Italy Property Search and Lifestyle Management Consultants
Our Italian head office is situated in the heart of Como. Absolute Italy services all the major regions with offices throughout Italy and including Sardinia and Sicily. And are ideally placed to service all your needs.
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How difficult is the property purchase process in Italy?
There are no restrictions on foreign ownership in Italy.
Any money remitted from outside Italy for purchasing property, should be officially documented to ensure that the proceeds of any resale could be repatriated.
The first step to purchasing property in Italy is to hire a real estate attorney, to protect your interests. Although the real estate transfer process is a regulated process, it is potentially biased against the buyer. Keep in mind also that Italian law provides for pre-contractual liability. In the event that you feel aggrieved by the seller’s unfair behavior, you can file charges to be reimbursed for expenses.
Once you have chosen the property, make an offer. You must pay 1% of the purchase price as a gesture of good faith. Unfortunately, an offer of purchase is only binding on the buyer; the seller may still consider other offers. It is best to specify a time limit in the offer document, so as not to be left hanging by the seller.
The preliminary contract
If the seller accepts, the deal becomes binding on both parties. A preliminary contract or a compromesso is then drawn up by the seller, his attorney, or real estate agent, containing the sale price, the amount to be paid as deposit, the completion date, the land boundaries and details of the property, and any other relevant clauses (i.e. water rights and rights of passage).
Upon signing of the compromesso, the deposit is raised to 10% to 30% of the sale price, depending on what has been agreed. In the event that you decide not to pursue the purchase, the compromesso will be forfeited or the seller may seek legal action to enforce the purchase. On the other hand, if the seller backs out, he will be liable to pay double the amount you have given as deposit.
The notary performs due diligence
Closing usually takes six to eight weeks. The notaio or notary public has the responsibility of performing due diligence – although he is chosen by the seller, he acts for both parties. When the title search has been conducted to your satisfaction, pay the final balance and sign the deed of sale or rogito (witnessed by the notaio). This requires you to present a valid identification document, and your tax code.
The notaio will issue you a copy of the deed and present copies to the tax office and Land Registry. The necessary government duties must be paid for the sale to be officially registered. Registration protects the property from third parties charging any other interests against it. The notaio will also ensure that the utilities have been transferred to your name, and inform the local police of the change of ownership within 48 hours of signing the deed, in compliance with anti-mafia laws.
It takes an average of 27 days to complete all the eight procedures needed to register a property in Italy.
Full name: Italian republic
Population: 59 million (UN, 2008)
Area: 301,338 sq km (116,346 sq miles)
Major Languages: Italian
Major Religion: Christianity
Life Expectancy: 78 years (men), 83 years (women) (UN)
Monetary Unit: 1 euro = 100 cents
Main Exports: Machinery and transport equipment, chemical, clothes, wine
GNI per capita: US $33,540 (World Bank, 2007)
Internet Domain: .it
International Dialing Code: +39