Updated: January 22, 2024


Real estate investments in Portugal have become a popular option in recent years, particularly in hotspot cities like Lisbon. However, purchasing property can be complicated, even more so when buying abroad.

From a CSC attorney to real estate companies and buyer’s agents with a multidisciplinary team such as Goldcrest – there are a lot of professional services to consider when purchasing property in Portugal. An effective way to simplify the process is to hire an experienced real estate attorney in Lisbon.

The purchasing process and understanding the country’s real estate law become much easier to navigate when you are receiving expert legal services and advice from a professional in the field. In this article, we’ll provide you with an overview of the importance of working with a real estate lawyer and how you can find the best real estate law services in Lisbon, Portugal.

Understanding the Role of a Real Estate Lawyer

Add to that a language barrier and unfamiliar processes and requirements that you’ll face, and it can be somewhat overwhelming. There are many law firms in Portugal, all of which specialize in various practice areas of the law legal assistance, including real estate law and business law. When purchasing property and dealing with the legal aspects of the real estate process, it is important to look for a law firm containing real estate lawyers with expert knowledge of the country’s real estate laws and practices.

What does a real estate lawyer do?

A residential property lawyer in Lisbon provides legal advice, prepares and reviews sale agreements with real estate agencies, assists with lease agreements and negotiation, and ensures the legal compliance of real estate investments with their extensive industry knowledge. A real estate law business can also assist clients with litigation in disputes if necessary seeking a profitable purchase and justice on your behalf. Our article Portugal Real Estate Lawyer: Navigating the Legal System offers more insights into working with a real estate lawyer in Portugal.

How can a Lisbon property law specialist lawyer help?

While not required, hiring a real estate lawyer is a good move when buying property in Lisbon, Portugal. This is because real estate law is complex, and there are various points during property transactions that will require the expertise of a real estate lawyer.

From checking that the property’s construction meets Portuguese real estate law standards to drawing up contracts, service from a reputable law firm offers access to highly beneficial legal resources when dealing with all the legalities, and if you are purchasing commercial property, corporate litigation that comes with investing in property in Lisbon, Portugal. In the table below, we explore a few more reasons to acquire legal services for Lisbon property investment.

Why work with a real estate lawyer?

Legal expertise

Partnering with a lawyer focusing on Portuguese real estate becomes indispensable to safeguard against potential legal missteps and financial penalties.

Analysis and Assessment

With expertise and innovation, legal practitioners will ensure that your real estate investment remains uncompromised, helping private clients avoid potential issues, from existing mortgages to outstanding tax implications.

Promissory Contract of Purchase and Sale

Real estate lawyers can assist with the Promissory Contract, Contrato Promessa de Compra e Venda or CPCV, which is a legally binding preliminary agreement between a property buyer and seller in Portugal. It is advised to have this in place before the final deed of sale.

Public Deed of Purchase and Sale

A Portuguese lawyer can draw up and help understand the Public Deed of Purchase and Sale, or Escritura, which is the conclusive step in a property purchase. It officially transfers ownership from the seller to the buyer.

Conflict resolution

Property Lisbon lawyers can be an informed advocate, adeptly handling negotiations or courtroom representations if any disagreements arise during property transactions.

Cultural and local insight

Lawyers in Lisbon, Portugal, provide invaluable insights into local practices, ensuring effective communication and fostering mutual respect that goes beyond simple real estate matters.

Additional support

Legal firms typically house a multidisciplinary team with experience and innovation that can streamline your property acquisition process in Portugal.

Can Brits still buy property in Portugal?

An esteemed law firm in Lisbon, Portugal, offers comprehensive legal services for real estate. Working with experienced real estate lawyers will prove immensely valuable as they manage the legal process adeptly, draw up and manage legal documents and assist with navigating tax law intricacies. Lets take a look at the key services real estate lawyers from an experienced law firm can provide, ensuring you peace of mind when it comes to the legal processes involved in property acquisition in Lisbon, Portugal.

Key Services Real Estate Lawyers Can Provide

In Lisbon, some of the key legal services that real estate lawyers can provide. Note that this list is not comprehensive.

  • Oversight of property transactions from start to finish
  • Verification of property ownership and construction history
  • Drafting and reviewing contracts, including the Reservation Agreement, Promissory Contract, Escritura (Final Deed signing), and lease contracts
  • Ensuring compliance with Portugal’s legal and tax regulations
  • Act as a Power of Attorney in your absence
  • Assistance with joint ventures in commercial real estate
  • Ensuring legal compliance for construction initiatives
  • Due diligence on the property and the seller

Choosing the Right Real Estate Lawyer in Lisbon, Portugal

Real estate lawyers provide many legal services that help to simplify the process. For international clients especially, hiring a real estate lawyer when purchasing property in Lisbon, Portugal is a smart way to ensure you know exactly what is required of you. Their expertise and natural innovation will also help you avoid any costly issues, bad business decisions, and going against Portuguese real estate laws.

