1) Choice of object
You form an order (type of property, location, parameters, approximate price and so on). We analyze all existing offers and choose the best ones for you. The more precise your order is, the easier it is for us to find a suitable object. We send you detailed information, and then we make a convenient schedule so that you can visit all the objects. You go to Italy and see them personally.
Bargaining is typical for Italy. So, when you find a suitable object, don’t forget to bargain. You can’t do this without a specialist’s help as you need to understand whether the stated price is reasonable for the object’s real value (considering its size, location, condition and so on). The most important thing is that you should understand very clearly what the lowest price for the seller is. You need to find out how long has this object been on sale, have there been any other offers made, if yes, then what are they like, has the price been reduced because they failed to sell it and so on. As a rule, the seller usually overvalues the object so that they can make concessions when bargaining. Of course, the seller will discuss any offer you make with their agent to see if it makes sense. If the seller decides not to bargain at all, in the advert you will see the words prezzo non trattabile which means «the price is not negotiable».
3) Proposta Irrevocabile d’acquisto
Irreversible Deal Offer
When prices and other things concerning the purchase have been discussed, a written Irreversible Deal Offer is made and sent to the seller. If you just say you want to buy the house, it won’t be enough! A cheque should be added to the offer. It will be some kind of deposit and will prove that you are serious about the deal. You should issue the cheque in the name of the property owner (the seller)
- If the seller is satisfied with the Offer, he signs it. In this case, the agency gives him the cheque.
- If the seller doesn’t agree, the cheque is returned to you.
- If the seller makes amendment to the Offer (concerning price, payment method, terms and so on), the buyer can either accept the seller’s conditions or refuse them. In this case the buyer has the right to get the deposit back or make another offer with the new terms.
- If the seller agrees but you have changed your mind, you won’t be given back the money.
- If the Offer hasn’t been signed yet, but the cheque has been cashed, the Offer is automatically considered accepted.
When aProposta Irrevocable d’Acquisto is signed, both sides are consideredlegally obliged to sign a Contratto Preliminare or, in other words, Compromesso (a Preliminary Contract). Therefore, the buyermust buy the object in the mentioned time period and the seller must stop negotiations with all other potential buyers.
The deposit is usually a percentage of the whole property price (it is usually 5%-10%). It can be a symbolic sum depending on the seller’s choice, beginning from € 5.000.00-8.000.00 (depending on the object’s price). This money will be later subtracted from the final sum.
Main elements of the “Offer”:
Description of the object.
Seller’s and buyer’s details (full names, places of birth, registrations, Italian TINs).
An obligation to buy the object in the mentioned time period, i.e. the date when the final contract will be signed is negotiated.
The seller’s statement saying that they have seen the object and are satisfied with it.
Price, terms and method of payment.
4) Contratto Preliminare di Compravendita
Preliminary Purchase Contract
The Preliminary Purchase Contract is usually negotiated a couple of days before the Purchase Contract.
A Preliminary Purchase Contract is a standard Italian contract with property description and its structure (the way it is registered in the Property Register (Nuovo Catasto Edilizio Urbano). The contract is made by a notary. When it is signed the buyer must buy the property and the seller must sell it.
The Preliminary Purchase Contract describes the official property price and states the payment terms to follow.
At this stage the buyer pays the seller about 20%-30% from the total amount. This deposit (caparra) guarantees that the terms of the deal will be fulfilled by both the buyer and the seller. If the buyer is unable to meet the requirements of the contract, they lose all the money that’s been paid to the seller. If for some reason the seller decides to refuse the deal, they will have to pay the buyer the doubled amount of the deposit for not meeting the terms of the contract.
The real estate agency gets an interest of 3-5% + VAT from the total value of the deal and it fully supervises the purchase.
Main elements of the Preliminary Purchase Contract:
The notary must make sure that:
- The deal is legal; there aren’t any debts or mortgage burdens.
- The object was built legally; it hasn’t been bought by anyone else or promised to anyone etc.
- The property conforms to planning rules and other Italian regulations.
- The seller is the real owner of the property (to ensure that an inquiry will be sent to the Property Register, where all the legal description of the property can be found including its legal status and all the legal information about the property for the past 20 years (all owners and all actual purchases).
When the contract is signed the notary must read it out and make sure that you understand what you are signing and agree with all the terms. Otherwise the contract won’t have any legal power whatsoever.
State Registration of the Deal
When the Final Contract is signed the notary registers the deal in the Real Estate Register (Conservatoria Registri Immobiliare). When the act is registered, another document is handed to the buyer – extract from the Real Estate Register. The buyer becomes a fully legitimate owner of the property.
The notary also forwards all the information to competent authorities (Cadastre and Tax Departments).
Though officially the property is yours and you get the keys to the house when you sign the Final Contract with the notary and the Notary Act, it usually takes about 45 days to register the property.