Frequently Asked Questions
Are you a Buyer Agency?
We are a Buyer & Relocation agency, we give visa, location, rental, purchase, investment, renovation & construction support to future owners and tenants in Portugal
Where do you work?
We cover all of continental Portugal, and will soon be expanding to Madeira. Azores is not yet covered. You can meet our team here.
Do you have a physical office?
We currently don’t have open doors, we meet with clients, partners, technicians and agencies in person but as we have a team spread throughout the country, an office does not work for us. We don’t work with “walk ins” and the team only meets in person with paying clients or in sponsored events. You can reach by email to firstname.lastname@example.org for any queries
Do you have access to off-market properties?
Yes, We search the whole market, and do in person scouting and off market networking for our clients. But we can not guarantee we will find a match off market for each specific client.
Are Savvy Cat services pre paid?
Yes. Rental packages are pre paid, service is only started after purchase of package on the website. Buying services a 20% downpayment is required to start service and an advisory call must be booked for screening.
Are Real Estate Services usually prepaid?
No, the standard in Portugal is 5% commission paid at the end by the seller. Buyers are often represented by selling agents which leads to a lot of misinformation and inflation of prices. Selling agents usually divide commission with buyer representatives 50-50 but there is no obligation to do so. There are very few buyer agents in Portugal that operate in different ways, most of them individual. We offer a lot more than real estate services, and that’s what our packages cover - a tailored service with verification, location, networking, analysis, project management, among others - and why they are pre paid. The real estate transactions in Savvy Cat are paid after the deal is finalized.
Can I call free of charge you before purchasing your services?
No. We will have discussions with prospect clients free of charge in sponsored events only. We also respond to simple inquiries that don’t require tailored or specialized knowledge via email. For technical and tailored advice an advisory call must be booked with either Ana or an Agent.
Do you offer services individually (outside the package)?
We only offer Resident Tours. Package clients can purchase extras at tabulated price to complement their package if needed.
Is it possible to do an advisory call with Ana for rentals?
Anyone can schedule a discovery call with Ana to clarify doubts regarding relocating, renting, buying, investing, renovating or building in Portugal. However the cost of the call is only discounted if the client purchases a buying package up to 3 months after the call.
Can I purchase a pack when I arrive in Portugal and initiate service right away?
We do not recommend doing this. In Portugal you don’t have open houses and the market is fairly deorganized, scheduling visitations on short notice will depend a lot on sheer luck and of course the availability of the local representative you will be working with. You may be lucky but that is not a likely scenario so we recommend purchasing rental packs at least 7 business days prior to the date you want to start visitations and buying packs at least 3 weeks in advance. We recommend scheduling in person activities with your local representative with as much time ahead as possible as scheduling requests are answered by order of arrival.
Is my local representative working just with me?
No, each representative will be working with multiple clients. We cap the number of clients and delegate tasks among the team when one member is overworked due to client scheduling, but as we have little control over our client’s agenda it is important to warn of in person scheduling needs with as much advance as possible (for example trip dates, the week you will be wanting to do visitation/tours, etc) so we can organize accordingly. Scheduling requests are answered and met by order of arrival. The representative will warn you if it conflicts with a scheduling made previously by another client and offer alternatives.
What do you mean by offering support for my Visa? What kind of services do you provide for this?
We support with obtaining the NIF(s), residence permits, address registries, family reunification bookings, reviewing and checking all documentation if needed, we provide recommendation letters, advice to increase the odds of acceptance, and support in opening the bank account. This does not apply to golden visas as the submission needs to be made by a lawyer, but we have special rates with trustworthy partnered lawyers.
How many NIF’s can you ask for with the packages?
Packages include support with up to 2 NIF’s, except the Investment package that will cover up to 4.
Can you obtain our NIFs for us even if we aren’t in the country? How long does it take?
In person they can be done in 1-2 business days. Online 1 to 3 weeks depending of the offices handling the process.
Are there any additional fees involved with rental packs?
You can check what each package includes on our service tables. If you use the package fully and wish to purchase extra services it can be done. Services that are not included in the package you purchase can not be added as extras, you can only add quantity to the existing services. We don’t charge extra fees in any other scenario.
When should we start the rental process with Savvy Cat?
We recommend starting the rental service 30 to 45 days prior to the desired date to have the contract. Please note sometimes deals fall through due to landlords changing their mind last minute and we do not have control over that. 90% of listings in Portugal are ready to move in and it’s quite unlikely to get a contract more than a few days prior to the start date.
