Updated: September 12, 2023

From the bright lights of Lisbon to the captivating historic city of Porto, from the sun-drenched Algarve to the quaint towns on the Silver Coast, Portugal has much to offer expats. If you are looking for real estate to buy in Portugal, then having a top real estate agent in Portugal to assist you is important, particularly if you do not speak the language or are unfamiliar with the property market. 

In Portugal, the real estate market is fragmented, and there is no single place to find all the available properties. In addition to this, search engines, such as Idealista, often provide incomplete information. As such, working with a real estate agency can save you valuable time and provide key insights to help you discover the perfect property. 

In this article, we’re going to provide you with some key considerations for choosing a top real estate agent 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. Following this initial research, you can then conduct online searches on real estate websites to scout out potential real estate agents. Note that you will not find one comprehensive overview of available properties on real estate websites. If you have recommendations from family, friends, or acquaintances, then this can be a good place to start. When you’ve carried out sufficient research, you can make a list of potential real estate agents. 

There are many investment properties in Portugal to choose from, whether you are looking to buy in the stunning Algarve or the cosmopolitan capital of Lisbon. One of the most important steps, that shouldn’t be rushed, is determining which part of Portugal you wish to live in.


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 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. They can act as a property hunter and assist you with narrowing down your search.

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. The 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 here.

You can find more checking whether a real estate agency is certified in this article by our Residency and Citizenship division, Global Citizen Solutions: The AMI License in Portugal.

In addition to having an AMI license number, Goldcrest is also a corporate member of the AIPP (Association of International Property Professionals), which pride itself in delivering consumer education and protection, industry best practice, and business development. 


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, so determining the right one for you is essential. 


Find an Agent Well Connected with Other Key Services 

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 real estate lawyers, property surveyors, architects, interior designers, Portuguese furniture brands, and mortgage and financing consultants. 

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

Five Key Considerations

Below are five key considerations that you should bear in mind when choosing the right real estate agent for you.

  • They will have your best interests at heart
  • Check their credentials 
  • They are experienced in working with international buyers
  • They have clear and transparent pricing
  • Ensure 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. 


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

The primary distinction between a real estate and buyer’s agent lies in the representation of the parties involved. A buyer’s agent solely advocates for the buyer, facilitating their property purchase and providing a service tailored towards the buyer’s needs. Conversely, a seller’s agent is dedicated to serving the seller and will receive a higher commission for a higher sale. While a real estate agent will likely have your best interests at heart, this is worth bearing in mind when purchasing property in Portugal. This is a key reason why choosing a good buyer’s agent can be a smart decision over other real estate professionals.


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: Our real estate agents speak English and Portuguese, 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 investment choices and negotiated prices.
  • 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?

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Member of the AIPP

Goldcrest is proud to announce that we are a member of the AIPP (Association of International Property Professionals).  

Based in London since 2006, over 380 corporate members in 31 countries are part of the AIPP association, which delivers consumer education and protection, industry best practices, and business development.  

AIPP provides support in three key areas:  

  • International professional accreditation 
  • Sales promotion and client leads 
  • Knowledge, training, and community

This AIIP seeks to improve standards for buyers of foreign property. As a member of the AIPP, we are best positioned to help foreign buyers secure their dream home in Portugal. 


Frequently Asked Questions about How to Find a Top Real Estate Agent in Portugal

Should I work with a buyer's agent or a real estate agent? 

In Portugal, a buyer’s agent represents the buyer exclusively, ensuring a hassle-free property purchase, and provides assistance throughout the process, from sourcing property through to acquisition. In contrast, a seller’s agent works for the seller and will receive a higher commission for a higher sale. They are focused on real estate sales. While they will probably have your best interests at heart, this crucial difference is a key reason why working with a buyer’s agent may be a good idea to secure the right investment for your needs and ensure you have all the information required to make an informed decision. 

What is the regulatory agency for real estate agents in Portugal? 

In order to operate legally in Portugal, an estate agent be certified by INCI (Instituto da Construcao e do Imobiliario) and have an AMI license number. Real estate agencies are strictly regulated, making it easy to confirm the credentials of an agent. You can check whether a real estate company is certified on the IMPIC website here.