Buying Property in Portugal: A Guide for Foreign Investors

Sofia Rebelo, Senior Associate at Martínez-Echevarría Lawyers, offers some insight on the process of buying property in Portugal for prospective investors.

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Buying property in Portugal with Benoit Properties is a fairly straightforward process.

We work alongside various partners and have established a team of experts in Portugal to help guide you through the buying process. Whether you’re looking for the best mortgage products, help with documentation or advice on tax compliance, we have a multilingual team on hand to assist you.

Benoit Properties have been working with Martínez-Echevarría Lawyers, a professional law firm and trusted partner, for many years now; they play an important role in making the buying process in Portugal as smooth as possible for our clients.

Sofia Rebelo, Senior Associate at the firm, answers some of the questions we’re commonly asked by investors looking to purchase property in Portugal.

Can foreigners buy property in Portugal? Are there restrictions?

There are no restrictions on foreign investors purchasing property in Portugal.

Many buyers are enticed by the country’s thriving cities, stunning rural landscapes, low cost of living and affordable property prices. With all the benefits of a successful holiday destination, it is a great place for a second home or rental property.

What is the buying process for foreigners? What happens after the offer is accepted?


Foreign buyers will need to obtain a tax number, which usually takes around three days.

We start by preparing your documents (passport, proof of purchase etc) and negotiating a draft of the promissory contract. Once the contract is agreed upon and finalised with the seller’s lawyers, the contract payment is made by the client to the seller.

If the buyer pulls out after the promissory contract stage, they lose the deposit and any additional fees paid. However, if the seller pulls out, they must refund double the price of the deposit.

The balance payment is made upon completion/delivery of the property. The title deed is then issued and forwarded to the client to sign. The signed document will then be submitted to the Land Registry Office, which will issue a certificate which serves as proof of ownership. You can expect this certificate within 10 days.

Do I need to visit Portugal to buy a property?

Foreign buyers do not need to visit the property if they do not wish to—nor do they need to travel to Portugal to sign, submit or review documents. This can all be done electronically. With that said, we advise our clients to inspect the property for complete peace of mind.

Benoit Properties can put you in contact with local rental management companies to help you source tenants, furnish the property, manage the tenancy, and generate monthly and end-of-year statements for tax purposes.

Do I need a Portuguese bank account?

Setting up a bank account in Portugal can simplify the ownership process and save international banking charges. It is also useful when managing rental income and expenditure.

That said, you do not need a Portuguese bank account to purchase property. Therefore, if you’d prefer to use existing bank accounts from other countries, you are free to do so.

What documentation will I need?

The buyer will need to provide the following documents when buying property in Portugal: a valid passport, utility bills, proof of profession (e.g., payslip) and bank statements.

Do documents have to be translated?

Any documents that are sent for you to review and sign will be in English.

What are the closing costs/taxes/additional fees when purchasing property?

In addition to the purchase price, the buyer will pay some closing costs. In Portugal, these include:

  • Stamp Duty, which stands at 0.8% of the value of your home.
  • Property Transfer Tax / Imposto Municipal Sobre Transmissões (IMT): typically 5-7% of the purchase price, depending on the level of investment.
  • Notary fees
  • Registration fees.

We work with Benoit Properties to advise their clients on tax-related matters, ensuring you are always tax-compliant and are able to benefit from any relevant tax relief. This can be of great benefit as it saves time and ensures that you are fully compliant with the least amount of effort.

If you have any further questions on buying property in Portugal, please do get in touch and we’ll be happy to assist you.

Contact us today to discover our available properties in Portugal.