.69% - 6.15%
ROUNDTRIP TRANSACTION COSTS 12.19% - 16.65%
See Footnotes
Source: Global Property Guide

How difficult is the property purchase process in Portugal?

There are no restrictions on foreign property ownership.

The process of property purchase in Portugal is quite straightforward. Once a buyer has found a suitable property the next thing to do is to hire the services of a lawyer who will guide and assist the buyer through the process.

A lawyer’s task usually involve drawing up contracts and initiating the process of inspecting the property’s title insuring that no legal snarls will come up after the transfer. A search will be made to check the land registry (Conservatoria de Registo Predial) title at the local municipality and another search at the Inland Revenue (Repartição de Finanças) to ensure the tax registration on the property and that there are no unpaid charges. A fiscal number (Numero de Contribuinte) will be acquired for you through the local tax office as this will be necessary for most transactions in Portugal.

If the buyer is satisfied with the property and decides to buy a promissory contract (Contrato de Promessa de Compra e Venda), details of the conditions of sale and other agreements regarding the transfer will then be drawn. Once this has been signed and notarized, both parties become legally bound to see the transfer through. A deposit 10% to 30% of the purchase price is usually lodged at this stage and the parties will agree with the notary to record a date for the completion of the purchase. The buyer’s next task is to pay the municipal property tax or Imposto Municipal Sobre Transamissões-IMT.

The transaction ends with the execution of the Deed of Purchase and Sale (Escritura Publica de Compra e Venda) which is signed before a notary and officially recorded. At the same time the balance of the purchase price is paid according to the provisions of the Promissory Contract. The property will next be registered in the new owner’s name at the Conservatoria de Registo Predial. After which the transfer is complete.




Footnotes to Transaction Costs Table


The round trip transaction costs include all costs of buying and then re-selling a property – lawyers’ fees, notaries’ fees, registration fees, taxes, agents’ fees, etc.

Municipal Transfer Tax
Municipal Transfer Tax is levied at a flat rate of 6.5%. The tax base is the selling price of the property or current market value of the property, whichever is higher.

Registration Fee
Registration fees, including the notary fees, are around 0.20% to 1.20% of the property value.

Stamp Duty
Stamp duty is levied at a flat rate of 0.80%. The tax base is the selling price of the property or current market value of the property, whichever is higher.





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