The guarantee of a safe and certain purchase...

Main steps
in the property purchase procedure

The first step to do after finding your ideal home, in order to get to the final act, is to make a purchase offer, in writing, addressed to the seller and to pay a small deposit, usually by cheque, made payable to the owner, or by bank transfer. The real estate agent will fill out the form, which is written by the estate agency, inserting all the conditions relating to the sale. It contains precise promises made to the seller, by the potential buyer, including data and conditions for the purchase, such as: address and description of the property, cadastral data, price, terms and conditions of payment, the date for the preliminary signing, the date for the notarial deed, and the date by when the seller must accept the offer.

If the seller accepts your conditions (written acceptance) both parties will be bound to complete the sale as established in the offer and the seller will cash your cheque or bank transfer, usually equal to 5% of the agreed price, which will become the deposit.

In case of non-acceptance the seller, through the real estate agent, will return the amount paid. From that moment you are free to walk away the deal or you can reformulate a new proposal with the same procedure as the previous one.

The preliminary contract of sale (also called compromesso) is an agreement by which both parties promise to conclude a future contract (notarial deed) in which all the conditions set out in the purchase proposal are reported and extended.
In the compromesso, it must be clearly indicated, the identity of both parties, the characteristics and cadastral data of the property, the cost and payment methods, the date of signing the deed, when the transfer of ownership occurs.
Furthermore, it must be indicated that the house will be sold without burdens, liens or mortgages and is completely in order with town planning regulations.
At the preliminary contract, a further deposit is paid, usually equal to 15% of the agreed price, as a deposit.

The notarial deed is the final act of the sale and is signed before a notary and the interested parties (seller and buyer). Beforehand, the notary performs all the checks relating to the property for sale (cadastral checks, mortgage checks, etc.), draws up the deed that is signed in his presence and then performs the registration by paying the relative taxes, registers the documents, and carries out the cadastral transfer.

If there is a mortgage, a separate act for the mortgage is signed at this time, and the notary will record the bank as the mortgage lender. At the time of the deed, the final payment is made, of the price of the property, plus the relative notary costs and taxes.

Below is a table of taxes payable on the purchase of a property:

Tax summary

  Tax Primary Residence Secondary Residence
Purchase from a private seller
Registration Tax 2% of cadastral value * 9% of cadastral value
Local Tax Euro 50,00 Euro 50,00
Stamp Duty Euro 50,00 Euro 50,00
Purchase from a constructor
VAT 4% of purchase price 10% of purchase price
Registration Tax Euro 200,00 Euro 200,00
Local Tax Euro 200,00 Euro 200,00
Stamp Duty Euro 200,00 Euro 200,00

The requisites necessary to take advantage of the primary residence tax benefit are as follows:
The property must not be classed as a luxury property.
The property must be located in the municipality where the buyer is already resident, or in the municipality where the buyer will establish his residence within 18 months of purchase. The purchaser must not be the owner, or part owner of another property in Italy, which is already taking advantage of the primary residence tax benefit.

When buying a house, it is necessary to bear in mind the notary costs. If a loan is required, two deeds must be signed.
The fees for the two acts (purchase deed and mortgage deed) and the taxes due to the State (registration taxes and fixed taxes) vary according to the type of deed, and to the amount of the bank's mortgage. Therefore, it is always advisable to request a detailed estimate of the various costs.

The A.P.E. (previously known as A.C.E.) is the document that describes the energetic characteristics of a building, house or apartment. It summarizes the energy performance of the building with a scale from A4 to G (10-letter scale). When buying or renting a property, this certificate must be supplied by the seller and it is useful as a guide to the energy consumption of the property. It is issued by a qualified and registered technician.

The notary is a freelance professional and, at the same time, a public official. The notary, by law, cannot act in the interest of one of the parties to the detriment of other. This duty of impartiality exists even when the notary is chosen by one of the parties (this choice is, as a rule, carried out by the buying party). The notary guarantees the validity and effectiveness of the act. With the aid of the notary, appropriate guarantees can be established to protect the interests of the clients.

The contents of this page refer to general cases. We accept no liability for errors and / or omissions, as well as for outdated information contained herein.


The contents of this page refer to general cases. We accept no liability for errors and / or omissions, as well as for outdated information contained herein.