Legal notes

 

Now that you have found your dream house in Italy, it is time to get on with the following phases.  Make sure you fully understand all the legal aspects and procedures, which will allow you to tranquilly conclude the deal. You can act on your own or hire the services of an expert Attorney (your real estate agent can suggest one to you) who will accompany you right up to the moment of entering into a contract in complete security. 

The following are the principal phases in the process of purchasing real estate in Italy.

1)  PROPOSAL OF PURCHASE

Once you have identified the real estate property you prefer, the next step is to formulate a written proposal that is binding for a specific period of time (usually from a few days  to about one month):  the proposal defines the price and the terms of the proposal, accompanied by a deposit in the form of a cheque or a money transfer.  If the proposal is not accepted, the contract is considered null and the deposit is returned. If the vendor instead accepts your proposal, the agreement is formalised with a Preliminary Sales Agreement, known as the Compromesso or Agreement to Sell.

2) THE PRELIMINARY AGREEMENT OR COMPROMESSO

Signing the Compromesso already implies an important commitment on the part of both the vendor and the buyer. The Compromesso indeed establishes that both parties agree on the purchase and the sale of the property, and that they both agree on the terms and conditions of the contract:  the date you will take possession of the real estate property and a detailed description of the property being purchased (specifying the rooms and total square metres of the real estate and any moveable properties that may be included).  The price and terms of payment, of course, will also be specified.
At the moment of signing the Compromesso, the buyer pays a deposit, earnest money in the order of a precentage of the sales price.
Beware:  though the sale is not yet complete at this stage, the signed Compromesso is binding for both the vendor and the buyer.  If either of the two parties pulls out of the business transaction and reneges, he will have to pay damages:  if the buyer pulls out, he will lose the deposit he has paid; if the vendor pulls out, he will have to return twice the amount deposited at the moment of the Compromesso.
The next and final step is the contract signing, the so-called Rogito.

3) THE ROGITO

The Rogito or Purchase Deed is the final act:  the contract will be stipulated in the presence of a Notary. Both parties must be present on the day agreed for contract signing, when the notary endorses the transfer of the possessory title from the vendor to the buyer. The buyer will pay the residual amount of the agreed price, plus taxes and notarial fees. It may happen, as you live abroad, that you can not be present on the day established for the Rogito:  in this event, you can grant Power of Attorney to a friend, a local Solicitor who speaks your language or a real estate agent in Italy. On the day of the Rogito, you will need a codice fiscale (the tax identification number that you can also obtain with the help of a real estate agent) and your passport or other valid proof of identity and, of course, the full availability of money (and possible mortgage).  We strongly suggest that on the day of the Rogito, you can avail of the services of an interpreter to translate for you everything that is said and written.  Once the Rogito is signed, the remaining amount of the agreed price is paid, along with expenses and the notary’s fees.  The notary will then see to registering the contract:  only when the acts are registered at the Office of the Public Property Register, is the real estate finally yours.

The Notary

The Notary is the public official legally authorised to bear witness to and validate agreements and contracts in Italy. His function is necessary and established by law to finalize transactions.  The Notary is guarantor of the entire operation: he is an independent and impartial figure; he conducts all the preliminary checks on the property (mortgage and cadastral checks) before contract signing; he also sees to all the obligations in the various public offices (deed registration at the Agenzia delle Entrate, a copy lodged care of the Agenzia del Territorio, the property transfer registration at the Land Registry Office, annotations care of the Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths).
The Notary is the only professional figure who can perform the task of registering the Act of Sale/Purchase at the Office of the Public Property Register. This Act is of utmost importance because until the sale has been recorded at the Property Register Office, the contract which is binding for the vendor and the buyer, is not binding for any third party who could claim credits and rights on the vendor’s property.
The Notary’s professional services have a cost established by law on a value calculated on the basis of the property’s sales price, and includes the costs for expenses advanced on the client’s behalf (registration fee, mortgage and cadastral taxes, archive fees, excise duties), and his fees.

Victoria House, Italian Real Estates  Odorico da Pordenone st., 36/4; 50127 Florence (FI) – Italy
Phone: (+39) 055 3200711     
Mobile: (+39) 331 6493174
e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.             
Skype: Victoria Tamburini

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if you want the assistance of experts who speak your language and know the Italian procedures, or if you simply need explanations and more information, feel free to contact us:

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Skype: victoria tamburini
Phone: 0039 055 3200711   0039 331 6493174

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of Professional Real Estate Agents