Real Estate – Italy 2017-09-14T14:02:20+00:00
  • Alt = Italian property

Buying-selling an Italian property – Italian real estate lawyers

For foreign buyers or investors who are looking for an Italian property, the purchasing process can be more complex than usual whether facing without the assistance of an Italian real estate lawyer. The language, for example, as well the different legal and tax system, can be appear obscure for people lacking of solid expertise or background in Italian law.

Our team has an in-depth understanding of the Italian real estate market as well as experience of providing an efficient and professional legal assistance in relation to the purchasing process. In particular, on behalf of foreign buyers interested in buying an Italian property, we research suitable properties, negotiate, draft, review real estate contracts, deal with all the procedures related to taxes. Moreover, we collaborate with Italian real estate agents who look at the most appeal Italian properties on daily basis.

The purchasing process

Italian real estate transactionare currently regulated by the provision of the Italian Civil Code as well as administral, environmental, and fiscal laws and regulations. As such, the purchasing process is normally split up in three stages:

  • Legal due diligences, property checks and purchase offer – “proposta irrevocabile di acquisto”  

Once selected the italian property and performed due searches on its legal status and that of its owner, the foreign buyer is required to negotiate the terms and conditions of the purchase and make a written offer (sale offer) to the seller. At this end, it can be required to sign a reservation contract aimed at removing the property from the market for a certain period of time (expressly agreed by the parties) and provide a small deposit for taking the property off the Italian real estate market till the general routine checks are concluded and the process can be concluded.

Although the Sale Offer does not oblige the parties to finalise the final purchase deed, the buyer must pay great attention before signing it due to the legal implications that could arise out from it.

  • The preliminary selling contract – “contratto preliminare di vendita”

At this stage the parties, buyer and seller(s), are involved in negotiating, drafting and signing a complex legally binding agreement, called “Contratto preliminare di vendita”, on the purpose of outline all the agreed purchase conditions – including price, property details, third parties’ rights –  and formalise their commitments to complete the purchasing process, by means of a final deed signed up at the Italian Public Notary’s office, within and not further the closing date agreed upon into the contract.

Although such contract does not imply the transfer of the ownership of the italian property, the parties should always have carefully considered all the documentation and search reports necessary to complete the purchase as well as agree a timetable for the vendor to sort any legal and practical difficulties out before signing the contract.  Afterward, they are required by law to register it at the competent Italian Tax Office and pay a part of the State taxes which will be upon deducted from the final price agreed upon at the signing of the final Deed in front of an Italian Notary.

The buyer is also generally asked to provide a so-called “Caparra Confirmatoria” – a deposit of approximately 10-20 % of the property price – at the time of signature. As a consequence, if the buyer will not fulfill its obligations as set forth in the contract, the seller will be entitled by law to withdraw from the contract and hold the deposit, unlike the seller will be legally required to refund the sum originally received in case of its default.

  • The final deed signed up at the Italian Public Notary’s office

At the end, the contracting parties – buyers and seller – are required to complete the purchasing process by signing a final purchase deed (so-called Rogito) at the Public Notary’s office.

The notary is an independent body who is entitled by law to draft the purchase deed and therefore handle the final step of the purchasing process. In particular, he is required to review of all the documentation concerning the property and verify the selling and buying parties’ respective powers and entitlement to be part of the transaction. After doing so, he must thus file the property title with the local Land registry (“Conservatoria dei Registri Immobiliari”).


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Italian Real Estate market overview

It’s the right time to buy a house in Italy. Although the housing market may be still depressed, something is positively going to change, at least as seen in the rising trend of residential property sales in the recent year.

House prices in Italy have been falling – by as much as 50 percent in some cases – steadily since 2010, but the home sales is maintaining their strong growth for the third consecutive year, according to the real estate portal 

The slump – which was attributed to a number of factors, including the euro zone crisis and austerity measures like higher property taxes – is now going to finish. Home sales in Italy are indeed maintaining their strong growth for the third consecutive year. Residential property sales surged by 18.9% with about 528,865 residential properties units sold, during the year to 2016, according to Agenzia delle Entrate. New tax measures to boost housing market

 Tax benefits

In 2016,the Government launched new tax measures aimed at boosting the country’s property market:

  • TASI and IMU tax for principal homes (except luxury homes and castles) abolished.
  • 25% discount on the IMU tax for houses being lent on an “agreed rental”(canone concordato) contract – a contract with a minimum period of 3 years plus two years of automatic renewal, which also includes compliance to the local authorities’ minimum and maximum rents.
  • Flat rate of 4 per thousand and a €200-worth standard deduction on IMU tax for luxury homes and castles.
  • IMU exemption for mountain land.

Interest rates

According to Bank of Italy, the average interest rate for new housing loans is stuck at a historical low in 2016.


Our services include, but not limited to:

  • Negotiation of the price the property;
  • negotiating of the real estate of the agent’s fees;
  • drafting the Formal Offer (Reservation Offer) and meeting with the seller (if needed);
  • obtaining a tax code tax identification code, so-called Codice Fiscale, which is required in relation to any purchase of property
  • negotiating, drafting and reviewing on behalf of the client the Preliminary contract of sale, so-called contratto preliminare di compravendita;
  • bespoke general legal advice on what legal issues should be addressed at the first stage;
  • performing legal due diligence;
  • based on the power of the attorney, representing clients at the Italian public notary’s office and dealing with the Notary to arrange for the registration of
  • assistance in opening an Italian bank account;
  • Liaison throughout with estate agents, developers, lawyers (if the Seller has instructed lawyers), the notary, tax office, public property registers etc.

In light of the above provided information, if you are looking for an italian property, it is highly advisable to be assisted by an italian lawyer throughout the purchase process on the purpose of addressing at the early stage legal issues that might arise out. We’re are here to help you deal with the process. 

Please do not hesitate to contact us by filling out the contact form below. We look forward to hearing from you.

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The legal information about buying a property in Italy you find on this section is reliable as it comes from a professional source.

However, it is for information purposes only. This means that it does not substitute a professional and bespoke legal advice and assistance for which you need to constitute a relationship lawyer-client.