Buying Algarve Property

Information for buyers

Looking to buy a property in the Algarve? Here is a step by step guide to the purchase process, including the key points to consider if you are going to buy Algarve properties.


First steps

There are a few fundamentals you must consider at the start of your property search, when you want to buy Algarve property.

Always deal with a Government licensed agent. If you are in doubt, every licensed agent must display their licence in their office, and on all advertising; for example our licence is AMI 5604 (you will always see AMI followed by a series of numbers).  

Licensed agents have professional 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/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 have reliable English speaking lawyers that we work with on a regular basis and provide a good service at a reasonable cost.


Selecting properties and arranging viewings

We have a wide 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: Attached/detached villa, apartment, farmhouse, land/ruin (with approved project/with ruin/agricultural) other (please specify)
• Number of bedrooms
• Needing refurbishment or ready to move in?
• Is a pool required (or space for a pool)
• Size of plot preferred
• Is this a holiday home or permanent residence?
• If your purchase is cash or you require finance here in Portugal (or offshore, or in UK)
• Your timescales for buying (including dates of your next visit to Portugal)
• Your budget
• Any particular dislikes which must be avoided (e.g. age of property, neighbours)

Please remember that arranging viewings can, at times, be a little complicated (particularly when we have non• resident owners 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

So, you’ve found that 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
• How much deposit you are prepared to pay (constructors in particular often offer a discount when a large deposit is paid)
• If you wish to purchase any of the fixtures and fittings

Please 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 of the above 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 between 10 and 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 it 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)

IMT is calculated accoriding to a number of factors, including the type of the property and if it is a permanent or secondary home.

You can calculate the value of the IMT that you will pay when purchasing a property here: IMT calculator


Please remember we are selling properties day in, day out. If you need some more information, or you have a doubt regarding anything to do with purchasing property in the Algarve, Portugal contact us on 00351308801913 or send us an email to and we will be pleased to help.

This information is provided as guidelines only and is no substitute for proper legal advice.  Azul Homes accept no liability for any mistakes or omissions herein and subsequent issues. All text copyright Azul Homes/Azul Properties-Licensed Real Estate Agent AMI 5604.