**This section is being reprinted with permission
from Amalfi Property Management. Thank you very much Nigel!**
Purchasing property in Italy is obviously a very exciting prospect, but even on the sunniest Italian day it can become very complicated and very frustrating and at times a complete nightmare for the novice buyer.
Aside from the obvious difficulties such as the language, tax system and legal system, there's a completely different attitude to all aspects of the purchase procedure including planning, building and services together with archaic regulations etc.
Below is an outline of how the Italian property purchasing system works.
These details are for reference only and are subject to changes;
Amalfi Property Management will take care of all the following activities for you. So all you need to do is simply choose your property and we'll do the rest!
Although most exchange controls have been repealed; buying a property in Italy it is still a complex legal process with specialised procedures and difficulties peculiar to the Italian market. Normally, the purchase of a property in Italy is arranged in three stages:
1: The first stage relates to the selection of the property, survey, legal and planning searches and initial negotiations. Either directly or with the assistance of an agent (Mediatore/Agente) the foreign buyer will need to select the property, obtain some basic information and documentation, and negotiate the general terms of the purchase. Sometimes, but this is better avoided at this stage, the foreign buyer may be asked to sign a reservation agreement (Prenotazione), and pay a small deposit to the agent. At this stage it will also be necessary to organise a survey, local land registry searches, and all necessary checks with the local authorities (Comune), as far as local planning and building regulations are concerned. This work is usually undertaken by a local surveyor (Geometra), who should always produce a written report.
2: The second stage is usually spent in negotiating, drafting, signing and exchanging the contract (Compromesso). This is normally a binding legal agreement to complete the purchase at some future specified date, in the offices of a local Notary Public (Notaio). In view of the fact that this is an unequivocal commitment to buy the property and pay the price, and that a deposit is payable at the time of signature, it is vital to have acquired all the documentation and search reports necessary to complete the purchase, or, at the very least, to have ascertained all legal and practical difficulties/problems, and agreed a timetable to sort them out before completion. If the foreign buyer is buying with the assistance of a mortgage (Mutuo ipotecario), it is absolutely vital to organise a binding mortgage agreement, before accepting the legal commitments relating to the signature of the contract. In any case, Italian law requires all contracts relating to land or buildings to be in writing, signed by both parties.
3: The third stage relates to the completion formalities, which normally take place in the offices of a local notary. Notaries have a special duty of drafting the Purchase Deed (Rogito), to ensure their proper execution, registration, and payment of all Italian taxes ancillary to the completion.
It is advisable for the foreign buyer to obtain the assistance of an Italian lawyer, but other professionals are also required. To effect all searches connected with the local planning and building regulations, and a survey on the state of the property, a surveyor (Geometra) will be required. In addition to complete the transaction, a local notary public (Notaio) will also be necessary, because in most cases only notaries can validly transfer title to property under Italian Law.
In this section, we shall deal with these three stages, in the above order, but a foreign buyer should be warned that in view of the legal and practical difficulties involved in buying a property in Italy, it is highly advisable to seek the assistance of a specialised Italian lawyer (Avvocato) or specialist property consultant such as Amalfi Property Management, at a very early stage, possibly before signing any document, or paying any deposit or even viewing any properties.