Selling your property

Insights into what is involved in buying, selling & living in Portugal


ROBAN Realestate Actividades Ldª, is a Portuguese company with Robert M.L. Snapper as Director. It has a real estate license with nº AMI 19561 and in fact is a continuation (restart) of Ricola Algarvia Ldª (AMI-1206) which ceased activity on 31-12-2009.

For over 30 years we have been known under our marketing name REALESTATE-ALGARVE and personally I have been in the real estate business for some 40 years.

The past 10 years I have been focussing more on advising and guiding a select group of clients in their buying and selling process.

On the following websites you can find info about us:





The main objectives of our company are:

· Advising and assisting when buying

· Advising and assisting when selling

· Valuations.

After the last crises which kind of started in 2009, house prices dropped some 30% - 40%, but after 2017 the prices are on the up again and have reached their highest level ever. Lagos, where we are based, is now one of the most expensive towns to buy in Portugal and counts some 77 official agents. Many young couples with children because of the Covid-19 pandemic decide to leave their home country and start a new life in Portugal.

Nowadays nearly all potential buyers (figures indicate 95%) start their search for a property on the internet. Quite a lot of information about buying, selling, and living in Portugal is available and most likely I have contributed to this through my site, which been on air for some 25 years.

On the other hand, sellers also feel that they can promote the sale of their property themselves by putting it online, thus trying to avoid the steep agent fees which are charged in Portugal. Most agents charge between 4%-7% + IVA. However, marketing it yourself is not as easy as it seems

There are also good reasons why commissions are higher in Portugal, and I mention a few:

  • In general, estate agents do not have exclusivity, unless differently agreed, and one is free to appoint several agents. In case of exclusivity, they may drop the commission by 1%. Normally Remax and ERA claim exclusivity although they stick to their 5%.

  • Buyers are generally foreigners which means agents must target many different countries with their marketing.

  • Quite often agents must share commissions with colleagues, one has the buyer, the other the property.

  • Estate agents work mostly with salespeople who are independent, and self-employed (they are called Angriadores in Portugal) and the majority work on a commission bases, and only get paid when a property is sold and/or listed.

· Cost for publicity and attending exhibitions are normally paid for by the agent and as they work on a kind of no cure no pay bases this and can be a huge financial burden.

· Many have offices on prime AA locations.

But it turns out that selling yourself is not that easy, often frustrating, and time-consuming, therefore an estate agent still may be needed. Their main and basically only objective is to find a potential buyer.

As mentioned above, only Lagos has already 77 agents, and we are one of them, so which one to pick?

This is where our services come in.

Before an agent can take on your property your property documents must be 100% correct and up to date, and this turns out many times not to be the case.

You may want somebody who looks exclusively after your interest, advice you before inviting agents who would be the best in your case, discuss the financial consequences of the sale and much more.

It happens quite often, only after a potential buyer was found, that the documents are not in order. Sorting this out can be a time consuming, expensive, and sometimes a mission impossible.

This results in a frustrated seller, a disappointed buyer and of course also the estate agent has wasted allot of his/her time.

But besides an estate agent you may also need a lawyer to assist you with the sale and an accountant to do your tax return, declaring the sale and establish your possible liability after the sale.

It all adds up!

What is different in Portugal from other countries?

The estate agent: Most people will be aware that in many countries both buyer and seller use their own estate-agent. That has never been the case in Portugal. Here the estate agent selling will get the commission which is paid by the seller. This agent must protect the interest of the seller as well of the buyer and, he has to look after his own interest. That at least can be a conflict of interest.


The Notary: Also, the function of the Notary is different from other countries. In other countries he receives and controls the funds. Here basically the Notary is more passive and in fact does not specifically protects the interest of any party. He passes the title deed after documents are delivered to him by the buyer or his representative.

The lawyer: In many countries a lawyer is not needed as the estate-agent and Notary are 100% capable of dealing with all necessary documentation. It is more important for the buyer to have a good legal representative than for the seller. The lawyer of the buyer must do all necessary searches and conveyances although in the first place the estate agent should check out if all necessary documents are to sell. Unfortunately, not always the salesperson acting on behalf of the estate agent has enough knowledge and/or the experience.

Especially not as in May 2013 the legislation regulating real estate licences changed again and the requirements were less stringent. Any person without passing a proper exam or having experience can apply for a license and become a licensed estate-agent.

The accountant: In general, I assume that you will not need an accountant abroad but in Portugal one has to deal with a tax return after the sale of a property to establish if there is any capital gains tax (C.G.T) to be paid. This must be done either by an accountant or someone familiar with this procedure.

Considering all these facts I feel that 1 person or company who can guide and advise you at an early stage, prior to putting the property on the market maybe somebody you are looking for. Legislation is constantly changing and every time there are more and new requirements.

We offer you our expertise, the result of many years activity in the property field.

We are a fully licensed estate-agent, and our services include the following:

· Visiting and inspecting your property in case I am not familiar with it already. This allows me to see the real situation and thus being able to compare it with what is registered in the documents.

· Checking all your property documents and in case not in order or up to date or if documents are lacking, we will advise you how it can be obtained or corrected or obtain them.

· An official agency contract will be signed.

· We take care that good photographs will be taken, and cost is included. Also, you may consider a video of your property.

· Your property will be placed on our Marketing websites. You can do your own write-up if you prefer that and select or add your own photographs.

· Furthermore, and even more important your property also will be placed on the following portal, and also your property will be exposed till sold on all major Property Portals. At the end of this document, you will find a detailed list of these Portals and which market they target

· You can opt for our company For-Sale sign or a neutral one with your own/or our telephone number.

· In case a potential buyer is found and makes a serious offer, and we know all conditions we can do a tax simulation to establish if or how much Capital Gains Tax (C.G.T.) you are liable for. Finally, we can calculate how much Net will be left after all expenses are paid.

· After you have agreed to a sales price and have accepted terms, we will deliver all necessary documents to the lawyer/representative of the potential buyer.

· In general, the Promissory Contract is drawn up by the lawyer of the buying party. Your lawyer or solicitor should check the content and judge if it is OK for you to sign.

· As you know, you or your fiscal representative will have to submit the year after the sale in April or May an IRS tax return. This submission can be done by us on your behalf. Normally you will get the invoice in July which has to be paid within 30 days!

· Expenses to be made for legalisation, architects, engineers, builders, certificates and licenses are not included in our fees.

· What is different from most of the other agents is that we do have no longer an office open to the public.

OUR FEES for the above will be:

Contact me


See also