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Buying Process

Buying Process

If you are planning on buying a property in Portugal, you are to be congratulated. This is one of the best and safest countries in the world to reside.

The process of buying and selling properties in Portugal is easy and secure.

This is a relatively quick process as long as the ownership documents are in order. Usually the buyer turns to a lawyer who will verify this documentation and produce a promissory contract. This document defines the maximum period for carrying out the deed, which on average will be between 4 to 6 weeks.


Step 1: Negotiation

After finding the property to buy and negotiating the purchase price, the real estate agent prepares a letter of intent for both buyer and seller. In this letter of intent (LOI), the terms and conditions negotiated between the parties are transcribed and it is signed by both parties.

At this point, it is common for both buyer and seller to turn to a lawyer. Between the lawyers, the documents of the parties are exchanged in order to produce the promissory contract, which is usually prepared by the buyer's lawyer.


Step 2: Promissory contract

Once the buyer's attorney has completed the verification of the property documentation, the buyer's attorney prepares the promissory contract to be signed by both parties.

This document will contain the negotiated terms, among other information such as: The buyer’s and seller’s elements; The title of the property; Deadline for the deed; Scheduling of payments; Standard penalties in case of non-compliance by any of the parties; Furniture and equipment inventory (if applicable).

During this process, the buyer's attorney verifies that all legal elements of the property are in order, as well as ownership of the property and any outstanding debts associated with it.


Step 3: Down Payment

At the time of signing the promissory contract, the buyer usually advances the seller 10% of the final purchase price, in the form of a down payment and initial payment, in order to commit both parties to the deal.

The above-mentioned value serves as a guarantee that the deal will be concluded, otherwise and due to the purchaser's withdrawal, this value will be lost. If the seller does not complete the deal, this down payment will have to be returned in double.


Step 4: Deed

In this process, ownership of the property is transferred to the buyer, at the Notary and the date chosen by the buyer's lawyer. Both parties must be present for the signature or empower their attorney to do so. Payment of the remaining purchase amount and payment of taxes associated with the purchase is also made, thus completing the transaction.


Step 5: Registration

The buyer's attorney registers the new owner in the Land Registry. Usually the utility bills are also changed to the buyer’s name.


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