Buying Real Estate in Italy – The Buying Process
Purchasing Procedure for Italian Real Estate
Although all residential property is freehold and titles are registered, buying real estate in Italy is not the most straightforward process. The buying procedure is complex and generally consists of three stages.
While some buy privately, most foreign buyers use the services of a realtor (mediatore, immobiliare, or agente) registered with the local Chamber of Commerce. If you are unfamiliar with Italian real estate practice, you should take the time to find a realtor with a good track record, and strong references. They should also have the necessary Italian real estate qualifications, which impose a number of responsibilities on them in real estate transactions (unlike their unqualified brethren).
Central to the purchasing process is the notaio(notary). An Italian notaiois a qualified individual with broad legal responsibilities. They represent the state in the processing of real estate sales, and are responsible for ensuring that all the deeds are authentic and of incontestable value. The notaionormally acts as a witness for both parties, drawing up the sales contract and, if applicable, dealing with the final mortgage deeds.
It is advisable to have a surveyor (geometra) check the property before signing the preliminary contract, the compromesso. While you could buy privately, most foreign buyers use the services of a realtor (mediatore, immobiliare, or agente) who is registered with the local Chamber of Commerce.
Depending on the type of property you buy and your residency status, the total fees are usually between 5% and 10% of the sales price (or more for commercial properties). These fees apply to Italians, too, not just foreigners.
There are no restrictions on foreigners buying property in Italy.
*Prices as of 2013
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