The process of selling in Portugal

When you decide to sell your property in Portugal with Just Portugal Properties you will be guided through the process right from the valuation and marketing of your property to the exchange of contracts and completion in a quick, efficient friendly manner. Our dedicated team of bi-lingual property consultants will make sure you understand the selling process, advise you on relevant details and keep you updated on the progress of your sale. All viewings are handled in a professional manner and if your property is rented out, we will liaise with your property managers to arrange a convenient viewing time. Following all viewings we will always provide you the owners’ feedback. Just Portugal Properties is working for you!


The importance of feeling relaxed and at ease with your agent is vital and it is advisable to use a local agent with a proven track record so you can benefit from their local knowledge and contacts. A reputable agent will ensure that all the relevant property documentation is in place before listing a property which will save time and potential problems during the sale procedure. Local agents are also in a good position to recommend efficient and trustworthy lawyers and any other professional personnel. Throughout the sale process Just Portugal Properties will liaise with all parties involved overseeing each stage and pre-empting any problems.

Once you decide that you want to sell your property in the Algarve, we advise that all your civic municipal dues and municipal council taxes are up to date. If you live in an apartment; you may have to pay service charges and final maintenance. It is also essential to pay any utility bill arrears in full before the sale; this includes; telephone, electricity, water, gas, insurance and other bills.
Once you the vendor(s) has received an offer that you are happy to sell your property for, we at Just Portugal Properties will recommend that you instruct a lawyer to act on your behalf if you are not 100% sure how the process works. We are happy to recommend and are happy to provide you with a list of reputable bilingual lawyers practicing in the local area of your purchase.

For vendors who do not speak Portuguese a power of attorney or as known here in Portugal, "Procuração Pública" is strongly advised to give to your appointed lawyer. This has the ultimate benefit of saving you time and travel costs as your lawyer can sign on your behalf when a power of attorney is in place.

You the vendor must be up to date with the payment of all charges (such as mortgage payments, utility and tax bills) and must sell the property with vacant possession.

Your purchaser will be asked to leave a reservation deposit which is normally €5,000 Euros and this will reserve the property for a stipulated time span. This deposit is held by the lawyer as proof of your intention to complete with the purchase until the "Contrato de Promessa de Compra e Venda" (Promissory Contract) is signed. With this deposit payment, you the vendor will remove the property from the open market to sell.

Usually within 14 days of reservation deposit having been made, both purchaser(s) and vendor(s) enter into a promissory agreement. Both the purchaser(s) and vendor(s) will sign the "Contrato de Promessa de Compra e Venda" and this will clearly identify the agreed purchase price, full names of purchaser(s) and vendor(s), the date of exchange and date of Escritura (completion). Also within the document will be stated all the terms and conditions agreed by both parties relating to the purchase, i.e. if furniture is to be included, payment terms and any other specific terms and conditions of relating to the sale/purchase. This contract is drafted up by the purchasers’ lawyer. The contract will then be legalised by registering it with the notary office. The purchaser(s) at this point pays a deposit of between 10% and 30% to the vendor at this stage, less the reservation deposit.

Portuguese law is very clear if the purchaser(s) defaults on the purchase of the property once the Contrato de Promessa de Compra e Venda has been signed. The purchaser(s) will lose his deposit to the vendor(s), however, should he vendor(s) default in allowing the sale of their property to proceed, you the vendor are obliged to return the amount of the deposit in double.
This type of contract is used in almost all transactions made in Portugal and is legally binding both parties.

Following the signature of the promissory contract the purchaser’s lawyer will release the deposit to the vendor(s) or their lawyer. A date, normally 3 to 12 weeks later is agreed and mentioned in the contract for the "Escritura Pública" (Final deed of conveyance).
The final deed is the contract that transfers the title to the property from the vendor(s) to the purchaser(s). The Escritura (Final deed of conveyance) is signed by both parties (or their representatives) in front of the Portuguese Notary.

The Escritura (final deed) is read aloud and, unless the purchaser(s) or vendor(s) understands Portuguese, the content has to be translated in the purchaser(s) or vendor(s) language.
At this point, the notary will ensure that the purchaser(s) have paid the Portuguese purchase tax (IMT). Once the notary has confirmed that all documentation is in order, all parties place their signature. It is at this moment that the payment is completed to the vendor.

Please note: This information is for guidance purposes only and we cannot accept responsibility for any mistakes or misinformation. It is strongly advised by Just Portugal Properties that Legal and Fiscal Consultations at all times are made prior to any transaction as the laws are constantly changing.