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05, jan 23 | Reading: 8 min.

Selling a house in 2023: What documents are required? | Casas do Barlavento

Are you ready to sell your house in 2023?


Sell your house quickly without wasting time gathering all the necessary documentation. The documents must be in order even before the property is available on the real estate market. Pre-organising these documents can make all the difference to a buyer's choice. When choosing between two properties, a prospective buyer will choose the one with no obstacles and documents that are up-to-date and ready for review.


This article contains valuable information for both: the seller and the buyer of a property. Both parties must be aware of the documents needed for the property transaction. If you follow our list, you will sell your house quickly.


The article's cover image is: Selling a House: What Documents Are Required. Two people are signing documents in the image.

Photo by Romain Dancre – Unsplash



For the sale of a house, there are two types of documents. The first group consists of documents required for the sale of the property. The second group contains optional documents, which should be organised as soon as possible in case the future buyer requests them.


The list of non-mandatory documents is as follows:


  • The house plan;
  • The bills for previous work done on the property;
  • The bills for taxes such as IMI (Portuguese property tax);
  • Condominium invoices.


The mandatory documents presented when selling a house in Portugal changed in 2022. These documents are usually required on the day of the house deed, but can also be requested in advance from the bank if the buyer needs a property loan. Make sure you are organised and ready to go to ensure a smooth process.


Learn the list of mandatory documents for selling a house:


  1. Identity documents of the owners

Present all owners' valid identification documents. A consent form must also be presented in the case of an inheritance or an unmarried purchase where the spouse later becomes the owner. You must bring a photocopy of your ID or passport.


  1. Energy certificate of the property

Since December 2013, the energy certificate is required for the property sale. It demonstrates the property's energy efficiency and can only be produced by accredited companies. This document contains information about some property components such as insulation, air conditioning/ventilation or water. This document also includes suggestions for improving the property's energy efficiency. There is a scale that ranges from A+ (very efficient) to F (not very efficient).

For residential properties, the cost of issuing an Energy Performance Certificate is:


  • Studios and one-bedroom flats - €28.00
  • 2 and 3-bedroom apartments - €40.50
  • 4 and 5-bedroom flats - €55.00
  • 6-bedroom flats and above - €65.00


These figures do not include qualified expert fees, which are variable and not fixed. The fees are calculated depending on several factors, such as the complexity of the building.

Did you know that?

Residential energy performance certificates are valid for ten years for small commercial and service buildings. For ten years for large commercial and service buildings. For six years (SCE certificates issued by 30 April 2015), and for large commercial and service buildings for eight years (SCE certificates issued after 30 April 2015).


Also read: What are Energy Performance Certificates, and how are they used?


image from the article Selling a House: What Documents are Required. The image shows a white house with several coins stacked next to it, with a green background.

Photo by Jcomp – Freepik



  1. Caderneta Predial Urbana (Property Unique Certificate)

Also known as certidão matricial (land registry certificate), it allows you to obtain all the financial information about the property. It is a document identifying the property that can be obtained online (through the Portal das Finanças) or physically at any public office for a one-time fee. Once obtained, this document is valid for 12 months.


In this document, you will find various information about the property, such as:


  • Address or location of the property;
  • For homeowners, this information includes tax identification, name and tax address;
  • Identification of the building, such as district, municipality, parish and cadastral register (it is the number that the finances assign to the property);
  • Description of the building, including the type of building and whether it is a horizontal property;
  • Area of the building, i.e., the total area of the plot and the planting;
  • Façade (whether it faces south, north, east or west);
  • Identification of the autonomous part (indicate the floor or number/letter of your part and the location);
  • Number of bedrooms, fraction, number of floors or even the purpose for which it is intended;
  • Fractional areas, such as the gross private area and the dependent gross area;
  • Valuation data of the dwelling, such as the year of registration in the land register, the updated Taxable Asset Value (VPT-Valor Patrimonial Tributário), the date of the update and finally, the calculation formula for the VPT.


With this document, the seller can prove the absence of debts related to the property or even understand if he is paying the correct amount to IMI (Municipal Property Tax). As previously stated, this document contains the property's VPT, and if it is out of date, the owner may pay more than necessary. You can use the simulator on the Finance Portal to find out if the amount of Municipal Property Tax is correct.


  1. Licence to use (Licença de utilização)

This document proves that the property meets all the requirements for habitability and complies with the legal provisions. The licence of use can be applied for at the municipal administration (Câmara Municipal) where the property is located and also includes the intended use of the property, e.g., whether it is used for residential, commercial, service or industrial purposes.

This document is not obligatory if the property in question was built before the General Regulation on Municipal Buildings (RGEU) came into force before 1951.


  1. Land registry certificate

The Land Registry Certificate can be obtained digitally for €15 through the online Land Registry or in person for €20 at a Land Registry Office. This document can be used to read the entire history of the property, including previous entries, the current owner of the house name, and whether there are any debts.


  1. Housing Technical Data Sheet

This document describes the technical and functional characteristics of an urban residential building under construction, reconstruction, extension or conversion. If the residential building was constructed before 30 March 2004 or if the building permit was applied for before that date, this document is not required for the sale of the property. If you do not have an original copy, apply for a certified copy at the town hall.


image from the article: Selling a House: What Documents are Required. An architect is sketching the floor plan of a house in the image.

Photo by Daniel Mccullough – Unsplash



  1. The legal right of Priority

If you want to sell a property in an urban pressure area, you must comply with the latest Housing Act. Since 21 November 2021, this simple procedure has been compulsory before any transaction. The legal right of priority allows municipalities, autonomous regions, or the state to acquire property first. Aside from this group, as previously stated, tenants and housing and construction cooperatives have a preferential right to the property. This policy seeks to increase the housing available for families in urban agglomerations.

To notify the intention to sell and fulfil the preferential right, you must use the IRN's Casa Pronta platform. The public entities mentioned above have ten days to exercise their preferential right. If there is no manifestation after this period, the transaction may be awarded to other interested parties.


  1. Declaration of condominium fees

When you sell a home after April 1, 2022, you must file a declaration of condominium charges. The declaration must be included in the house deed. This document is requested in writing to the condominium manager 15 days before the house deed, and the manager must respond within ten days.

In this document, the manager must declare that the current owner has no debts to the condominium association. If the owner owes debts, it must be stated who is responsible for paying them. It must also include the current condominium value and payment deadlines.



Make a list and name the documents for selling a house. There are eight mandatory and four non-mandatory documents for selling a home, but you should always have them on hand if the buyer requests them. Once you have these documents organised, you will see that the property sale will be quick and straightforward. The accompaniment of a real estate professional is always advisable so that there are no setbacks throughout the process.


Read also: Capital gains: Everything you need to know