The first stage of the process is you have to complete a “Reserva” this document is signed by you and the estate agent and is your contract to buy. It will detail the details of the property, along with your name and address (in the UK) and the agreed price of the property. It will also state the deposit.
This is the first notable change in process to England, in Portugal the deposit is non-refundable, so from the point of signing you are legally obliged to pay the deposit amount, even if you pull out of the deal and even if you haven’t yet paid the deposit, you will have to once the document is signed. This all sounds very scary, but when you think about it makes perfect sense, if you are not serious about what you are doing, then don’t do it, if you are sure then this is not a problem.
How do you get an advogados / lawyer if you want one? Well I guess there are a number of ways, the Internet, recommendation or you can as we did take a recommendation from your estate agent. Um! A bit risky you may say, we did, but went ahead anyway, anyway it was fine as I said early a lot of business transactions like this are still very much based on trust in Portugal.
You can do all this via the Internet and email, as long as you have an Internet savvy agent and/or advogados / lawyer if you use one, we did and it worked well. We had lawyer check the details and signed the Reserva and send it back by the 11th November. The next task of course is to pay the deposit; of course they want Euro’s. How do we do that?