Updated: January 18, 2024

 

portugal real estateWhen setting foot in a foreign country, language barriers often become the biggest roadblocks. Especially in a transaction as significant as a property purchase, understanding every detail is imperative. In Portugal, while the picturesque landscapes might capture your heart, the language might pose a slight challenge. This is why seeking a quick search for an “English-speaking realtor Portugal” may come in handy to see the range of agencies who may be able to assist you.

If you’re not fluent in Portuguese, understanding intricate legal terms, sifting through property contracts, or simply grasping the nuances of a property sale can become a Herculean task for foreign investors seeking to purchase Portugal homes. There’s always the looming risk of overlooking essential details or misinterpreting information.

Thankfully, with a great selection of thousands of experts to choose from, an English-speaking realtor in Portugal won’t be hard to find.

But the looming question for most is: Where do I even begin? How do I ensure I choose a Portuguese realtor who is best suited to assist me with my property purchase?

Delve into this article as we demystify the process and unravel the intricacies of Portugal’s real estate sector, discover how to secure the perfect bilingual realtor, and understand why partnering with one might just make you happy that working with one is the best decision you made.

Why You Should Work with an English-speaking Realtor

portugal property taxes

 

The Portuguese real estate market is dynamic. When it comes to quality of life and investment potential, expats and investors from all walks of life have their sights set on Portugal. In the following section, we provide you with key reasons why you should consider working with an English-speaking realtor for your property purchase in Portugal to make sure that the buying process is a complete success.

GC-ICON-10 Break the language barrier

One of the crucial advantages of having a real estate agency on your side with English-speaking staff is help with navigating the language barrier.

If you do not speak Portuguese and are dealing directly with individuals who do not speak English, your realtor, who speaks both languages, will be instrumental in ensuring smooth communication throughout the buying process.

An English-speaking Portuguese realtor will ensure that they keep in touch, making sure that there are no communication issues and that nothing between the two parties is lost in translation. You may even come across native English estate agents in Portugal, as many internationals now work for Portuguese real estate companies.

GC-ICON-15 Cultural mediation

An English-speaking realtor can bridge cultural differences, ensuring smoother negotiations and a clear understanding between buyers and sellers.

Streamlined paperwork

Legal and property documents can be complex. Having someone who can explain them in English ensures you fully comprehend every detail.

Local connections

English-speaking realtors often keep in touch with their broad network of professionals, from lawyers and contractors to accountants and interior designers, that you can tap into to ensure a moving process with comfort and ease. Their professional network could also include home inspectors and maintenance services, offering access to professionals who inspect properties for potential issues and provide maintenance services.

Property viewing

Given the vast array of apartments, villas, and other property types on sale, your realtor can arrange property viewings and ensure you grasp the full potential and nuances of each property you are interested in. They will give you access to houses, apartments, and villas available for sale.

Market trends insight

Real estate companies in Portugal have an in-depth understanding of the Portuguese real estate market and will be able to provide you with expert advice on the perfect house to invest in.

GC-ICON-16 Access to more property listings that meet your requirements

They have access to a database of market data from which they can identify listings that suit your requirements and budget, and they also know who to contact during each stage of the purchasing process.

GC-ICON-102 Help you make well-informed decisions

Most importantly, realtors will articulate these insights clearly in English so that you can make well-informed decisions before you accept a sale offer and sign any contracts. Since English-speaking real estate agents have in-depth knowledge of the market and their portfolios are extensive, this means you’ll have plenty to consider when they begin showing you properties.

How to Find an English-speaking Realtor in Portugal

It can be difficult to know where to begin to find the perfect partner to assist you with the property purchase. Buying a new home is a major investment, so you want to ensure you have help from the very best real estate companies in Portugal. Below, we’ve shared our thoughts on how to find top real estate agents in Portugal.

Do your research

The first step is to get to grips with the Portuguese real estate market, including price ranges, property types, and potential locations where you’d like to buy a property. You can do this using property portals and using other online sources.

Note that you will not find one comprehensive overview of available properties on real estate websites. This is why it’s so beneficial to partner with an agency.

Narrow down your search: Recommendations, testimonials, and reviews

Once you have made a list of the top real estate agents in Portugal, you can begin narrowing down your search. You can do this by checking their credentials, in addition to testimonials and reviews made by clients. Ensure that the real estate agent speaks both English and Portuguese, has good local knowledge of the market, and has an adequate level of responsiveness.

If you have recommendations from family, friends, or acquaintances, then this can be a good place to start. Expat forums or local Facebook expat groups can be goldmines for recommendations, as members often share their personal experiences and suggest reliable English-speaking realtors.

Find a licensed real estate professional agent

It’s important to ensure that the real estate professional that you ultimately opt for has a valid license. You should confirm that the real estate agent you work with has an AMI license number.

real estte professional agentThe AMI license number is a number issued by the IMPIC (Instituto dos Mercados Públicos, do Imobiliário e da Construção), a key government body that regulates property matters and real estate agencies in Portugal. You can check whether a real estate agent is certified on the IMPIC website.

