Updated: August 28, 2023
Portugal’s real estate market is now well positioned against the big players in the property market, rubbing shoulders with the very best in the world. From digital nomads to families and investors to retirees, expats from the world over are squarely focused on jumping on the real estate ladder in Portugal and snapping up their dream property. And what’s not to like about Portugal, with stunning scenery, exciting cities, and one of the best climates in Europe? However, the real estate market is fragmented, meaning that there is no one place to find all the properties available on the market – there is no Zillow Portugal, for example.
In this article, we’re going to arm you with some key pointers to make house hunting in Portugal as easy as possible, including providing you with info on some of the real estate websites that could come in handy – alternatives to Zillow – and why working with experienced real estate professionals can significantly help you in the house buying process.
What is the best way to find a house in Portugal?
Portugal doesn’t have an online platform with access to all the properties available nationwide to rent or buy – Portugal’s Zillow does not exist. However, while there is no universal real estate online platform, you’ll find several real estate websites that can come in handy. A good way to begin your research and to get a good feel for the real estate market is to take a look at some of the widely used property websites so that you can get a good idea of the market, what’s on offer, and the property prices.
Buyer’s agents, such as Goldcrest, will be able to help you with the purchase, as they will have access to properties that you will not find elsewhere, plus new listings. They can act as a Zillow Portugal to ensure you have complete access to the properties on the market.
In Portugal, real estate agents work on behalf of the seller and will get a higher commission for a higher sale. While they will likely have your best interests at heart, there is no doubt a conflict of interest. Buyer’s agents, on the other hand, work solely on behalf of the buyer, helping them get the best property at the best possible price. Skilled at negotiation, they will be able to guide you through the property buying process, from house hunting to property acquisition, saving you time and hassle.
Does Portugal have Zillow?
As we mentioned, there is no Zillow Portugal. Instead, you will find different options to get to grips with the property market in the country. Some of the most popular and best websites are Idealista, Imovirtual, and OLX.pt.
Overview of Goldcrest
Goldcrest is a buyer’s agent that is based in Lisbon and the Algarve. We provide expert, impartial advice on real estate investments and how to buy property in Portugal. From scouting out the perfect property through to property acquisition, we have you covered throughout the process.
We have access to properties that you will not find elsewhere on the market, in addition to new listings. Our team of skilled experts is available to solve all your real estate doubts, offering insightful expertise and strategic advice.
While there is no universal place to find properties in Portugal, working with a buyer’s agent is the easiest option to ensure that you have access to the whole market. They will also be able to filter properties to present the best properties that meet your requirements.
Real Estate Agency Websites in Portugal
Real estate agency websites allow you to get a feel for the market. By this, we mean that you can get an idea of what the property market offers in terms of types of properties and ballpoint prices so that you can work out your budget accordingly and determine whether you need a mortgage to help you finance the buy.
You can find out more about mortgages in Portugal in our article: Portugal Mortgage: Taking Out a Mortgage in Portugal.
Idealista: The pros and cons
Over the past few years, Idealista has experienced a surge in popularity, rapidly establishing itself as the preferred real estate platform for Portugal and one of the best websites out there when it comes to looking for real estate. Originating in Spain, it also has counterparts for both Spain itself and Italy. Idealista was ranked the number one real estate website in Portugal in June 2023 and is also the most visited real estate website in the country.
What are the advantages of using Idealista?
One of the best things about using Idealista is that it has an interactive map feature that allows you to easily navigate across neighborhoods and click on properties to learn more about them. There are also many filters to hone in on properties that meet your needs, such as if you are looking for properties with a balcony or garden, or perhaps furnished or unfurnished apartments. You can also filter by size, floor, etc.
You can also use Idealista to find places to rent in Portugal, which can come in handy if you want to live in Portugal to discover which neighborhood is best for you.
What are the disadvantages of using Idealista?
Many of the listings on Idealista are cross-listed from other Portuguese real estate websites. As a result, you might encounter property descriptions that are incomplete, or that lack some important information.
Imovirtual: The pros and cons
Imovirtual serves as a platform for listing a wide range of properties available for purchase, encompassing diverse categories like warehouses and garages. Similarly, its rental section is extensive, featuring various types of accommodations for rent.
What are the advantages of using Imovirtual?
As with Idealista, Imovirtual allows you to filter well to hone in on properties that meet your search requirements. You can also filter by keywords to help you filter properties.
What are the disadvantages of using Imovirtual?
When it comes to navigating the Imovirtual websites, it is not as user-friendly as some other real estate websites. However, each will have their own preference when it comes to navigating websites.
OLX.pt: The pros and cons
OLX serves as Portugal’s premier online platform for second-hand goods and operates akin to eBay within the country. Its offerings encompass real estate listings, automobiles, pre-owned furniture, clothing, and more.
What are the advantages of using OLX.pt?
You are more likely to encounter real estate listings from private proprietors on OLX that remain absent from other websites.
What are the disadvantages of using OLX.pt?
Given the prevalence of private sellers on OLX, it’s not uncommon to come across listings with descriptions reminiscent of casual text messages exchanged with acquaintances. The accompanying photographs might also leave much to be desired.
Also, there is no English language option on the site, making it tricky for non-Portuguese speakers to navigate.
You likely recognize the name Remax Portugal, as their real estate agencies are well-known around the world. In Portugal, they operate a nationwide website showcasing all the properties they manage, from north to south. Another familiar name might be ERA, which similarly presents an extensive array of properties on its Portuguese website.
In this section, we’ll delve into some of the practical information that you should consider when contemplating buying property in Portugal.
Is it easy to find a house in Portugal?
While it can be tricky to navigate the house-buying process, working with an experienced real estate professional can help speed up the process.
