Selling property in Portugal
Real estate in Portugal, whether in Lisbon, Porto, the Algarve or the surrounding areas, is a booming business that may go down in a few years but is currently going up. This bullish Portuguese property market as well as personal reasons may lead you to sell a property in Portugal. Whether you want to sell a house, a villa or a Portuguese flat, you will be faced with many options, not all of which are more interesting than the others. Selling a property in Portugal has to be done properly, includes different actions before / during / after the sale and it is important to be well accompanied.
On this page you will find all the information you need to sell a property in Portugal. If you wish to be accompanied in this process, use the form below to be contacted by a person of confidence who will be able to support you and accompany you in this long process.
Selling in Portugal without an estate agent
Bear in mind that all of the items in this article are things you will not have to worry about if you decide to sell your property in Portugal with the help of an intermediary.
One of the reasons why some people consider selling their property in Portugal directly is the commission that estate agents receive. Although it may differ from company to company, the typical commission is 5%, which means that on a sale of €100,000, the agency will receive €5,000 (plus the appropriate VAT).
Saving money is an argument in your favour, but there are other factors to consider if you want to sell your Portuguese property without the help of an estate agent. You will be responsible for arranging viewings, drawing up contracts in Portuguese, going alone to the notary for the sale and, above all, you will face the legal and tax difficulties alone. Selling your house in Portugal without any local help is something I strongly advise against and could end up costing you much more than the 5% commission.
In addition, you have to pay the associated costs of publicising the sale of the house through advertisements on specialist websites, social networks, newspapers or on the property itself. In addition to advertising the property for sale, Portuguese real estate professionals also deal with the concerns related to photos and images for virtual tours on their own portals (as well as on other external portals).
In addition, agencies have access to market research tools that allow them to look at recently sold houses or similar houses in the same neighbourhood to estimate the price of a house. The homeowner will need to do this research and comparison in the absence of an estate agent.
It is essential to be aware of the time and money involved in the process if you decide not to use a real estate agent in Portugal, especially in gathering the required documents and preparing the contracts.
Selling property in Portugal: administration
You need to ensure that you have all the documents required when selling a house without the help of an estate agent, as well as dealing with any difficulties, including contracts and deeds.
Documents required to sell a Portuguese property
- Caderneta predial which you will need to obtain directly from Portuguese finance
- Certido Permanente do Registo Predial, showing ownership and clear title to the property. The document should also include details of any mortgages you may have taken out. This document can be applied for either online at the Land Registry or in person at a Land Registry or Loja do Cidado.
- The certificate of habitability, called “licença de utilizaço” or “licença de habitaço“, is granted by the Câmara Municipal of the municipality where the property you wish to sell in Portugal is located. If you cannot find this document, you can request a second copy from the relevant municipality.
- The Ficha técnica do Habitaço (Housing Technical File) is only required if the Portuguese property for sale was built or started for reconstruction, extension or conversion after 30 March 2004. The main technical and functional aspects of the property are described in this document. The technical sheet will have been given to you when you bought the property, but you can obtain a copy at the town hall.
- The energy certificate is necessary for the sale of the property in Portugal. This document details the energy efficiency of your house.
- If you have a mortgage, you must ask the bank to cancel the mortgage and pay off the debt.
If you sell your home, you must provide the new owner with a certificate of no debt to the condominium. This provision, which came into force in April 2022, is one of the new features of the 8/2022 law. According to the new law, the condominium must request a written statement from the administration that includes information about outstanding debts as well as the charges that are currently in force for the property (such as fees, payment due dates, and any additional costs). The owner of the property must inform the building administration of the sale of the flat. There must be at least 15 days between the notification and the sending of the registered letter.
Contract of promise to purchase and sale of the property
If you reach an agreement with a buyer, you must enter into a Contract of Purchase and Sale (CPCV). This document, which is governed by the civil code, must follow specific standards to be legally legitimate. One of them is that the signatures must be verified in person and that the “licença de habitação” must be presented.
In addition, it must include information about the identity of the seller and the buyer, as well as the property concerned. It must confirm that the property is free of any liens or other encumbrances. It should also include a time limit for completion of the deed, and the implications of exceeding this time limit (e.g. return of the deposit). The contract should also include the purchase price, the method of payment, the amount of the deposit, and other information.
A draft CPCV is available on the Portal do Habitaço (Housing Portal) to give you an idea of how it should be drafted. In any case, it is best to contact a lawyer or notary to check that the document meets all the legal requirements.
Selling your house in Portugal: taxes and charges
Capital gains tax in Portugal
People who are considering selling their home must take into account the capital gains realised on the sale, or the profit that will be generated by the transaction. In this regard, the State will tax 50% of the capital gains realised on the transaction, which will be remitted to the IRS. Thus, if you have acquired 20,000 euros in capital gains, the tax will be 10,000 euros.
In order to calculate the capital gains, you must first understand that expenses (construction costs, real estate agent’s fees, energy certificate fees, registration and deed fees), as well as exemptions, can be deducted (if applicable).
To find out the capital gain generated in your favour by the sale of a property, you can use the following formula: Capital gain = sale value of the property – (acquisition value of the property x monetary coefficient) – purchase and sale costs – costs related to the appreciation of the property (over the last 5 years).
