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Illegal Estate Agents

Please beware if you are considering buying a property in Portugal, only deal with licensed agents!

There are many illegal agents out there that look like official estate agents. Beware, these agents are not legal nor registered to be estate agents in Portugal. All estate agents (imobiliárias) have to be licensed and are regulated by the governing body which oversees all agencies in Portugal, this governing body is called INCI - Instituto da Construção e do Imobiliário.

Most of these illegal agents don’t have an office and just operate from home or local cafes, they are also unable to produce copies of the properties paperwork. These illegal agents have no civil responsibility insurance and should anything go wrong in the sale you will be on your own.

Using these illegal agents will only cost you more money and worst of all will cause you lot of heart ache. Don’t forget just because they say they are legal doesn´t mean they are! Always ask to see their AMI number if you are unsure of anything. If you can’t find an AMI number on their website then be careful as the chances are they are not legal! You can check all legal estate agents via the INCI website. Please use our links page and click on the INCI logo to enter the INCI website to check if you are dealing with a licensed agent.

By law estate agents must be professionally qualified. After all the hard work that goes into studying and sitting a very hard exam to obtain an AMI licence, we are sure that any estate agent that has it’s AMI number is PROUD to have it displayed in there office where everyone is able to see it as well as on there website, business cards, marketing material, etc. Some estate agents will also have displayed a APEMIP license number which is a real estate agents association.

Every licensed and regulated estate agent must have:-

● A valid AMI number. Some estate agents have been known to falsify a license numbers, so if in doubt double check their AMI number.

● Licensed estate agents MUST display their AMI number on all its marketing material, website, business cards etc. As well as displaying on the website the company’s name (with “Mediação Imobiliária” after the company’s name, this is compulsory and it’s not an option), there full address and telephone number.

● Estate agents will also carry an ID card that is issued by the INCI.

● They must have a complaints book “Livro de Reclamações” in the office which needs to be clearly visible and accessible.

● An estate agent must have a civil responsibility insurance. This insurance covers both parties if anything was to go wrong during the sale.

● For licensed estate agents to be able to renew their license after 3 years they have to go on regular courses to keep informed and up to date with new laws that come out. Illegal agents should be avoided at call costs! There are many licensed estate agents who are honest, trustworthy and with a good reputation.