Once you have found with us a property of your dream in Italy, it is time to get on with the following phases. In 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 a secure way.
The real estate buying process in Italy consists of:
1) PROPOSAL OF PURCHASE
After you have visited the property in Italy you like and identified the one that you`d like to buy, the next step is to formulate a written proposal that is binding for a specific period of time (usually about one month): it defines the price and the terms of the future deal, accompanied by a deposit payment in the amount 5-10% on the property price. If the proposal is not accepted, the contract is considered as not concluded and the deposit is returned. If the vendor accepts your proposal, it is going to the Preliminary Sales Agreement, known as the Compromesso or Agreement to Sell.
2) THE PRELIMINARY AGREEMENT OR PRELIMINARY AGREEMENT
Signing the Preliminary agreement (in Italian “Compromesso”) already implies an important commitment on the part of both the vendor and the buyer. It establishes that both parties agree on the purchase and the sale of the property, 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 to be purchased (specifying the rooms and total square meters and any moveable properties that may be included). The price and terms of payment, of course, will also be specified.
The Preliminary Agreement is drafted by the Real Estate Agent who, as a professionally qualified figure that guarantee it`s legal accuracy. At the moment of signing the Compromesso, the buyer pays a deposit, earnest money in the order of 10-20% of the sales price.
Beware: though the sale is not yet complete at this stage. 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 preliminary agreement
The next and final step is the contract signing, the so-called Notarial deed (in Italian “Rogito”).
3) NOTARIAL DEED
The Notarial Deed or Purchase Deed is the final act: the contract will be stipulated in the presence of a Notary. Both parties must be presented on the day agreed, 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, notarial and all the additional (translator`s, real estate agency`s fees etc). We strongly suggest to hire the for the Notarial Deed day the interpreter to translate for you everything that is said and written. Once the Notarial Deed is signed, the remaining amount of the agreed price is paid, along with other expenses and the notary’s fees. Then the Notary make the registration of the contract. And after will be a Public registration in a special Property Register Office – only then it means that the property is finally yours.
The Notary is a public person legally authorised to bear witness to and validate agreements and contracts in Italy. His function is necessary and established by the law to finalize transactions. 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 act of sale/purchase registering in the Office of the Public Property Register. This Act is the most important 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.