You can also check whether a real estate agency is certified in this article by our residency and citizenship division, Global Citizen Solutions: The AMI License in Portugal.

Ask targeted questions

When you are honing in on the right real estate agent for you and are speaking with prospective real estate agencies, ask targeted questions, including examples about how they have helped other international buyers in your situation. Monitor their communication skills and determine whether you can see yourself working with them. There are many real estate agencies in Portugal that facilitate the buying, selling, and renting of properties. These include examples like REMAX, Century 21, and local Portuguese agencies, so determining the right one for you is essential.

Prospective property owners in Portugal may want to ask about the following aspects when speaking to realtors and estate agents when looking to purchase Portugal homes:

  1. Experience with working with international buyers
  2. Experience with handling legal aspects, including the seller and the property itself
  3. Assistance with your specific requirements
  4. Portfolio and proven track record
  5. Fees and commissions, in order to ensure that their pricing is transparent and there are no hidden costs.

Finding a well-connected estate agent, Portugal

If you are purchasing property in Portugal, you will likely be requiring other services. Find a good real estate agent that has a strong network and is well-connected to key industry players.

This includes legal firms and real estate lawyers who specialize in property law and assist in the legal aspects of buying and selling property, property surveyors, architects, interior designers, Portuguese furniture brands, and financial institutions like banks and mortgage lenders that provide financing for property purchases, and real estate investment trusts (REITs) that own, operate, or finance income-producing real estate.

With many years of experience, Goldcrest has a good relationship with many key industry players who can help you with settling in Portugal, from mortgage brokers to tax consultants.

We highly recommend working with a Portugal real estate lawyer when buying property in Portugal.

They will help you understand Portuguese property laws and regulations, including due diligence checks and background checks on the seller, to ensure that all legal matters are followed correctly.

Five key considerations

To sum up how you can find top real estate agents in Portugal, below are five key considerations that you should bear in mind when choosing the right real estate agent for you.

  1. They will have your best interests at heart.
  2. Check their credentials.
  3. They are experienced in working with foreign buyers.
  4. They have clear and transparent pricing.
  5. They are fully licensed with an AMI license number.

Note: There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to real estate agencies, and the right real estate agent for you may be very different from another buyer.

Qualities to Look for in an English-speaking Realtor 

real estate agent portugal

When doing your research, there are some points to look out for that will help you identify the right realtor for you. We’ve compiled a list below of some characteristics of a good realtor:

  • Support: A good real estate agent in Portugal is punctual and professional in their responses to your inquiries.
  • Reputation: Looking at comments and feedback from previous clients is a great way to assess the quality of service a realtor is likely to give you.
  • Licensing: It is important that they are licensed professionals and you feel able to trust the real estate company you are working with.
  • Transparent pricing: Hiring a realtor will have its own cost, but ensure you are aware of the costs upfront. There should be no hidden costs further down the line.
  • Local experience with expats: Many real estate companies have gained experience working with expats and formed an international network of clients due to the increased interest in property in Portugal amongst foreign investors. These companies are familiar with what expats need and know how to help them, alongside having expert knowledge of the legal processes relating to purchasing properties in Portugal.
  • Knowledge of paperwork: Always inquire about the realtor’s knowledge of the process and paperwork required, as well as their experience in helping expats buy and sell property in Portugal. Whether by e-mail or phone call, it is important to make your realtor aware of what you require so that they can provide you with the best service possible.

What is the difference between a real estate agent and a buyer's agent?

While traditional real estate agents in Portugal work for the seller and get a higher commission for a higher sale, a property buyer’s agent is an independent real estate specialist who represents the buyer’s interests and will work with the buyer to get the best possible price. Even though the real estate agent will likely have your best interests at heart, this is just something to bear in mind when seeking to become a property owner in Portugal.

Buyer’s agents will also have access to new listings and listings not found elsewhere on the property market, providing you with access to more properties that fit your criteria. They will be able to guide you through the entire process of buying property, from sourcing through to acquisition.

To help you understand the key differences take a look at the table below that provides a comprehensive guideline showcasing each option’s advantages and potential drawbacks.

