Although the system for buying property is different from the U.K it is quite straight forward. Here are some guidelines to assist you. Property laws do change from time to time so do ask for the latest information.
In Portugal all Estate Agents must by law be Government Licensed and carry insurance.
It is advisable to use a qualified Lawyer.
You will need to apply for a tax number to enable you to make your purchase. This is obtained from the Finance Department.
Once your offer has been accepted by the Seller in order to secure the purchase of your property you will need to sign a contract of sale which states both the buying and selling conditions. This is registered at the Notary, the public department which certifies deeds and contracts. At that time you will be required to provide a deposit, usually 10%. In the unlikely event that you should at a later date decide not to proceed with the purchase you may forfeit this deposit. If the seller decides not to proceed then they, by law, would have to repay twice the deposit to the purchaser.
Property purchases attract a purchase tax which is calculated on a sliding scale.
To complete the purchase both parties( or their legal representatives) must attend the Notary Office where the deeds are read and signed.
Following the signing of the deeds the final step is to have the property registered.
Power of Attorney
In order for the purchase to proceed in your absence you may authorise a person, usually your lawyer, to sign all legal documents concerning the purchase of the property.