Buying a house in Portugal involves a series of legal procedures and tax obligations.
- You should go to your local tax office and learn about the property’s financial and tax status.
- You must find out whether the property is free of any liens or encumbrances (mortgages, attachments, usufruct, rental agreements, etc.). This information is available at the Land Registry Office (Conservatória do Registo Predial).
- After the transaction’s details have been agreed with the seller or real estate agency, and until the house is yours, you should:
- Sign the promissory agreement;
- Pay Real Estate Transfer Tax (IMT) at the Portuguese tax authority website (Portal das Finanças) or local tax office, or find out whether the purchase is entitled to exemption and request it, if applicable;
- Execute the warranty deed;
- Update the property’s registry in the Urban Land Registry (Matriz Predial Urbana) and request exemption from Municipal Real Estate Tax (IMI) at the local tax office or tax authority website (Portal das Finanças);
- Register the purchase, or turn provisional registries into definitive registries at the Land Registry Office (Conservatória do Registo Predial);
- If you are using a bank loan, you will have to take care of a few more formalities. At this time, the purchase of a home, with or without a loan, is relatively simple: at just one location, you can take care of every obligation involving the transaction, such as formalizing the purchase and sale, updating the land registry and urban land registry, and requesting exemption from Municipal Real Estate Tax (IMI) when applicable.