The Ministry of Justice in Portugal are preparing a set of procedures to facilitate the process of buying and selling real estate remotely.
The process of buying or selling real estate at a distance in Portugal is getting closer to becoming a reality, due to the COVID-19 outbreak which is causing significant changes in how people are buying property. The Ministry of Justice has made it known that it is preparing, together with notaries and real estate agents, a set of procedures, through computer mechanisms, which will facilitate, for example, the public deeds, carried out by law in registry offices. The authentication of signatures is also on the cards, but there are still no dates for launching the measures.
The goal is to maintain these new features, which aim to help the sector in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, even after the return to "normality", according to the information provided by the Justice Minister, Francisca Van Dunem, so that business can continue to take place in any circumstances. The Portuguese newspaper, Jornal de Negócios, has reported that one of the measures will include the possibility for notaries and real estate agencies to have direct access to simplified property information, such as a description of the building, identification of the owners and data on any encumbrances, i.e. whether the property is mortgaged or there is a lien on the property.
In practice, access to this type of information avoids having to go to the land registry to ask for and pay for certified information on a property when, for example, a bid is being made, and it is not yet known whether the deal will actually go ahead. According to the newspaper, access will not be free, but the values will be much lower than the cost of a certificate issued by the registrar, which will only have to be requested if and when the deal takes place.