Factors

Real Estate Agent

Buyer's Agent

Work Scope

Facilitates transactions for various parties

Exclusively works for the buyer throughout the process

Search & Selection Assistance

May present options, but not solely focused on buyer's needs

Focuses on finding options that suit the buyer best

Representation

Represents the seller's interests primarily

Solely represents the buyer's interests

Conducting Legal Checks

May overlook some legal checks for buyer's benefit

Ensures thorough legal checks for buyer's protection

Language Assistance

Language proficiency may vary

Proficient in the buyer's language

Negotiation

Represents seller's interests in negotiation

Negotiates exclusively for buyer's benefit

Documentation Handling

May not prioritize all necessary documentation

Ensures all required documentation is in order

Time and Cost Savings

May not optimize for time and cost efficiency

Saves time and money by focusing on buyer's needs

Commission

Earns higher commission for higher sale prices

Does not earn based on sale price, focused on buyer

Conclusion 

Over the years, Portugal has become a favored European Union nation for expats looking to relocate. It’s safe, has a diverse landscape, and offers a lower cost of living compared to many other Western European countries. Portuguese property investment has also increased. Given the competitive market, hiring an English-speaking realtor can expedite your property search to ensure you secure the perfect property to invest in and live in Portugal.

Why work with Goldcrest?

Goldcrest is a local buyer’s agent based in Lisbon that provides insightful real estate expertise and strategic advice. From sourcing to property acquisition, we offer a tailor-made service for our clients, assisting them in identifying outstanding investment opportunities in some of Portugal’s finest locations, from relocation to investment projects.

  • Local knowledge: With offices located across Portugal, our presence nationwide allows us to assist you personally across the country.
  • Independent service: As an independent buying agent, we do not represent any development or project. Our service is entirely tailored toward each individual client, providing you with everything you need to secure the right property at the best possible price. As an impartial advisor on the market, we work solely on behalf of our client and provide a service tailored to your needs and requirements.
  • Streamlined process: We have a team of English estate agents in Portugal, and our service is completely focused on providing you with a hassle-free buying experience, saving you time.
  • Experienced team: Our expert real estate team has a vast local knowledge of the Portuguese property market. We have cutting-edge technology and metasearch tools at your disposal to provide full market coverage, ensuring the best real estate in Portugal is at your fingertips.
  • Network of partners: Lawyers, property management services, builders, architects, designers, and landscape gardeners, again saving you time and hassle by providing you with trusted experts in their field of work.

You can read more here: Why Work With Goldcrest to Buy Property in Portugal?

Get in touch, and we’ll get you started on your journey to owning a home in Portugal. from scouting properties through to aftercare, once you are a property owner in Portugal, we assist throughout the entire process. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for an informal conversation; our team is ready to assist and help you start your journey of relocating to Portugal.

Frequently Asked Questions about Finding an English-speaking Realtor in Portugal

How to find an English-speaking realtor in Portugal? 

These days, the vast majority of realtors in Portugal have English-speaking staff. A quick search for “realtor Portugal” can be a good place to start to understand the types of services on offer. Visit real estate portals and websites, such as Idealista and Imovirtual, which offer listings and a searching database for properties. It is also worth considering working with a buyer’s agent. While a real estate agent works on behalf of the seller and will receive a higher commission for a higher sale, a buyer’s agent works solely for the buyer and ensures that your interests are met.

Engaging the services of a realtor offers numerous benefits. A quick search for “Portugal realtor” or “real estate agent Portugal” will kickstart your search. Real estate firms possess a profound comprehension of the intricacies of the Portuguese property market, enabling them to offer you professional guidance. They leverage their extensive database of market information to pinpoint options that align with your specific needs and financial constraints.

When seeking an English-speaking realtor in Portugal, prioritize qualities such as fluency in both English and Portuguese, local market knowledge, strong communication skills, a proven track record, and a client-focused approach. These qualities ensure effective communication, expertise, and a smooth real estate experience.

Lawyers examine property records to confirm ownership, resolve title issues, and ensure due diligence and a clean title transfer between the buyer and seller.

When it comes to property acquisitions in Portugal, pitfalls may include unclear property or land titles, zoning issues, outstanding debts, or hidden liabilities that a lawyer helps identify and address. They will also be a godsend in ensuring thorough due diligence of both the seller and the property and, in general, ensure that no stone is left unturned when it comes to checking the legal parts of real estate transactions. Their practice areas will include validating purchase agreements and due diligence.

A real estate lawyer ensures contracts accurately reflect the deal’s terms, protecting your interests and complying with Portuguese property law.

A quick online search of “realtor Lisbon Portugal” will provide you with a list of realtors, whereby you can dig into the services that they offer. Remember that while they should have your best interests at heart, realtors in Portugal work on behalf of the seller and will get a higher commission for a higher sale. It can, therefore, be a better option to work with a buyer’s agent, such as Goldcrest, who will work solely on behalf of you, the buyer, ensuring that you secure your investment property at the best possible price.

Both countries offer a dynamic real estate market. Property in Portugal is generally more affordable than in Spain, and with attractive rental yields in Lisbon and the Algarve, you can understand why Portugal is such a popular choice for investors. A quick search for “realtor Portugal Spain” will provide you with some insights into the real estate market in each territory.

The NIF (Número de Identificação Fiscal) is a tax number in Portugal. Each individual will need a NIF. This is your individual tax number that is required for significant financial transactions in Portugal. If you are looking to become a property owner in Portugal, you will need a NIF.