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What is The Role of a Lawyer When Buying Property in Portugal?


Buying property in Portugal is one of the most important acquisitions you will ever make – and you’ll never regret. However, when looking at property for sale in Portugal, it’s essential to make sense of the legalities involved. Specifically, it is essential to know the role of a lawyer when buying property in Portugal


While it is not mandatory to have a lawyer, it is crucial to invest in one to oversee all your purchase transaction from start to completion. If you are English speaking, it’s better to get an English-speaking Portuguese lawyer to help you understand the tax and inheritance laws of the country. The lawyer will also help you to understand the contract and all advice on all the supporting documents required.


Lawyer and Notary

Don’t confuse a lawyer for a notary. Portuguese notaries are legally trained, but they work for the government and are compulsory in every transaction involving the property. So, officially they don’t act for either the vendor or the buyer. Their role is to oversee the sale, ascertain if all taxes are paid, and rubberstamp the paperwork


Your independent lawyer is the professional responsible for ensuring that your property and contract meet the specifications you want. Typically, you will pay a deposit or sign a contract after an offer is accepted, and the lawyer should verify the paperwork to ensure that your interests are protected. Specifically, your lawyer will verify titles, review the sale agreement, and carry out other checks to ensure that you’re protected.


Survey of the Property

Before buying property in Portugal, you may want a survey done. While your mortgage company, if you are using one, will carry out an evaluation report, it will not cover any defects on the property that don’t affect the value of the house.


A survey is essential because it helps you rate the condition of the structures so that any defects on the property can be negotiated with the seller of correction or a review of the price. Getting a good lawyer will help you find the best surveyor to undertake the status of the property on sale.


Power Of Attorney

Foreigners buying property in Portugal, you can give a power of attorney to your lawyer to sin the promissory contract on your behalf. Also, the power enables the lawyer to sign the title deed on your behalf.


The power of attorney is structured for the sole purpose of purchasing the property and can only be exercised if there are sufficient funds for the purchase. The lawyer will, therefore, act after you’ve approved the specifications of the contract.


Typically, independent lawyer fees will vary between 1%-3% of the purchase amount, depending on the firm and property. In addition to legal fees, there are also Land Registry fees, Notary fees, and the like. Your lawyer will be able to give you a breakdown of these costs once they know the details of the transaction. 

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