Estate Agent Immobiliare Property Finder and Relocation Specialist

Estate Agent Immobiliare

Property Finder and Relocation Specialist

The Buying Process

The following information is for general guidance as every property transaction is unique.
Once you have settled on a property you should engage an Italian solicitor who will look after your interests. The knowledge that an Italian solicitor has of Estate Law is invaluable, as there are frequent changes of the jurisdiction, often obscure even to the most up-to-date estate agent.
Cella-Shirley can guide you towards highly professional multilingual solicitors.

First document

The first document you will be requested to sign is the “proposta irrevocabile d’acquisto” reservation offer. This document takes the property off the market for a limited period of time, varying from 15 days to a month. During this period the appointed surveyor/”geometra” will obtain all the necessary documentation from the land registry to ascertain the most up-to-date  property status and ensure it’s free of debt, mortgages or claims of any kind. A deposit will be required; to be held by the estate agent or solicitor in the name of the seller. Once the document is signed by both parties it becomes legally binding.


Second document

Their agreement will be formalized with the second official document: contratto preliminare / compromesso" preliminary contract. This legal contract is essential, as it sets detailed terms and conditions of sale. At this stage the “caparra confermatoria” deposit is paid, which is normally the equivalent of 10% of the agreed purchase price. The preliminary contract is registered at the tax office, “Agenzia delle Entrate”, where the purchase tax of the estate is partially paid. The remaining amount will be fully settled at contract exchange. In the “compromesso”  the date to finalize the conveyance in front of a public notary is also set.
The notary is a public official who has authority by Italian Law to validate contracts for transferring the ownership of a property. Payments for the Land Registry and Cadastral taxes for the purchase will be made to the notary by the buyer. The notary is a neutral and impartial party in the transaction.


Final step

Final step of the conveyance is the “atto di vendita /rogito” deed of sale, fully compliant with the preliminary contract that has set all the essential elements of the transaction. The deed is signed in front of witnesses by the seller and the buyer, the balance of the agreed amount is paid in full and keys are handed over to the new owners. A copy of the deed will be given to the new owners in approximately a month, time needed for the Land Registry to process the document.

The procedure takes in average up to 3 months and can vary according to the buyer’s and seller’s needs or if there are peculiarities in the purchase.


Costs involved in the buying process:

  • Agreed property price paid as follows: deposit at reservation offer/proposta irrevocabile d’acquisto; caparra confermatoria/main deposit generally around 10% of the agreed price; full and final payment at deed of sale.
  • Purchase tax is lower for residence and higher for Non-residents. The Tax is calculated on the rateable value of the property marked on the land registry records not on the purchase price.
  • Surveyors will carry out structural and/or land registry searches fees on application.
  • Notary fee paid the day of the deed of sale.
  • Surveyor fee to carry out legal and land registry status paid as requested.
  • Estate agent fee due at the compromesso/ preliminary contract.