Selling a Property in Algarve

A general overview of the process and points to bear in mind when selling a house, apartment or land in Algarve...

The process and laws for selling a property in Algarve are very similar to those for buying a property.

Preparing for the Sale

The seller must make sure that all civic municipal responsibilities such as paying any outstanding Municipal Council Tax (rates) are up to date. Not paying all of the council tax owed could mean that any property purchased in Algarve could be auctioned off to the highest bidder by the authorities. If selling an apartment block or condominium there may be final maintenance and service charges to be paid (Liquidação dos Encargos do Condomínio).

Once a buyer has been found and a sale agreed the seller should also arrange to pay in full and then cancel utility services such as the electricity, gas, water, insurance and telephone (Recisão das Assinaturas).

Engage an estate agent

It is always best to use the services of a government-licensed estate agent because you will be insured against any disputes, comebacks or irregularities that could arise during the process. A licence is awarded by the government according to the number of qualifications and certificates that the agents have and means that the estate agent must use government-approved forms to carry out his activities.

One of the benefits of using a government-approved estate agent is that they usually have a large database of house-hunters and can organise viewings (Marcações e Visitas). The estate agent's fee is normally around 5 percent of the sale price.

Engage a property solicitor

It is essential to engage the services of a property solicitor to act legally in the sale. The solicitor will deal with aspects such as drawing up a Procuração Publica which is signed in the Notary Office and registered. This document means that a legal representative has been authorised to deal with the sale on behalf of the client. Some international legal firms and estate agents which deal with Portuguese property sales can draw up this document in Portuguese outside Algarve, at a Portuguese consulate in a foreign country or in a public notary office in a foreign country providing the document is translated and bears both the notary seal and apostil.

Determine the market price

The easiest way to determine what the property is worth is worth is by engaging the services of an evaluation agent (Avaliador) and a surveyor (Vistoriador). An estate agent (Agente Imobiliaríos) will usually arrange this service (Avaliação Imóveis) for the client.

The price in Algarve will be determined by various factors such as: the type of property, (for example apartment or detached (Apartamento o Vivenda/Moradia)); its size (Area Útil) and number of bedrooms, designated by the letter 'T' (T1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6); the facilities it has (such as a pool, off-street parking, garden); its location according to district (Distrito), urban neighbourhood (Concelho) and parish (Freguesia).

Advertising the property

Generally speaking a government-accredited estate agent will know best where to place the property and this can range from their own website, local newspapers, and national newspapers in property sections, which usually come out between Fridays and Sundays (Redacção do Anuncío).

Useful Terms

Prédio Apartment block made up of various floors
Andar A floor of a building destined to be used for habitation
Assoalhada Room (2 assoalhada = 2 rooms, probably living room and bedroom)
Estudio Also known as a T0 – a one-room studio flat
Moradia/Vivenda House
T1 / T2 Bedrooms
Information provided by F.Castelo Branco & Associates Av. Da Liberdade 249 1º, 1250-143 Lisbon Tel: 213 587 500 Website: www.fcb-legal.com / e-mail Copyright © 2007 F.Castelo Branco & Associates. All Rights Reserved.