The Buying Process

Coast & Country Homes, Lda


We all started somewhere and getting our search criteria clear in our own minds is the beginning of the process – it isn’t always easy! Some of us are very logical, others make emotional choices. A list of priorities is a good place to begin with, when trying to clarify what is important to you individually
It is important to take things at a pace that you are comfortable with, as you will have a lot of information to process.


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To help you clarify your search criteria think about...


Your budget

  • How much do you have?
  • Are you a cash buyer?
  • Do you need a mortgage?
  • Could a small mortgage increase the scope of your search?


There are so many different landscapes and ways of life in the Algarve.

Establishing (and agreeing!) what you are looking for from an area, will help you to determine your search criteria.

The property basics

  • How many bedrooms, how much garden or outdoor space, what style of property?
  • Renovation, redecoration or relaxation....
  • Do you want to do any work on your new property?

Defining this will help to focus your search.

The most important thing to you (your priorities)

  • Proximity to the beach?
  • A sea view?
  • Complete privacy?
  • Rental Income?
  • To be part of an expat community?
  • Family activities?
  • If there is something that you must have and is not for compromise?
It’s good to establish this as soon as you can.
Once you have established answers to all these questions you will need to recruit assistance from several companies before you arrive in Portugal.



From OFFER to Deed

  • When you have decided on the property you wish to purchase, decide how much you can pay for it. It’s important to have all your finances organised prior to making an offer.

  • You should feel committed to a house prior to making an offer on it, and only ever offer on one property at a time. Once you have made an offer you should stop viewing other properties.

  • Discuss your offer with your agent as they may have knowledge on whether the offer is likely to be viable and will advise you on an appropriate strategy.

  • Your agent will negotiate on your behalf and will keep you informed on negotiations as they progress.

Once your offer has been accepted by the vendor, it is usual that they will not show the property to any other potential purchasers and will feel completely committed to selling their property to you.

  • Your agent will immediately begin gathering the documentation required to pass on to your chosen lawyer, in preparation for the promissory contract (CPCV).



The Promissory contract is the first of two legally binding documents which make up the Portuguese property purchasing process.
This document will contain almost all of the information which is in the final Deeds - what would be the Deed of Sale in England - (the document which you sign on the day you become the owner of the property.)

Information contained within the Promissory Contract will include:

  • Full details on the ‘civic status’ of both the purchaser and the seller (full names, DOB, POB, marital status etc.)
  • A description of the property, confirmation of the title deeds and confirmation of the plot references complete with surface area of the plots being sold (including buildings.)
  • The agreed price, including estate agency fees (for the seller), estimated legal fees and the deposit amount, which is normally between 10% and 30%.
  • Circumstances in which the deposit may be forfeited, obligations of the purchaser and declarations from the vendor
  • Results of the land registry searches
  • A series of standard suspensive clauses, as well as any agreed additions
  • A target completion date – this is not a confirmed completion date. It is subject to change in certain circumstances
  • A list of any furniture or equipment included in the purchase, if applicable

Your chosen lawyer will work with you to ensure that you understand the document prior to signing.



There aren’t any ‘hidden costs’, however, it is important that you understand all of the costs involved with the purchase prior to making an offer.

The price that you agree when your offer is accepted is the price of the property.
The only additional fees to be paid are the lawyer’s fee for pulling the whole sale (completing the property purchase) together and the taxes.

They lawyer will pay all the necessary land taxes on your behalf.

Legal fees can vary, but it is wise to budget for an additional 8% of the purchase price of the property (This will cover all costs necessary).



Between one and three months after the signing of the promissory contract, the lawyer will have undertaken all the necessary work and you will have agreed a date for the final signing of the deeds.

This will take place in Portugal, at a designated notary office. Once this final document is signed, you will be the owner of the property and will take the keys away with you, from the meeting.

Before this meeting you will need to ensure that the balance of funds to complete the purchase of your property, is in the lawyer’s bank account. This includes any funds which are being paid by a mortgage company.

If you are using a currency exchange company to transfer your funds, they will work with you to ensure that this money arrives with your lawyer on time.
You also need to ensure that you have insurance on the property before you take ownership on the day of signing.


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Congratulations – you did it!

Now it’s time to sit back, open a bottle of something and enjoy your new purchase. Portugal is a wonderful country to spend time in, and you will fall in love with it over and over again as you really start to discover things on your own.