Archivi FAQ | Italian Prestige Houses

It is true most Italians don’t have a survey done, but of course you can. The cost is usually €500 + Vat, and we can provide a translation in English (extra fee applies). If you buy an apartment which has been completely restored by a company the Italian Civil Code requires that company to guarantee the property from all defects for 10 years (Similar to the NHBC in the UK) so a survey isn’t really necessary.

To take out a mortgage on an Italian property you have to go through an Italian bank (or a foreign bank which has branches in Italy). If you find a property with us, our agents will assist you in obtaining a mortgage. We have a close and continuous partnership with Top Italian Mortgage. Our customers are followed at any time of the mortgage application (see the post)

Bear in mind that quite a lot of documentation is required by Italian banks and the future rental income of the property will not be taken into account, you need to provide information about your income and financial status.

Only properties that are habitable and accessible can be mortgaged.

For non-residents who wish to obtain a mortgage in Italy, usually the most you can borrow is about 50-60% LTV. 

The cost of arranging a mortgage can be quite high with arrangement fees to pay as well as a government tax of 2% of the amount borrowed, in addition to an extra notary deed (usually €2500 – €3000).

If you own assets in other countries it may be simpler to mortgage them and pay cash for your Italian house.

As anywhere else, some are, some aren’t. It depends on the owners and how quickly they would like to sell, and how long it’s been on the market etc. In general, the lower the price the less negotiable it is.

In Italy it is possible to sign a purchase agreement (a ‘Proposta Irrevocabile d’Acquisto’) which reserves the property for you for usually about a month maximum until you sign the compromesso (preliminary contract). A deposit is required (usually €2000 – €10,000) which is held by the agency and returned to you at compromesso, or which becomes a payment on account. If you change your mind about buying you would lose your deposit, but you are protected against any legal or planning issues should they arise.

It depends on the situation of the buyer and seller. If the buyer is ready to go and the house is vacant, about 6 – 8 weeks is usual. Quite often paperwork has to be prepared, registrations or plans updated, occasionally there are planning issues sorted out, and this means it can take longer. It also depends on whether you are coming in person or arranging power of attorney, as this takes a bit longer to arrange too. If the property is vacant, and all paperwork is up-to-date it is possible to buy immediately, as soon as we can make an appointment with the notary.

Firstly of course, and most importantly, the current situation will not change until we actually leave the EU, so not for about 2 years.
The current situation is this – anyone from any country can buy a property in Italy, whether they are from the EU, non EU countries in Europe, the USA, China or anywhere else in the world!

So British people post Brexit will still be able to buy property in Italy.

Yes. If you do not speak fluent, enough to understand detailed legal contracts, you will need to have a translator at the notary deed. Your agent or the notary will usually arrange this so you don’t need to worry about it.

  • Local council tax – TASI (formerly IMU/ICI) (needs to be paid twice a year at the post office – no bill is sent.)
  • Refuse tax
  • In some areas, mountain community tax
  • If you buy a property which is part of a condominium, e.g. with shared pool and grounds, lighting etc, then there will be annual condominium fees to pay.
  • Utilities

The total fees for buying a property in Italy are approximately 10 to 20 per cent of the purchase price. Anyway, it may vary from case to case

  • Agent’s commission
    In case you rely on a real estate agency to find your dream home in Italy, you will pay a commission which is 4% of the purchase price + VAT (I.V.A.) 22% of the fee. Usually this percentage is not divided between buyer and seller, but each one has to pay  a 4% + VAT commission.
    Once the deal is closed thanks to the intervention of the real estate agent, according to article 1755 Civil Code, both vendors and buyers are entitled to pay the real estate agent’s commission
  • Stamp duty (Imposta di Registro) – Land registry tax (Imposta Ipotecaria) – Cadastral Tax (Imposta catastale)
    These are the 3 main taxes you have to pay when you purchase your home in Italy in addition to other minor taxes.
    The “cadastral declared value” of the property on the Rogito (deed of sale) usually represents the basis (base imponibile) upon which these 3 taxes are applied
    The amount of these 3 main taxes varies depending upon the type of property as well as the subjective characteristics of both the seller and the buyer.
  • Notary Fee
    A fee is paid to the Notary for the preparation of the Rogito and generally only the buyer pays for the notary expenses and taxes paid to the notary as public collector.
    But note that notary fees can also be requested for the preparation of the preliminary agreement of sale (and therefore not only for the deed) if the parties involved decide to also produce the compromesso with the notary in order to register a certified copy of the deed with the Land Registry. You can choose your notary and we can recommend which one to use and which one is cheapest, as notary prices do vary. We provide a detailed list of all fees and taxes (including the notary’s quote) before you sign any contracts.
  • Other fees: They may include the help of a lawyer for legal issues; a surveyor or an architect for the property inspection; a translator and a moving company. Also consider mortgage fees in case you need to establish a loan.

1) THE FISCAL CODE (Codice Fiscale)
If you are thinking to purchase a property in Italy, in fact as well as to open an Italian bank account you will need a CODICE FISCALE.
It is an identification code calculated on the basis of your surname, your names, the place of your birth and the date of your birth

and which will be used any time you will need to deal with the Authorities:

                       What are the main steps to buy a property in Italy?

In the event of a purchase it is essential to open a bank account in Italy not only to

transfer there the funds for the completion (as the final payment normally happens in Italian bankers drafts)

but also to get the various utilities paid automatically.

3) FORMAL OFFER OF PURCHASE (Proposta di acquisto)
When a client, after having visited some properties, decides to go ahead and to buy one of those,

the negotiation starts with an OFFER. The offer of purchase (proposta di acquisto) must be in writing.

Then, if the offer has been accepted it can be verbally communicated.
Once the vendor signs it, accepting the offered price this means that he undertakes not to sell the

property to anybody else until a certain date. This letter is to protect the buyer from losing the opportunity to purchase.

Before going ahead would be better to investigate the title of the property at the “Land registry” (Conservatoria e Catasto).

This would be useful to check that the property is regularly registered, that it belongs to the person who is undertaking to

sell it and if there are loans on it.

The Compromesso is drawn up and this is a legally-binding document which states the agreed sale price,

the completion date (Rogito) and any information and rights the property has.

[But it needs to be kept in mind that also the offer of purchase, once accepted, is legally binding.]
The Rogito is then drafted and it is usually executed 1 to 3 months after the execution of the Compromesso.

Once this contract is signed and a “caparra confirmatoria” (a deposit) of about 10% of the purchase price is paid,

the seller may only withdraw if he pays back to the buyer the deposit plus an amount of money which is equal

to the deposit itself. Should the buyer wish to withdraw, he will lose his deposit in its entirety.

The deed of purchase, final contract or ‘atto notarile’ is usually signed after the compromesso –

which is not mandatory as the definitive contract can be immediate – and only when all the

documentation is available. It is signed by both parties, the balance is paid and the property is officially transferred.

Following completion, the notary issues a certified copy of the deed of sale and registers a

certified copy of the deed with the Land Registry (Catasto).

Earnest money is money put down to demonstrate your seriousness about buying a home. It must be substantial enough to demonstrate good faith and is usually between 1-5% of the purchase price (though the amount can vary with local customs and conditions). If your offer is accepted, the earnest money becomes part of your down payment or closing costs. If the offer is rejected, your money is returned to you. If you back out of a deal, you may forfeit the entire amount.

It’s not required, but it’s a good idea. Following the inspection, the home inspector will be able to answer questions about the report and any problem areas. This is also an opportunity to hear an objective opinion on the home you’d like to purchase and it is a good time to ask general, maintenance questions.