Buying & Selling a Property in the Algarve

Buying Property

Mermaid Sales and Rentals focuses on property sales in both the Central and the East Algarve. The process can be unpredictable and time scales vary. Knowledge and understanding of this is key.

Making the offer – Once the buyer has found the ideal property, it is important to discuss the terms of the offer in detail, before formally presenting the offer, preferably in writing.

Legal representation – Once the price for the property has been negotiated and agreed, usually subject to a survey, we will forward the “Heads of Terms” to the buyer´s lawyer and the vendor’s lawyer. The vendor´s lawyer will then forward all the property documents to the buyer´s lawyer who will perform the due diligence, checking all the property paperwork and making sure there are no debts associated with the property. Once this has been completed the Promissory Contract will be drafted.

Promissory Contract – At the signing of the Promissory Contract, the buyer will normally pay a 10% deposit of the value of the agreed sale price to the vendor, via the lawyer´s client accounts. 

The date of completion will have been agreed by both parties and will be written into in the Promissory Contract.


The Final Deed (Escritura) – The Final Deed is the transfer of property ownership from the seller to the buyer in exchange for the remaining balance, which is signed at the notary´s office on the day stipulated in the Promissory Contract.

Note – If the buyer or seller cannot be present at the deeds, then they can give power of attorney to their legal representative to sign on their behalf.

 Additional costs – Please note that in addition to the agreed purchase price of the property, the buyer will have to budget for the following:

  • Legal representation fee – normally 1% of the agreed purchase price.
  • Property taxes, stamp duty, notary fees – approximately 5-7% of the agreed purchase price.

Final Steps – The buyer´s lawyer will register the new owner in the Land Registry and will usually make sure all the utility bills are changed into the new owner´s name. 

Selling a Property

Selling a property can be daunting and we will support you through this process providing you with our expertise, not only in the evaluation, but in the marketing and viewing of potential clients. Listed below are some of the things you should consider before putting your property on the market.

The Real Estate Agent – Choose an agent who can give you the time, patience and understanding of the current market. The facility to market your property across a wide range of property portals, media outlets across the world.  The East and Central Algarve has a melting pot of communities coming from many countries, let us tap into this source to bring you many potential buyers for your property.

Property and market appraisals – Whether you would like an appraisal of the current property market or a free no obligation property valuation, then please make an appointment with one of our team. Our valuation appointments offer you the perfect opportunity to meet with us to discuss the best way that our agency can help you sell your property and support you with the paper trail needed for a swift sale.


Property documents – It is important that the real estate agent can fully understand the Portuguese legal documents of your property. To list and sell your property, the agent must have the following documents:

  • Habitation Licence – Licença de Utilização
  • Tax department document – Caderneta Predial
  • Land registry document – Registo Predial
  • Energy Certificate – Certificado energético
  • Floor plans  – Planta(s)
  • Technical Description (for property constructed after March 2004) – Ficha Técnica de habitação

Marketing/contract agreement – To legally market a property in Portugal, real estate agents require a signed marketing/contract agreement. There are 2 options, either a non-exclusive marketing agreement (multi agency) or an exclusive marketing agreement (single agency).  As always in life there are advantages and disadvantages of both regimes and we will support you to choose the best option for yourself.

 Preparing your property for viewings – When a potential buyer walks into a property there are a variety of psychological processes that they go through.  Depending on the reason for the purchase, a family home for example, they will envisage themselves living in this house.  Therefore, the importance of creating a first impression is discussed.  We have a support team that can clean, paint or de-clutter the property to support a timely sale.

Marketing of your property – We live in a fast media supported world.  We make sure that your property is being accessed by many countries, with informative, well presented data. SEO optimization and using information that takes your property to the top of listings daily. Our team processes information and understands the property to give feedback to potential buyers.  Offering photographs, videos and on the spot information and viewings when needed.

The sale of your property – With a large list of requirements when selling property, it can also have large amounts of time and stress.  We aim to facilitate the whole process for you to make it manageable and timely.