Updated: July 17, 2024


portugal real estate

Language barriers are one of the most significant roadblocks when moving to a foreign country. Especially when it comes to understanding the process of buying property in a different country. In Portugal, while the picturesque landscapes might capture your heart, sealing the deal on the home of your dreams in the stunning Algarve region or bustling capital of Lisbon may prove challenging if you are not fluent in Portuguese and do not have the help of English-speaking real estate agents in Portugal.

Portugal has an excellent selection of real estate agencies with English-speaking staff who can assist you with finding and understanding the information related to the buying process of the home of your dreams. In addition to the option of working with a real estate agent in Portugal, you can also opt to work with a buyer’s agent, like Goldcrest. It’s important to note Portugal real estate agents work on behalf of the seller and will get a higher commission for a higher sale, while buyer’s agents work solely on behalf of you, the buyer, ensuring there is no conflict of interest.

A buyer’s agent offers property buyers valuable services like local market expertise, impartial guidance throughout the buying process, and connections to trusted professionals to ensure a smooth and successful property purchase. Their team’s knowledge and technology also help secure your dream property at the best price.

In this article, we will give you tips to help you find the best Portuguese realtor or buyer’s agent, explore the home purchase process, and how working with a real estate professional can help you better navigate the intricacies of Portugal’s real estate sector.

Why You Should Work with an English-speaking Realtor

The Portuguese real estate market is dynamic. Regarding quality of life and investment potential, expats and investors from all walks of life have their sights set on Portugal’s popular locations like Lisbon, Porto, the Algarve, and the Silver Coast.

In the following section, we provide you with crucial reasons why you should consider working with a Portuguese realtor or buyer’s agent for your real estate purchase to ensure the buying process is a complete success.

GC-ICON-10Language barrier and cultural mediation

One of the crucial advantages of having top real estate agents in Portugal or a buyer’s agent like Goldcrest on your side, is help with navigating the language barrier. If you do not speak Portuguese and deal 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.

English-speaking estate agents in Portugal will ensure they keep in touch with you, ensuring there are no communication issues and that everything between the two parties is correctly interpreted. You may even encounter native English estate agents in Portugal, as many internationals now work for Portuguese real estate companies. Your realtor or buyer’s agent can also bridge the gap between cultural differences, ensuring smoother negotiations.

GC-ICON-15Experience and local connections

An English-speaking realtor in Portugal will often have a broad professional network, including lawyers, contractors, accountants, and even interior designers, that you can tap into to ensure you have all the support and advice you need. Their professional network can also include home inspectors and maintenance services, offering access to professionals who inspect properties for potential issues and provide maintenance services. Additionally, legal and property documents can be complex. Having someone who can explain them in English ensures you fully comprehend every detail.

Access to property listings and viewings

Real estate companies in Portugal 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.

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 the Portuguese real estate market.

If you choose to work with a buyer’s agent, their team will be able to put you in contact with an exclusive network of property owners with houses, apartments, and villas for sale. Your buyer’s agent will assist you with all the necessary steps involved in securing your dream property at the best possible price and help you achieve a hassle-free buying experience.

Market trends and insight make well-informed decisions

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. 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 extensive knowledge of the market and access to exclusive properties, you’ll have plenty to consider when they begin showing you properties.

The Difference Between a Real Estate Agent and a Buyer's Agent?

portugal property taxesAs we’ve mentioned, 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.

With their expert understanding of the local real estate market, a buyer’s agent like Goldcrest can assist you with your property search, help negotiate offers, and guide you through the home-buying process.

To help you understand the key differences between these real estate professionals, the table below provides a guideline showcasing each option’s advantages and drawbacks.


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


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


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


Earns higher commission for higher sale prices

Does not earn based on sale price, focused on buyer

Discover more about buying property in Portugal in this comprehensive guide.

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How to Find an English-speaking Realtor in Portugal

Knowing where to begin to find the perfect partner to assist you with the property purchase can be challenging. Buying a new home is a significant 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 professionals in Portugal

GC-ICON-93Do your research

real estte professional agentThe 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 your dream property. You can do this using property portals and using other online sources.

You will not find one comprehensive overview of available properties on real estate websites, and there isn’t one website where you will find all the listings available in Portugal such as Zillow.

Due to the Portuguese real estate market being fragmented, it is best to work with a realtor or buyer’s agent who can help you secure the home of your dreams.

Ask targeted questions

When you are honing in on the right real estate agent for you and speaking with prospective Portugal real estate agencies, ask targeted questions, including examples about how they have helped other international buyers.

Below we have listed a few questions you may want to ask about the following aspects when speaking to realtors and estate agents when looking to purchase a property in Portugal:

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

GC-ICON-78Finding a well-connected estate agent in Portugal

If you purchase property in Portugal, you will likely require other services. Find a good real estate agent with a strong network and who is well-connected to key industry players, such as a reputable Portugal real estate lawyer who can help you with the legalities of buying property in Portugal.

The agent’s professional network could also include 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.

