Q. How long does the Conveyancing for a normal sale or purchase take in Portugal?

The average length of time for a property sale or purchase to take, is around 4 – 8 weeks but as always the length of time can be determined by a host of various factors.

Q. Do I need a tax number to buy a property in Portugal?

Yes, this is called a Portuguese fiscal number or (NIF) and is needed by all persons buying a property or opening a bank account here. We will obtain the NIFS on your behalf as part of the services that we provide.

Q. Can a solicitor act for the buyer and the seller of a property?

Yes, if the buyer and seller are established clients of the firm. Both the buyer and seller have to agree to the same solicitor being used. Situations like this need to be carefully considered as a ‘conflict of interest’ issue may arise so normally this service is reserved for purchases between family members or trusted friends.

Q. Are there any hidden costs?

No, there are no hidden costs associated with our conveyancing service. We will provide you with a fixed legal fee to cover the work. We will only ever increase the fee, if, during the transaction, something comes to light which was unforeseen. If this did happen, we would discuss this with you before incurring extra charges.

Q. What is the difference between a promissory contract and completion?

A promissory contract (similar to an exchange of contract) is when the buyer and seller enter into a legally binding agreement to buy and sell on a set date. Once an exchange has taken place, both parties are committed to the sale/purchase, and cannot pull out of the transaction without legal penalties. Promissory contract is also when the buyer usually pays a deposit, typically 10%. Completion refers to the day on which all payments have been made/received, that the property is transferred from the seller to the buyer.

Q. How do I get the utility payments changed to my name?

I will provide this service for you at the completion of the final deed at the notary.

Q. What happens to deeds when purchasing a house?

Most properties are now registered at the Land Registry and the legal documents are held electronically by them. We will send you copies of the documents, and any other supporting documents once the application for registration has been completed. Any old deeds that are no longer needed to prove title to the property would normally be sent to you.


Q. Do I need to draft a will for my assets in Portugal?

Please click here for more information on this matter.

Q. What are the common causes of delay?

Although we will always endeavour to ensure that everything will be ready for a particular date stipulated in the promissory contract there are factors outside of our control that can impact on the completion:-

• Searches or enquiries revealing something unexpected that has to be rectified with the town hall or tax department

• Mortgage application taking longer than anticipated to process, perhaps because a reference required by the lender from a third party is not immediately forthcoming, or because the mortgage lender is unusually busy

• Someone else in the chain not wanting to proceed as quickly as the others