Updated: March 15, 2023

Real estate investment in Portugal has 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. Add to that a language barrier and unfamiliar processes and requirements that you’ll face, and it can be somewhat overwhelming.

Real estate companies, law firms, buying agents – there are a lot of professional services to consider when purchasing property in Portugal. An effective way to simplify the process is to hire a real estate lawyer. 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! 

There are many law firms in Portugal, all of which specialize in various practice areas of the 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.


Do I need a lawyer to buy a house in Lisbon?

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

Real estate lawyers in Lisbon can provide excellent Portuguese legal advice, draw up the various contracts you will require, and conduct thorough due diligence, ensuring the correct checks are carried out on the property before you purchase it.

How can a real estate lawyer help me?

There are many legal services that a real estate lawyer can provide, some of which are outlined below: real-estate-lawyer-services

After choosing the property you want to purchase, you will sign a reservation agreement (CPCV) which will need to be drawn up by a lawyer. You will also need to make a deposit to ensure the continuation of the purchasing process.

It is essential to check the construction history of the property you intend to purchase to ensure that it has not been illegally built or extended. This practice is quite commonly found in older properties in Portugal and can cause issues further down the line if you purchase such a property.

In Portugal, the Law of Subrogation attaches debt to the property rather than the owner. Your lawyer should check that the property you intend to purchase has no existing debt by submitting a request to local authorities. 

This may be obvious, but it is crucial, particularly if the property has multiple owners. You do not want to run into any issues down the line, such as having to track down owners no longer living in Portugal. Having a lawyer check this from the outset will help to ensure as smooth a process as possible.  

In addition to the above, there are many other services a real estate lawyer can provide concerning lease agreements, tax law, etc.

Where can I find a real estate lawyer?

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, or anywhere in Portugal, is a smart way to ensure you know exactly what is required of you – and avoid any costly issues. 

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.

If you want to invest in Portuguese real estate to qualify for the Golden Visa, Global Citizen Solutions has a great article on how your Portugal Golden Visa lawyer can help you. They also have a fantastic step-by-step guide to Portugal’s Golden Visa program.

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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 question

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

Depending on the amount of legal work you want your lawyer to do for you, legal costs can range from 1-2 percent of the property’s purchase price.

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