Qualities to Look for in an English-speaking Realtor

When doing your research, there are some points to look out for that will help you identify the right realtor. 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 responding to your inquiries.
  • Reputation: Looking at comments and feedback from previous clients is a great way to assess the quality of service a realtor will likely give you.
  • Licensing: It is essential that the real estate agent you work with is a licensed professional with the mandatory AMI license number required for legal operation.
  • Transparent pricing: Hiring a realtor will have its own cost, but ensure you know the costs upfront. There should be no hidden costs further down the line.
  • Local experience with expats: Many Portugal 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 understanding of the process and paperwork required and their experience in helping expats buy property in Portugal.

Why work with Goldcrest?

Goldcrest, a local buyer’s agent based in Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve, provides insightful Portugal 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 and most popular locations, from relocation to investment projects.

Get in touch, and we’ll kickstart your journey to owning a home in Portugal, from scouting properties to aftercare. Once you are a property owner in Portugal, we will assist you with everything you need to get settled in your new property or with leasing the property and property management. Don’t hesitate to contact us for an informal conversation; our team is ready to help you relocate to Portugal.

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

Beginning your search by looking for a reputable real estate website that provides listings to potential apartments and townhouses that could turn out to be the home or investment of your dreams in the country is a good starting point. Ultimately, working with realtors in Portugal or a buyer’s agent will save you time, money, and help you navigate the process seamlessly. Before you make your decision, it is important to note that 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 protected.

You will find English-speaking real estate agents across Portugal, whether you are looking to buy in Lisbon, Porto, the Algarve, the Silver Coast, or another location in the country.

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. Another option would be to work with an independent buyer’s agent, who will offer all the same exclusive services and ensure that your interests and requests as the buyer are met above all.

When seeking an English-speaking realtor in Portugal, prioritize qualities such as fluency in 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.

Regarding property acquisitions in Portugal, pitfalls may include:

  • Unclear property or land titles
  • Zoning issues
  • Outstanding debts
  • 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 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 their services. 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 the Goldcrest team, 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. With attractive rental yields in Lisbon, Porto, the Algarve, and Silver Coast, you can understand why Portugal is such a popular choice for investors.

The NIF (Número de Identificação Fiscal) is the tax number in Portugal required to purchase a home in Portugal and for other significant financial transactions in the country.

To find a reputable real estate agent in Portugal, check online reviews, ask for recommendations from friends who have purchased the property in Portugal, and ensure that they have assisted buyers in a similar position to you. You will find English-speaking realtors across the country, whether you are looking to buy in Lisbon, Porto, the Algarve, or the Silver Coast.

A qualified real estate agent in Portugal should hold an AMI license issued by IMPIC, demonstrating they have met the legal requirements and professional standards to operate in the real estate sector.

Yes, many real estate agents in Portugal speak English, especially in popular expat regions like Lisbon, Porto, the Algarve, and the Silver Coast. It’s common to find agencies specifically catering to English-speaking clients.

In Portugal, real estate agents work on behalf of the seller and will, therefore, get a higher commission for a higher sale. To avoid this conflict of interest, working with a buyer’s agent, who will work solely on behalf of the buyer and ensure their needs are protected, is a better move.

A real estate agent in Portugal can assist with market analysis, property selection, negotiation, legal procedures, and investment strategies, ensuring informed decisions and maximized returns on your property investment. It’s important to note that real estate agents in Portugal work on behalf of the seller and will get a higher commission for a higher sale. Therefore, working with a buyer’s agent can be a better move as they will work solely on behalf of the buyer.

When buying a property in Portugal through an agent, expect comprehensive assistance with property viewings, negotiations, legal paperwork, and coordination with notaries, ensuring a smooth and compliant transaction.

Yes, foreign nationals will easily be able to find an English speaking realtor in Portugal, especially in major cities, like Lisbon and Porto, and popular regions, such as the Algarve where many agents cater specifically to foreign buyers. Even in lesser-known areas, such as the Silver Coast, you will be able to find a real estate agent to assist you with the purchase.

Realtors in Portugal help with the property search and provide legal, negotiation, and relocation support for foreign buyers. They offer expertise in local market trends, whether you are looking to buy in Lisbon, the Algarve, or the Silver Coast, and help with documentation, ensuring a smooth property purchase.

Hiring a real estate agent in Portugal offers benefits like expert local market knowledge, negotiation skills, legal assistance, and a streamlined property search process, ensuring a stress-free experience for buyers and sellers It’s important to note that real estate agents work on behalf of the seller, which is why it can be a smart move to work with a buyer’s agent, who works solely on behalf of the buyer and ensuring that there is no conflict of interest.

Verify the credentials of real estate agents in Portugal by checking their AMI license number, seeking client testimonials, and ensuring they are registered with the Instituto dos Mercados Públicos, do Imobiliário e da Construção (IMPIC).


Make sure that you ask about their experience, particularly concerning how they have helped foreign buyers in a similar situation to your own, the local market conditions, property history, legal requirements, their commission structure, and how they handle negotiations to ensure a successful property purchase whereby you get the best deal possible.

Real estate agents in Portugal work on behalf of the seller and will, therefore, get a higher commission for a higher sale. While most will have your best interests at heart, working with a buyer’s agent ensures you do not have this conflict of interest. Buyer’s agent work solely on behalf of the buyer, ensuring that your interests are protected.

Real estate agents schedule viewings on your behalf, offer virtual tours, and provide detailed property descriptions with high-quality photos.