However, there are some exceptions:
- If the property is the family home and the money will be invested in another permanent home.
- If you are retired or over 65 years old and you use the value of the appreciation in the purchase of an insurance contract, an individual membership to an open pension fund or a contribution to the public capitalization scheme, you must do so between 24 months before the sale and 36 months after the sale.
- If the property sold in Portugal was purchased before 1989.
Portuguese estate agent's commission
If you have hired (or intend to hire) an estate agent to sell your home, a commission of 5% (+ VAT) will be paid on the deed price.
This is the current average fee charged by estate agents.
I strongly advise you to use an estate agent to sell your house or flat in Portugal. The items on this page are not exhaustive, there are likely to be other items to consider and using an intermediary will ensure that you don’t forget anything and will turn the sale to your advantage.
Cancellation of the mortgage
If you want to sell the property you have acquired with a mortgage, it is essential that you cancel the mortgage so that the house is free and clear for the new buyer.
In this case, the application to cancel the mortgage is accompanied by an application to register the purchase and sale of the property, as well as the possible formation of a new mortgage.
This cancellation costs about 50 euros at the real estate registry. It is also important to find out about the potential costs involved in making a credit advance.
Expenditure on documentation
It is essential that you budget for the following expenses for the paperwork required to sell the property in Portugal:
- Permanent Land Title Certificate: 15 euros per portion (valid for 6 months).
- The cost of a second copy of the use permit is from 35 euros (the cost varies according to the number of pages).
- 2nd copy of the technical file of the dwelling – from 35 euros (the price varies according to the number of pages).
- Energy certificates from 130 euros (increases according to the size of the property).
Stages of selling a property in Portugal
Assessing the price of the property
The first step is to determine the value of your Portuguese property, which can be done in several ways:
- Look online or ask your neighbours about the price of comparable properties that are for sale or have just sold. Don’t just look at the surface area, but also at the state of repair and any improvements that may have been made.
- Take advantage of internet platforms that can help you determine a price for free. This valuation may not be totally reliable as it does not take into account all the elements that influence the value of a property.
- Use as a guideline the tributary asset value, which is the value attributed to your property by
- Finance and used to determine, for example, the IMI to be paid.
- Use the services of a certified valuer. These specialists, who also carry out valuations for home loans in Portugal, take measurements, photographs and analyse property documents to calculate a value.
Once you have set the price, determine your negotiating margin. In other words, what is the minimum price you want to sell your property for in Portugal? Every buyer likes to negotiate and try to get a discount. If you don’t want to haggle, make it clear in your advertisement that the price is not negotiable.
The property market in Portugal is booming and very active, which can lead sellers to offer higher than average prices. So be aware that if you have no visits scheduled after 1 month of listing, the price is probably too high. You should therefore call in a professional to assess the right price for your property in Portugal.
Prepare the property for sale
It’s time to repair cupboard doors, clean out storage spaces and, if necessary, paint walls and ceilings, as well as modernise certain elements of your property. To get a decent price for your home, it must be in excellent condition.
If the property is old and repairs are too expensive, you may choose to target investors looking for homes to renovate.
Once the cleaning and repairs are complete, take pictures (photos and video) to publicise the property for sale. If you can’t afford to hire a professional, focus on things like brightness (turn on the lights if necessary), capturing attractive features (like the view from the balcony or new appliances), and details of the building or nearby green spaces. In other words, showcase all of your home’s assets.
Promoting the property to sell it
If you want to reach as many potential buyers as possible in Portugal, you can use real estate, second-hand items or social media platforms. In this case, you can use Facebook Marketplace or spread the word about sales to your friends and acquaintances.
Be very careful with the information you provide. It will be distributed to people you don’t know. Avoid giving them your full address or images of valuable items or family photos.
In the advert, highlight the good qualities of the accommodation, such as the area, the state of repair and the location (say whether there are schools, green areas or public transport nearby). Put your contact details and a timetable in place so that interested people can call; otherwise you may receive calls when you are working or sleeping.
When organising visits, make an effort to screen out people who might actually be interested. When welcoming strangers, have someone accompany you home to ensure a minimum of security.
Prepare for the visit by anticipating the questions you will be asked. Buyers of a property in Portugal and elsewhere will probably want to know why you are selling the property, whether you have had to make any major repairs, what the neighbourhood is like and what the condominium charges are like, among other things. Even if you are desperate to sell, don’t show it. Don’t accept the first offer you receive and wait for the one that fully meets your expectations.
Contact me to sell a property in Portugal
Do you want to sell a property in Portugal? Contact me and I will put you in touch with a real estate agent who can take care of the evaluation of your property, take photographs to create an attractive advertisement, publish it on the most consulted European and worldwide advertisement sites, direct you to trustworthy lawyers for the drafting of all the contracts, accompany you to the notary’s office for the signature, take care for you that the regulations are respected and many other things besides: a turnkey sale of your Portuguese property with complete confidence.
By validating this form, you authorize me to transmit your request to an English-speaking professional established in Portugal and qualified to accompany you in your project. Nothing is automated, these are professionals based in Lisbon, whom I know personally and who will contact you as soon as possible for a first exchange.
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