Information for Buyers

Purchasing a property in the Algarve is quite straightforward, we have listed below a few important points to take into consideration.

Before you start

Always deal with a Government licensed agent. If you are in doubt, every licensed agent must display their licence – in their office, on their website and on all advertising. for example, our licence is AMI 15221 (you will always see AMI  followed by a series of numbers).  Licensed Agents have Professional Indemnity Insurance, other Guarantees and are Accountable for their actions.  If you deal with an Unlicensed Agent you will have no Legal Protection in case of problems or queries.

Select a Lawyer/Solicitor who normally carries out Property Conveyancing, and who is able to respond in a given timescale to your requests.  We can recommend a reliable English speaking lawyer that we work with on a regular basis who provides a good service at a reasonable cost.

Selecting Properties and arranging Viewings

We have a variety of types, shapes, sizes and ages of property in the Algarve.  You can help us to select the correct properties for you by giving us as much information as possible regarding your requirements, for example:

  • Desired location
  • Type of property required:  (Villa, Farm, Ruin etc.)
  • Amount of land required and for what purpose (Horses, Kennels, Agriculture, Tourism, Privacy)
  • Your budget
  • Number of bedrooms
  • Is a swimming pool required (or space for)
  • Is this a holiday home, a permanent residence or a business?
  • If your purchase is cash or you require finance here in Portugal (or in another Country)
  • Your timescales for buying (including dates of your visits to the Algarve)
  • Any particular must haves and/or dislikes which must be avoided.

* Please remember that sometimes, arranging viewings can be a little complicated (particularly when we have non-resident vendors, animals to be fed/mucked out and walked and during the holiday season).  If you can be flexible with your viewing times, it is likely that we can show you a greater selection of properties.

Making an offer

When you’ve found your dream property, what next?  The first step is to make an offer for the property.  Our advice is to give as much positive information as is possible to the vendor to support your offer.  You should consider:

  • How quickly you wish to complete the purchase
  • If you need finance
  • If you wish to purchase any of the fixtures and fittings
  • Do discuss an offer with us – we often know the client well and can help to negotiate a deal which is agreeable to both vendor and purchaser.


Once a price has been agreed, your lawyer will check all the documents relating to the property and draft a contrato promessa de compra e venda (promissory contract). This contract states:

  • The identification of the buyer and seller
  • The identification and description of the property
  • That the vendor agrees to sell and the buyer agrees to purchase
  • The amount to be paid on signing of the contract (normally  10 -20% of the purchase value)
  • The timescales for completing the property purchase (signing of the escritura (deeds))
  • Any other relevant points (e.g. an inventory of the property contents)

The contract is signed by both the purchaser and vendor, normally in front of the notary. Once the contract is signed it is binding on both parties (similar, but not the same as exchange of contracts in the UK).  Should the seller not sell the property, he has to pay the buyer double the deposit as compensation. Should the buyer not buy the property, he loses his deposit.
We normally expect to sign a promissory contract within 30 days of having agreed an offer.

IMT (Property transfer tax)

  • For predios rusticos (rustic) a flat rate of 5% IMT is applied.
  • For land for construction & urban properties not for habitation (eg Armazens), the rate is 6.5%
  • For predios mistos, the rustic part attracts the flat rate of 5%, with the urban part rated at  6.5%.
  • Offshores are charged at 15% (if they remain offshore)

The information is provided as a guideline only and is no substitute for proper legal advice.  Algarve Homes with Land accept no liability for any mistakes or omissions herein and subsequent issues. All text copyright Algarve Homes with Land -Licensed Real Estate Agent AMI 15221.