Frequently Asked Questions

We listed the frequently asked questions about buying and selling property in Portugal.

Please click the arrow in front of the question to find the answer.

Disclaimer: All information provided on this website is for information purposes only. Despite the care and attention, we devote to the content within this website, Home Key Portugal makes no guarantees of any kind and cannot be held liable for any outdated or incorrect information.


You don’t need a permission to make small changes inside the house as long as its structure is maintained. You do however need permission for all other construction work and new build. The builder you hire for the work can help you with that. Constructions using wood is generally easier to get approved. Building in metal and concrete comes with specific safety and architectural requirements.

If an illegal construction work is spotted by a fiscal agent, the fines start at € 500,- and can go up until € 200.000,00

If you can build on the piece of land you are buying depends on several factors. We advise you to go to a lawyer and the council where the property is located (Junta de Freguesia).

Factors that can influence the building permission:

  1. Type of land: residential, agricultural, commercial, nature, industrial
  2. Size of the land
  3. Existing buildings
  4. Project planning in the area

Any house in Portugal that is being commercially advertised for sale (or rent) has to have an Energy Performance Certificate. The objective is to reduce energy costs, improve insulation and preserve the environment. Rating goes from A+ (excellent) to G (lowest efficiency grade). The seller is responsible for obtaining the certificate before the sale.

If your land is fenced, there is no doubt about what belongs to the property. For unfenced land, the boundaries can be indicated with small landmarks, like rivers, roads, stonewalls, upright placed stones. You can check the boundaries at the following website:

We can understand that you see a big blank space between the moment of finding your dream property and the moment you actually are in your new home drinking a nice vinho tinto. We give you a step by step overview of what you need to do after you agreed on the purchasing price with the seller.

If you purchase via a real estate agent, they can guide you through the process. They will act as a bridge between the seller, notary and you. Still then, we advise you to do the following.

  1. Hire a lawyer
    If you hire your own lawyer, this person will help you through the entire process, check all paperwork and let you know if something is not right.
  2. Get your finances sorted
    You need to prepare to pay a 10% down payment of the purchase price when signing the promissory contract. If you arranged a mortgage in your country of residence for this purchase, the bank needs to see the promissory contract to make the money available to you. The rest of the payment is due at the day of the escritura (signing the actual purchase contract).
  3. Get a fiscal number (NIF). This number is a personal tax identification number of Portugal and is needed to buy a property. You can obtain this number in the tax office (Financas) in any city of Portugal. You need to bring your passports/ID card, address details, and a bank statement of the country of residence.
  4. Send your personal details to the real estate agent/lawyer/solicitor that will handle the purchasing process. In order to make the contracts they will need:
  •  Copy of your ID/Passport
  • Marital status (If married they need the same details from your spouse)
  • Portuguese fiscal number
  • Address in country of residence
  1. Open a Portuguese bank account (the real estate agent or lawyer can help you with this)
  2. After the escritura is done, you will be left with the key to your new home!
    To connect electric (EDP) and water you need to go to the offices and set up an account. Again, the real estate agent or lawyer can assist you with this.

We made a list for you of the expenses involved when buying in Portugal. Please keep in mind that laws and rates are subject to change over time. Always ask us for a detailed quotation of all costs involved before starting the buying process to know exactly what to expect.

  • Transmission Tax (IMT)

For urban construction this is 1% of the purchase value (until € 93,331) and any value above that is charged according to a a scale between 2% and 7,5%. If you buy a house for your permanent living in Portugal, you are exempt of this tax. Rural land is charged with 5% of the purchase value. Industrial building are charged with 6,5% of the purchase value.

Example: when you buy a house of € 90,000 the IMT will be 1%: € 900

When you buy a piece of land of € 25,000 the IMT will be 5%: € 1,250

If you buy a mixed property (both with registered house and land) the notary will assign a value to the house and the land and charge the accompanying taxes.

  • Stamp Tax (Imposto de selo)

This tax is 0,08% of the purchase value.

  • Registrations

Your property need to be registered on your name after the deed. Costs of this registration will vary for urban articles and rural articles. Costs per article are between: € 100 and € 250,-

  • Solicitor / Notary Costs

The solicitor / notary assembles all paper work and makes the promissory contract (if needed) and final purchase contract. She executes the official process of signing the deed with the seller and buyer. These costs are € 300,- – € 500


No two properties are the same. Potential buyers will make an offer based on their knowledge of comparable sales and the emotional value they place on your home. Regardless of what the buyer wants, you have the final say.

As an owner it is very important to do some research yourself so that you can make confident and informed decisions. Choosing an agent of HomeKey Portugal with a solid understanding of the local real estate market and the experience to provide a considered market appraisal will make this part easy. Our appraisal should include an estimated sales range based on comparable sales in the area and take into account the current status of the buying and selling market.

It is to your advantage to present your home as best you can for sale. We recommend to clean and clear your house before we come and take pictures. A coat of paint on the exterior of the house will make a day and night difference! If you are selling a farm or a piece of land, it will be more appealing for the buyer if the land is clean and well taken care of. A tidy property will give the buyer less reason to negotiate the price.

In order to put your property for sale, we need the following documentation:
– Identification of all the legal owners
– Registration papers of the property you are selling
– If it is an urban building with more than 50 m2: Energy Certification or Declaration of Ruin
– Urban buildings built before 1951 or 1970 (depending on the location): exemption of habitation license
– Urban buildings built after 1951 or 1970 (depending on the location): habitation license
– Rustic properties located in councils without cadaster: BUPI declaration

To help limit your time on the market it is important to enter with a fair sale price that is within the price range on the market for similar properties. At HomeKey Portugal we know how to market your property and choose the right sale methods and target the right buyers for your property. Properties that have all its paperwork in order, statistically sell faster. Transparency about the legal property situation will help with the sales process as well. We can provide a monthly written report which includes buyers’ feedback after property visits. Being informed during the process makes the decisions you need to make as a seller much easier.

Demand for your property will be highest when it is at its most appealing.

Buyers are looking for properties at all times of the year. But at HomeKey we noticed from the past years that January, April, May, September and October are the busiest months for visits.

The most properties are bought during spring time. It is when everything is in bloom, it is easier to fall in love.

Whatever the season, take the time to present your house well to maximise interest and achieve the best possible price.

No, we do not. With HomKey you can choose two types of contracts:
– Non-exclusive
– Exclusive
A non-exclusive contract means that you can also advertise your property yourself and with other agencies. Your property will be marketed by us using our standard service, which is a publication on our website only and our social media.
When choosing the exclusive service, it means that you give us the exclusive right to market and sell your property. This type of contract has more benefits for both potential buyers and also for you as a seller.  In addition to our standard service, we advertise your property on several national and international real estate websites and also offer a property video tour on our Youtube channel with thousands of subscribers. You will receive a monthly report of the visualizations of your ad and the number of visits including buyers´feedback in order to monitor the success.

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