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Purchasing Italian property the right way

Updated 26 Oct 2015

Those who are thinking of investing in property In Italy have to make sure that they get things right which is why the following rules are good place to start.

Remain patient because the Italian courts and its bureaucracy can be very testing and devious. However, ensure that you remain calm because causing offence to anyone involved can lead to further delays and more difficulties.

Assume that the property you want to purchase does not have planning permission and that you are unable to purchase the property until the government approved conveyancing lawyer approves the sale.

Any mortgages or debts related to the property are passed on to the purchaser so make sure that there is nothing outstanding.

If you are purchasing a property outright make sure that you pay a deposit of between 10 and 20% of the price of the property. Should you pull out before the deal is completed you will lose your deposit but if the vendor pulls out they have to pay twice the amount of the deposit. 

Italian estate agents do not publish images online or in magazines of the property for fear that the buyer will be able to identify the property and cut the estate agent out of the process. They also make it clear how important it is for them to accompany you to the property because they do not want you to see the property from the outside. This adds a lot of time onto the process.

Commission is charged to both buyers and sellers at a rate of as much as 2.5% to both parties. Therefore, trying to avoid estate agents is the best method but this does mean that you need to carry out additional research on the area.

It is common for rural properties to claim they are for sale when in reality they are just testing the market. It is also common for properties to be owned by large families where some of the family members want to sell whilst the others do not.

If you are interested in purchasing land then be aware that neighbours have the first right to purchase the land if it becomes available. Therefore, obtain confirmation from the neighbours that they have no intentions of purchasing the land.

If the property requires building work ensure that you get estimates written in detail because Italians are not keen on putting things in writing.

Finally, use a surveyor to take charge of the purchase of the property and any work that has to be carried out and makes sure that they are familiar with the area and the builders. They do cost money but they are worth every penny because purchasing a property and carrying out work on a property in Italy cannot be done without assistance from someone who knows what they are doing.

~Article written October 2015

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