The Buying Process
Portugal has one of the most regulated property and real estate industry`s in Europe with a requirement for official Estate Agencies to be Government Licensed. The whole process of buying or selling a property is recorded by lawyers and notaries, nevertheless, it is a very straightforward procedure. When a property is selected as a potential purchase, an offer is made in writing, if accepted, a promissory …or pre….contract is prepared by the buyers lawyer, when both parties are in agreement with the conditions the contract is signed. Simultaneously a deposit of a minimum of 10% of the sale price is paid over to the seller, this deposit is non refundable once the contract is signed. As a deterrent to the seller not to gazump the intended purchaser, and or if the vendor chooses that the completion does not take place, a penalty of 100% of the deposit amount plus the deposit becomes payable. A completion date is agreed and in the interim, a building survey….optional….and a property or company search is carried out, a bank survey may also be necessary if a mortgage is being arranged, once this is satisfactorily achieved the balance is paid and the keys are handed to the new owner.
Recently the Portuguese Government has introduced a number of financial incentives, designed to attract foreign investment.
One is the so called Golden Visa, in a nutshell, if a buyer from a non EU country invests, either a minimum of €500,000 in the purchase of a property or €1,000,000 in a business activity, they are issued with an initial 5 year resident permit....extending to ten years...entitling the holder to not only reside in Portugal but also travel within Schengen Accord countries.
A further initiative is the Non Habitual Residence concession. This entitles nationals from any country who have not resided in Portugal within the past 10 years to take up residence in Portugal and not be subject to a tax demand on any pension payments and certain investments.
N.B. This information is only cursory and as regulations are subject to change, should always be verified by an approved financial or legal advisor.