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Italian Property Buying Guide

Buying A Property In Italy

Any non-resident is able to buy a property in Italy, This includes those within and outside the EU. Due to the significant amount of local knowledge required to navigate through the local planning office and town council regulations in Italy, it is strongly advised that you work with a fully licensed property specialist (estate or real estate agent) to avoid unnecessary expenses and time delays.

The Stages of the Sale

1/ The offer or "Proposta irrevocabile d'acquisto" (irrevocable purchase contract) Signed by the buyer and seller (vendor) at the beginning of the process to:
  • Confirm who both parties are in the arrangement.
  • Identify the the property in question.
  • Set the expiry date for signing the Compromesso.
2/ The Preliminary Contract or ‘Compromesso’
The Compromesso sets out in detail the terms and conditions of the final contract or Rogito Notarile. This includes:
  • The property value.
  • The date for final completion.
  • Specific information about the property and guarantees from the seller.
  • And any other relevant legal details regarding the sale.
At this stage, a deposit - or Caparra - which usually equates to 1/3 of the purchase price is paid.
Be aware:
  • If you withdraw from the sale after signing the Compromesso for any reason you will lose your deposit.
  • However, if the seller withdraws after this point, they must pay you back double your deposit.
3/ The Notary Deed or "Rogito Notarile"
This is the final stage of the sales process before transferring ownership.
  • This can take up to 3 months to complete after signing the Compromesso.
  • This is a legal document drawn up by the local Notary (Notaio), who represents both parties in the sale.
  • The buyer, seller and property agent/representative are all required to be present at the signing of the contract at the Notary's office.
  • Under special circumstances, a ‘Power of Attorney’ privilege can be arranged, if for some reason you (the buyer) are unable to be their in person.
  • At this time the remaining balance owed is transferred to the seller (vendor) and you are also required to pay any outstanding legal and service costs (see below)
Legal, Tax and Service Fees
The information below is a realistic guide to the fees associated with buying a property in Italy. The exact costs for each sale will be detailed in the ‘Compromesso’. Always consult with an Italian property specialist to ensure that your best interests are being looked after. Estate or Real Estate Agency Fee
  • Agency Fees are between 3 - 5% of the total purchase price. Both the buyer and seller (vendor) are required to pay an Agency Fees.
Stamp Duty and Purchase Tax
  • Stamp duty is 10% of the taxable value of the property, not the purchase price.
  • As a general rule the taxable value of the property is between 50 - 80% of its sale price. Always consult with your Italian property specialist in this matter.
  • The Purchase tax is 3% when the buyer purchases a property as a first home and applies for local residency - and the seller (vendor) is a private person.
  • The Purchase tax increases to 4% when the seller (vendor) is a company.
Notary fees
Notary fees are between 1- 2% of the sale value of the property. are fixed by law.
Italian Mortgage fees
You can arrange a mortgage through an Italian Bank, providing that (you) the buyer can prove your required income in your own country. (via pay slips or tax income declarations)
  • The mortgage can cover up to 80% of the value of the property.
  • The Bank will arrange for a local surveyor (Geomettra) to value the property in question. This will cost around €300.
The cost of the mortgage (borrowing) has 2 parts:
  • Euribor (Euro Interbank Offered Rate) is the rate at which the Euro Interbank loans money to other banks within the EMU zone. Interest payments on the loan are recalculated every 6 months.
Eg. As of 15 June 2010 the Euribor rate was 1.019%. Due to the rate changing every 6 months, you are best advised to consult your Italian property specialist.
  • The spread of the bank (the interest rate/margin the Italian bank charges on the loan/mortgage) is between 0.9 - 1.5%, in addition to the Euribor.
Surveyor Fee (Geomettra)
The Surveyor Fee can be up to €500.
The surveyor will ensure that all documents related to the property are up to date and legal. This includes:
  • The correct registration title of the property.
  • All documentation related to the planning regulations.