Guide to buy a Property in Italy
Having found the property of your choice, and having agreed the price with the Vendor through the help of your Real Estate Agent, will draw up the legal Preliminary of Sale Agreement which, when completed, will be signed by the Vendor and the intending Purchaser.
The Preliminary Sale Agreement described the property, the land, and any other peculiarities of important role; and will state full price being paid, the modalities of payment, and usually, a date for completion. Once a Completion dates been agreed it must be adhered to.
At the signing of the Preliminary of Sale Agreement about one third of the full price must be paid, which under Italian law is forfeit if the Purchaser fails to complete the transaction for any reason that is not covered in the Preliminary Sale Agreement.
It should be pointed out that the Preliminary Sale Agreement is a promise on the part of the Vendor to sell to the intending Purchaser.
The Preliminary Sale Agreement should contain a clause which allows the intending Purchaser to renege on the Agreement if it should be found that the property is encumbered with liens, debt, or any detrimental complication; in which case the Vendor must return to the intending Purchaser his down – payment made at the time of signing the Preliminary Sale Agreement, plus a certain agrees amount in compensation.
Should it happen that the Vendor for any reason, having signed the Agreement, changes his minds and breaks his promise to sell, then the Vendor must return to the intending Purchaser double the down – payment that was paid at the time of signing the Preliminary Sale Agreement.
It is obvious that it is in the intending Purchaser interest to pay the maximum possible at the time of signing the Preliminary Sale Agreement.
It is at the point of signing the Preliminary Sale Agreement, that the agreed commission plus tax (I.V.A) must be paid to the Estate Agent, (3%, according to the local laws).
The completion of Sale, at which the Transfer of Deeds takes place, is called the Atto Notarile and is performed in Italy by a public Notary who acts impartially for both parties, the Vendor, and the Purchaser. It is the Notary’s duty to make sure that the property purchased is free from encumbrances; and by law in Italy, the Notary’s fees are paid by the Purchaser. The Notary’s fees are calculated on a sliding scale as set down by Law, and depend on how much work has been undertaken. A Registration Tax must be paid by the Purchaser to the State and is calculated on the Catasto value of the property.
The final payment must be made by the Purchaser at the point of Completion of sale with the Notary, and it is the responsibility of the Purchaser to ensure that all the necessary funds have arrived in Italy by the Completion Date.
Following the satisfactory Completion of Sale the Deeds are registered with the Catasto (the land Registry) in the area in which the property, or property and land, has been purchased.