As there is no universal place to find all the real estate listings in Portugal, checking out one or two websites, such as Imovirtual, OLX.com, and Idealista, is a good starting point. You can check out each and find the one that you find easiest to use.
These websites will provide you with the perfect introduction to the real estate market, allowing you to have a good understanding of pricing reference points, plus the types of properties on the market. If you use Idealista, you’ll also be able to use the interactive map feature to navigate through different neighborhoods to determine the ballpoint prices for each.
What is the process of finding house in Portugal?
The buying process in Portugal can be broken down into the following steps:
Step 1. Decide whether you’d like to take out a mortgage to finance your property
Deciding on financing options is a crucial initial step. This involves assessing your financial situation, understanding your borrowing capacity, and determining whether you’ll need a mortgage to purchase the property. In Portugal, there are various banks and financial institutions offering mortgages. It’s essential to compare interest rates, loan terms, and repayment options. You’ll need to provide documentation such as proof of income, credit history, and details about the property you intend to purchase. There are different types of mortgages in Portugal, fixed-rate mortgages and variable-rate mortgages. Determine which option is best for you.
Step 2. Find the perfect Portugal property
This step involves extensive research and property hunting. Start by determining your preferences in terms of property type (apartment, house, villa, etc.), size, location, amenities, and budget. Online real estate websites are a good place to start – as there is no Zillow Portugal – before working with real estate professionals to narrow down the search and set up property visits for you to check out the properties in person.
Visiting potential properties in person is essential. Visit as many properties as possible, and visit both during the day and at night, as a place can have a different feel to it, depending on when you visit. You will be able to evaluate the property’s condition, neighborhood, proximity to essential services (schools, public transportation, shopping centers), and overall suitability for your needs. Keep notes, take photos, and compare properties to make an informed decision. Having a checklist is not a bad idea to organize your home-buying process.
Step 3. Negotiation
Negotiation is a critical skill in the property buying process. Once you’ve identified a property you’re interested in, you or your real estate agent will negotiate with the seller or the seller’s agent. This negotiation covers the purchase price and may include other terms, such as the inclusion of furniture or appliances, repairs, or specific conditions to be met before the sale is finalized. Note that while a real estate agent works on behalf of the seller, a buyer’s agent works solely for homebuyers, meaning that there is no conflict of interest. They will attempt to secure the best possible deal for you.
It’s essential to strike a balance between getting a fair deal and being respectful of the seller’s position. Be prepared to make counteroffers and ensure that the terms are clear and mutually agreed upon by both parties.
Step 4. Reservation Agreement
The reservation agreement is a preliminary contract that confirms your intention to buy the property and secure it while the necessary legal and financial checks are conducted. It’s common to pay a reservation fee at this stage, which demonstrates your commitment to the purchase. The reservation fee ensures that the property is temporarily taken off the market, preventing the seller from entertaining other offers.
Step 5. Promissory Contract (CPCV)
The Promissory Contract is a legally binding agreement that formalizes the terms of the property purchase. This contract is more comprehensive than the reservation agreement and includes details such as the full purchase price, payment schedule, specific deadlines, and any contingencies or conditions that must be met before the final deed is signed. The Promissory Contract needs to be signed in front of a Notary.
Step 6. Sign the Escritura (Final Deed)
The Escritura, also known as the Final Deed, is the official transfer of ownership from the seller to the buyer. This step also involves signing in front of a Notary. The Notary ensures that the transaction is legally valid and that all parties understand the implications of the contract.
Before signing the Escritura, the remaining balance of the purchase price, as well as any applicable taxes and fees, must be paid. The Notary will confirm the completion of these payments and oversee the transfer of ownership rights.
How long does it take to buy a house in Portugal?
The typical timeframe for purchasing a house in Portugal usually ranges from one to four months. Nevertheless, the duration can extend beyond this range or occasionally be expedited. This duration encompasses due diligence, document acquisition, and fulfillment of other requisites.
Unless there’s a particular later sale date desired by the involved parties or specific challenging circumstances, the process should remain within this timeframe. However, if the property is still under construction or if there are any problems with the property or the seller, this could delay the process.
How We Can Help You
As we’ve mentioned, Goldcrest is a buyer’s agent that is based in Portugal. What sets us apart is that we provide a completely tailored service based on the client’s needs. From helping you with the house hunting process – and acting as a tailored Zillow Portugal on your behalf – to property acquisition, we have you covered throughout the process.
Why choose Goldcrest?
- 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 perfect 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 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.
- Member of the AIPP (Association of International Property Professionals), delivering company best practices and upholding professional values.
Frequently Asked Questions about Zillow in Portugal
Does Portugal have Zillow?
No, there is no Zillow Portugal and no one place to find all the properties listed on the Portuguese real estate market. With this said, you will find several real estate listing websites. Some of the best websites include Idealista, Imovirtual, and OLX.com, where you can get a flavor of some of the properties available and get to grips with average property prices in different locations in Portugal. The best way to secure a comprehensive view of the property market in Portugal is to work with a buyer’s agent. They will have access to properties not found elsewhere on the market, plus new listings, providing you with a complete overview of property options.
What is the most popular real estate website in Portugal?
The most popular real estate website in Portugal is Idealista. Imovirtual and OLX.pt are also popular options. There is no one place to find property in Portugal, making it slightly more difficult to get a complete overview of the real estate market in Portugal. Working with real estate professionals can help you ensure you have complete access to properties.
What are some alternatives to Zillow in Portugal?
Some alternatives to Zillow Portugal are Idealista. Imovirtual and OLX.pt.
Is it easy to find a house in Portugal?
There is no universal answer to this, as the house-buying process can take time for some, while others will find the property of their dreams right away. Working with experienced real estate professionals will expedite the process.