If we purchase a buying pack but want to rent first, how does the time frame work in terms of initiating the buying process, considering the pack has a X validity?
We allow suspension of packages for a period of time for situations like this, or when the clients need to go back to their country for a period of time, you can check the suspension limitation for each package here
Can landlords refuse tenancy because of my pet?
Yes. Dogs, mostly medium and big size, are often refused by landlords, especially in apartments and urban areas.
Can you negotiate a clause in the contract in case the landlord is reluctant in accepting my pets?
We often negotiate a bigger safety deposit, but the landlord is not obliged to accept.
Can you negotiate a termination clause in case our D7 Visa does not come through?
We can request that, and have had cases where it was successfully implemented, but it has to be accepted by the landlord and they have no obligation to accept such a clause.
Can I terminate a lease agreement before 1 year?
Depends on the duration of the contract and type of contract (holiday rental property or long time lease). Long term rent 1 year contracts can usually be terminated after 6 months.
Are your rental packs visits limited ? What happens if we could not find an apartment within those visits?
You can check what each package includes on our service tables. If you use the package fully and wish to purchase extra services it can be done, tabulated prices apply.
We rarely have cases where extra visitations have to be purchased, as we do pre screening and if the clients are conscious of their preferences and don’t visit apartments that they will likely reject, the coverage of the package is sufficient. Clients can also do visitation on their own and those will not count towards the package limits.
Does the rental pack validity start the moment we purchase the pack or the moment
we actually start using the service?
It starts once service is started with a representative.
Is the internet reliable in X city?
That is something you can discuss with your local agent, most medium and big cities have fiber internet, that is very reliable. In more isolated locations it will depend a lot where the lines go by. There is usually always a solution, be it ADSL or satellite.
Can you open a bank account for us even if we aren’t in the country?
There are limitations, as it depends a lot on the person handling the process. Process was also made a lot harder recently. We have some contacts in banks that facilitate cooperation, but no guarantees can be given. In person is the safest way.
When should the purchase process be initiated?
We recommend initiating the purchase process about a month before your trip to Portugal, or a month before your ideal search start date. This is because it is very important to organize and plan with agents, not only in terms of scheduling but because it’s important for us to get to know you a bit in order to better tailor our services to your specific needs. We recommend doing the tours before starting the property visitation service and they also need to be tailored to each client.
Once we purchase the package on the website, what is the next step?
Rental packages you will get a form to fill and once it is complete you will be put in touch with the corresponding agent within 2 business days. Buying packages can only be purchased after an initial advisory call and an agent is assigned up to 2 business days after the initial 20% down payment.
Do you have a real estate portfolio?
No. We will be expanding to representing sellers soon, but it will be a separate service, with different professionals, the buying team will not work with sales, and vice versa.
Can we bring our children to your tours?
We do not advise. Resident tours are full day with a lot of information - they will be boring & tiring for children, and take focus from the parents. Our company cars do not take more than 3 passengers at the time (in Group tours we work with rented mini bus)
Can you help or advise me who to go for to start getting a mortgage amount?
We have trusted mortgage advisors and credit mediators that we work with and our team will support the credit process throughout the buying & relocating service relationship.
What mortgages do I qualify for?
Tailored advice has to be discussed on a paid Advisory Call.
When should I start the mortgage process?
We recommend our clients to start the analysis process right after they sign up with us. Banks have been very slow and request a lot of documentation. Here in Portugal you don’t have pre approvals but you have pre analysis that will give you an installment estimate and a credit limit. The process is only finished once the property is evaluated by the bank, and the final amount will always depend on the result of this evaluation.
Can I upgrade to another (buying/rental) pack if needed?
Yes, depending on the time for that decision you may only get a partial discount. If you upgrade within 90 days from the initial purchase the fill price of the initial package is applied towards the upgrade. Between 31 days and 180 days 50% of the cost of the initial purchase applies towards the upgrade, 181 days up until 270 days only 25% is applied. After this no discount will apply.
How long does it typically take to find an apartment?
Depends a lot on the location you are looking in, generally the market has more demand then offer and the more requirements you have the harder it will be to find a match. Lisbon is particularly bad and we recommend adjusting demands and expectations, especially for rental.
Rentals usually take 30-60days. Can take 2 weeks if you’re lucky, but never count on that.
Buying usually takes an average of 3-4 months, but it can be between a month and 8 months depending on how specific the client requirements are and how the offer available on the desired location is.
If your concern or question is not found in the FAQ, you can contact Savvy Cat Realty through the email address: email@example.com