Purchasing a property in Italy: a guideline
There are several reasons why foreigners search for properties in Italy, whether it is the stunning quality of life, the ancient rustic beauty, welcoming climate, or the excellent food and wine and laid back Mediterranean lifestyle. Purchasing a property in Italy can be a complicated process when you are not aware of the procedures and subjects involved.
Generally speaking, a trusted property lawyer is essential as you can rely on his expertise to guide you through the sales process as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Even though a real estate transfer is a high-regulated process in Italy, it might be potentially biased against the buyer. The property lawyer will assist you along the whole process also interceding between you and real estate agents. Property lawyer will direct before authorised and licensed real estate agents. Doing so, the property lawyer will supervise the fairness of the whole procedure.
In relation to the property you aim to purchase, you and the property lawyer will need to check the following documents and titles:
- Property Title: The most important document regarding a property. It identifies the owner of the property also giving the right to sell the property, asking building permissions or cadastral details;
- Permission of Building: The document that certifies whether or not the property has been built in compliance with Italian Laws. For instance, a property with an unregistered room or floor plan cannot be sold.
- Cadastral searches: This includes the “visura catastale” which is a document issued by Italian revenue office about property details and its identification on the map of the area. It also included the “planimetria catastale”. All these documents need to be present and their regularity assessed by your property lawyer.
- Energy Performance Certificate: This is the “attestato di prestazione energetica” and it contains data about property energy use and typical energy costs. It is required by law to attach the document to any sale or rental agreement.
The real estate agent checks all the paperwork before the preliminary contract is signed in order to protect the buyer. To conclude, property should have: the title, a cadastral plan registered at the Registry Office, the Energy Performance Certificate and the Permission of Building.The notary
A notary is a public official. In Italy, the whole property purchase depends on the Notary that certifies the purchase contract. Notary is a mandatory figure and buyer pays for notary’ fees. The notary will be doing all legal checks of the property.
In the context, your property lawyer may suggest a trusted notary in order to reduce the lengths of the process. The property lawyer and the notary are fundamental figures and,
given the delicate purchasing process, the buyer should first find a trusted property lawyer and notary to safely start the purchasing procedure.
The purchase proposal and preliminary contract
The purchase proposal is an agreement where the realtor communicates to the seller buyer’s intention to buy the property at a certain price and within a certain amount of time. The purchase proposal is not binding until both parties have signed it.
The primary goal of the purchase proposal is to allow time to perform some preliminary due diligence and ensure that the seller won’t attempt to sell the property to anyone else until a certain date. It’s not a mandatory step, but the buyer might be interested in being aware of structural state of the house he/she is buying. If the survey is not satisfactory, the seller would have to return the deposit to you, the buyer.
The purchase proposal is also important if you’re applying for a mortgage as it gives you the time to apply for the mortgage without the risk of losing the house.
The second step of the purchase process is the preliminary agreement. In the event buyer’s purchase offer is accepted, property survey was satisfactory, the notary has checked the property document and provided a final estimate, he/she will proceed with the preliminary contract.
This agreement states all detail about property purchase including price, closing date, deposit amount, existing mortgages and any other contractual aspect that needs to be clarified by buyer and seller. Undoubtedly, the lawyer is the most suitable subject to undertake preliminary contract drafting.
When the preliminary contract is signed by both parties and the agreed upon deposit is paid, the contract must be registered before the local tax office according. In the event that the buyer backs out of the deal, he’ll lose his deposit to the seller. However, if the seller withdrew from the contract, he’ll have to pay the buyer double the amount received.
VGS lawyers professional are perfectly able to assist you in every stage of your property purchase procedure. Our Lawyers have achieved brilliant results negotiating the best condition for our clients. Our specialised lawyers have a wider set of experiences and skills that allow us to provide better assistance to our clients.
Should you need any information in relation to this matter, please contact us through the online form you find in our website. You will receive a first answer within the next 24 hours.