Looking to purchase property and are unsure about where to find the best lawyer in Lisbon? Our residency and citizenship division, Global Citizen Solutions, is a member of Global Law Experts (GLE) and will be able to provide you with quality legal advice from experts registered with the Portuguese Bar Association.

Essential factors to consider when selecting the best real estate lawyers in Lisbon

There are numerous intricacies involved in the process of making a real estate investment in Portugal, and having a trusted real estate lawyer by your side can pay real dividends in simplifying the process. In this section, we will explore the details focusing on the essential elements to bear in mind during your search.

  • Expertise: Law firms encompass various specializations. While evaluating a law firm, ensure they possess a dedicated real estate department or a specialized team well-versed in Portuguese real estate law.
  • Experience with international clients: Ascertain if they have worked with international investors before. Discuss the specific legal aspects you need guidance on, particularly as a foreigner investing in real estate. Inquire about their proficiency in managing real estate assets in the long term.
  • Referrals: if you know friends, family, or acquaintances who have worked with real estate lawyers in Portugal, this is perhaps the best way to shortlist law firms in Portugal.
  • Client Feedback: When perusing a law firm’s website, pay attention to comments and reviews left by previous clients.
  • Transparent pricing structure: Before committing, it’s crucial to comprehend the method by which a lawyer charges for their services. Whether it’s a fixed fee or an hourly rate, clarity on costs can aid effective budgeting and prevent unexpected expenses.
  • Adaptability: Real estate transactions often bring unforeseen challenges. Having a lawyer who can adapt swiftly and provide solutions when unexpected issues arise is advantageous.
  • Clear communication: Your chosen real estate lawyer should be adept at explaining complex legal terminology in simpler terms, especially if you’re unfamiliar with Portuguese law. Regular updates and an open line of communication ensure you remain well-informed throughout the process.

Essential questions to ask a lawyer in Portugal

From their professional expertise in property transactions to experience working with domestic and international clients, the table below provides you with the essential questions to ask potential property attorneys in Lisbon, Portugal.

Essential questions to ask a real estate lawyer

How They Help

What are your credentials?

Understanding the lawyer's qualifications, certifications, and education ensures competence and expertise in real estate law.

How long have you been practicing real estate law?

Experience often correlates with knowledge and familiarity with various real estate scenarios and complexities, which can benefit your case.

Do you have experience with international buyers?

Handling international transactions requires specific expertise due to varied laws and processes, ensuring the lawyer can navigate these complexities.

What are your service fees?

Knowing the cost structure and fees upfront helps in budgeting and understanding the financial commitment associated with their services.

What do your services include?

Understanding the scope of services provided ensures alignment with your needs and helps in assessing the lawyer's comprehensive assistance potential.

Before you acquire the services and advice of a legal professional, it is important to ask about their service fees. Having an idea of the cost structure and fees upfront will help you understand exactly what you can expect and budget for the services. As they do in any country, a real estate attorney’s fees in Portugal will vary and depend on the services you require and the value of the property purchase. In general, legal assistance costs range from €2,000 to €5,000. You will also need to pay a 10 percent deposit when you acquire the full service of a law office.

Goldcrest: How We Can Help You

Here at Goldcrest, our focus is on you, the buyer. As a buyer’s agent, we tailor our services to your needs and interests, providing impartial expert advice. We manage the entire process, from research to sourcing and acquisition, to help you save time, money, and hassle.

For more information on real estate in Lisbon, head to our Expert Guide on Buying Lisbon Real Estate.

If you’d like to learn about property management, head to our article on How to Find a Property Manager in Lisbon.

Frequently Asked Questions about Working With a Real Estate Lawyer in Lisbon

How much are lawyer fees when buying a house in Portugal?

A lawyer will cost you approximately €2000-€5000, depending on the type of property, the price, and the complexities of the purchase.

We strongly advise collaborating with a proficient real estate attorney with substantial expertise to assist you in maneuvering through the intricate legal and administrative components of the transaction. A real estate lawyer can assess contracts, perform thorough due diligence, guarantee the property possesses an unambiguous title, safeguard your interests at every stage, and aid you in handling the legal aspects of your real estate holdings.

Perhaps the best way to secure the best real estate lawyer in Lisbon is by checking their experience working with international clients. Referrals and testimonials can help you narrow down your search. Be sure that they have a transparent pricing structure and clear communication.