Skip to main content

Purchasing Italian property the right way

Updated 26 Oct 2015

Those thinking of investing in property in Italy have to ensure they get things right, which is why the following rules are an excellent place to start.

Remain patient because the Italian courts and bureaucracy can be very testing and devious. However, remain calm because offending anyone involved can lead to further delays and difficulties.

Assume that the property you want to purchase does not have planning permission and that you cannot buy 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 nothing is outstanding.

If you are purchasing a property outright, make sure that you pay a deposit of between 10 and 20 percent of the property's price. 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Italian estate agents do not publish images online or in magazines of the property for fear that the buyer will be able to identify the property and cut the estate agent out of the process.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 to the process.

The commission is charged to both buyers and sellers at a rate of as much as 2.5 percent 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 family members want to sell whilst others do not.

If you are interested in purchasing land, be aware that neighbours have the first right to buy it 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 you get detailed estimates because Italians are not always 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 ensure that they are familiar with the area and the builders. They 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

Expat Health Insurance

Cigna Health Insurance

Cigna Global Health Insurance.

Medical insurance specifically designed for expats. With Cigna, you won't have to rely on foreign public health care systems, which may not meet your needs. Cigna allows you to speak to a doctor on demand, for consultations or instant advice, wherever you are in the world. They also offer full cancer care across all levels of cover, and settle the cost of treatments directly with the provider.

Get a quote from Cigna Global - 20% off

Moving Internationally?

Sirelo logo

International Movers. Get Quotes. Compare Prices.

Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.

Get your free no-obligation quotes from select removal companies now!