Updated 07/21/2020: Over the past few months, we've become aware of a number of "apartment hunters" offering their services via Facebook groups dedicated to French people in Portugal, so we can only encourage you to make sure that these companies or individuals have the necessary authorizations before entrusting them with your project. The consequences can be serious if problems arise, and you could even be considered an accomplice in court. As the saying goes: a wise man is worth two.
It's also important to note that real estate professionals are legally obliged to display their license number on all communication media (email, Facebook, flyers, etc.).
UNDECLARED REAL ESTATE AGENCY IN PORTUGAL, RISK AND LIABILITY
Portugal is home to several thousand real estate agencies. Over the past 2 years or so, many French people have decided to try their hand at entrepreneurship in Portugal, and strangely enough, they all have one thing in common: the opening of a real estate agency.a real estate agency.
For around two years, a number of real estate groups invaded social networks to extol the advantages of joining their real estate network in Portugal, highlighting the flexibility of the profession and the potential gains. Unsurprisingly, many French people jumped at the chance to set up an agency, without even knowing the profession, its obligations and, above all, its constraints.
Ensure that the agency has a real existence
At first glance, they all seem to offer the same thing. However, there are many differences between all these real estate agencies, and the first and most important one is to make sure that it really exists.
In Portugal, real estate agencies are required to hold a license, which is renewable for 12 months. The license must be in the name of the real estate agency, and it is legally impossible for the same license to be used by several agencies.
How do I know if my real estate agency is legally registered?
As you can see, before finalizing a transaction, it's vital to make sure that the real estate agency in Portugal is properly registered, otherwise you'll be in danger of losing your property. you, the buyer or seller, could be accused of money laundering.
We asked our partner the Luso-French real estate agency which has been based in Porto for the past 4 years, to allow us to use some of these data to support our article.
The first thing to check is that the real estate agency you're dealing with actually exists. To do this, take note of the NIPC or AMI license number of the agency in question, which you can usually find on its website.
Once you have it, go to the IMPICOn the home page, click on consultar.
Then simply select Mediação Imobiliária and Licenças de mediação imobiliária. All you need to do is copy and paste the real estate agency's license number or NIPC.
If the company is licensed, you should see the result below. By clicking on the agency's name, you'll obtain additional information, such as the license's validity date and whether it meets the legal requirement for liability insurance.
As you can see, it's vital that you remain vigilant in your choice of real estate agency in Portugal, and don't be taken in by a well-rehearsed sales pitch or an attractive website. Not to mention the fact that you'll have no guarantee that the property you're about to buy will be tax-free (no onus, no housing license, no seizure), not to mention the fact that you'll have no guarantee that the property you're about to buy will be tax-free (no onus, no housing license, no seizure). no guarantee that the seller is the owner.
Please understand that these elements must be verified before signing a compromis and before paying the 20% deposit, which must be deposited directly into the seller's account. Unlike in France, in Portugal the notary's role is not to collect the funds linked to the sale of the property. The transaction is carried out directly between the seller and the buyer, by bank transfer or cheque.
If you don't pay attention to all these points, you won't have any legal recourse against the real estate agency in Portugal that intervened in the transaction (even more so if it has no legal existence).
What's more, when you go to the notary, if you or the other party deliberately fail to state that the sale took place through an intermediary (or if the agent in question fails to report it himself), you expose yourself to heavy penal sanctions. The notary will declare that the sale took place without the intervention of a real estate agent.
As we say so well in France, nul n'est supposed to ignore the law.