Buying a Property in Portugal
There are no restrictions on purchasing property in Portugal. Portuguese law allows foreign nationals to acquire, both personal and commercial properties.
Registration of the transaction is not too difficult and practically does not differ from most other European countries. You will need to sign two contracts firstly a preliminary contract and then the contract of sale and purchase.
The preliminary agreement reserves the property to the buyer and consists of an agreement to enter into the full contract of sale and purchase. The document is signed by both parties (the buyer and seller) in the presence of a lawyer. After signing the preliminary contract the seller no longer has the right to sell his property, and the buyer shall, within the period specified in the contract pay an agreed deposit to the seller. This deposit is usually between 10% and 25% of the total cost of the transaction. If the buyer subsequently withdraws from the purchase the deposit is not returned. If the seller decides to withdraw the property then he is obliged to pay to the buyer twice the value of the deposit.
Between the signing of the preliminary agreement and the signing of the final agreement there is a period of 3 to 6 months. During this time the notary verifies the absence of any encumbrances on the property and the overall legality of the transaction. The buyer at this time transfers the remaining amount to the seller; pays the notary fees (0.8% of the purchase price) and taxes and the sale and purchase is completed.