How to buy a home in Italy
The buying procedure stage by stage
Buying a home in Italy is a straight forward process controlled by Legislation that protects both the buyer and seller
There are three stages in the process:
1. Making an acceptable offer.
2. A formal legally binding agreement, known as the Compromesso.
3. The final legal transfer called the Rogito or Atto Notarile.
Preliminary Contract (Compromesso)
This is a legally binding contract between both parties and involves the buyer making a deposit payment between 10-30% of the agreed price to the seller. Once signed both parties are legally bound to complete the contract.
The Compromesso details the following:
- Details of the Buyer and Seller.
- Price and details of the property.
- Method of payment.
- Date of the final contract.
- Any special clauses specified by both parties.
The Compromesso should be made using professional assistance to ensure the following has been researched:
- A title search is undertaken.
- No outstanding loans or mortgages etc are on the property.
- All right of way issues are settled.
- Any rights of local farmers that have first option of buying the land with the property are made clear.
- All permissions and permits to build are in order.
Final Deed (Rogito or Atto notarile)
The Atto notarile meeting occurs on an agreed date after the signing of the Compromesso. At this meeting the property ownership is formally transferred from one party to the other. The balance of the purchase price is paid at this meeting in the presence of the Notary.
This meeting requires the following:
- Buyer and Seller or representatives of each party must be present.
- The final deed must be made in front of a Public Notary (similar to a solicitor/lawyer).
- Contract is registered in the Agenzia del Territorio Servizio di Pubblicita Immobiliare.
- All government taxes and fees calculated on the declared property value must be paid to the Notary ( We provide you with an estimate of these costs before you make any commitment to the property, so there are no unexpected surprises).
- The deed is signed by both parties and the Notary.
After the signing of this contract it will be certified and you can expect to receive a fully certified copy within 4 weeks. The new owner receives this document which really is the Title Deed proving ownership of the property.
Buyer Costs before and during purchase
- Property tax - Prima Casa. (First Home) If the property is to become your main home and you will obtain residency in Italy within 18 months you can purchase a house as Prima Casa and this will reduce the purchase tax payable on the declared (fiscal) value of the property from 7% to 3%.
- Imposta di Registro - This is a fixed tax of approximately 340 Euros plus IVA (VAT).
- Land taxes - 18% plus IVA (VAT) of the declared value on the land.
- Notary fees - This is calculated on the sale value of the property from Euro 1000 upwards.
- Translator fees - Usually 25 -30 Euro per hour. If you buy your property with us we provide the services of an accredited translator free of charge.
- Geometra’s (surveyor) fees - This is dependent on the work completed.
- Agents fee - usually 3% plus IVA (VAT).
We will provide you with an estimate of the total costs to purchase before you make any commitment to purchase a property.
Buyer costs after purchase
- I.C.I (Imposta Comunale Immobili) - This is an annual tax between 0.4% and 0.7% on the declared fiscal value of the property. It is paid twice a year.
- Rifiuti Solidi Urbani - This is a local waste/rubbish collection tax paid twice yearly.
- Capital Gains Tax - If you sell your property within five years of purchase you must declare the amount of net profit you have made and may have tax to pay . The rules are complex and vary depending on whether you have purchased “seconda casa” “prima casa” and you future plans. We will obtain specialist legal advice on your behalf if appropriate.
Requirements of the buyer
- Codice Fiscale - This is a form of National Insurance number that must be obtained before the purchase of a property. When you buy your property with us we do this for you free of charge.
- Bank Account - The buyer must open a foreign Euro bank account. When you buy your property with us we can do this for you free of charge.
- After purchase - All the utilities must be changed from the seller’s name to the new owner. We will do this for you free of charge.