Once you have found a property that you like to buy, you lay an official offer in writing on the property, together with a symbolic payment which signifies your serious interest. The bid can be accepted or negotiated by the seller and may take up to a few weeks to settle.
Reservation and deposit
The buyer pays a small (symbolic) deposit, usually held by the estate agent, or a solicitor. When receiving the seller’s formal acceptance of the offer in written notice, the property is reserved by you (and not available for other buyers) for a certain amount of time. If you finalize the purchase, the deposit will be considered as partial payment of the purchase price. If your offer isn’t accepted, the deposit will be returned to you.
This is your Italian birth certificate that you need in order to sign the preliminary contract and for many other things, like paying taxes, electricity, and water bills or even purchasing a fixed mobile phone number. SteiVell or the local broker helps you arrange it for you.
Inspection of the property
An inspection may be recommended to verify its current state and in order to draft the specification of work that the seller shall undertake before finalizing the sale.
Before going ahead you ned to check that the title of the property at the Land registry is correct; that it belongs to the person who is undertaking to sell it, and to make sure it’s without any debts, mortgages or claims.
The insurance bond or bank guarantee secures the money paid for a property not yet completed or built. The seller of such property is by law bound to provide, at his own cost, a suitable bond to to protect the money paid in advance. The buyer will in case of the building company’s bankruptcy and failure to deliver the property, be covered by this bank/insurance bond and its insurance company, who will cover all the payments.
Preliminary Contract – Compromesso
The Compromesso is a legally binding agreement to sell/buy the property. It is a complex legal document which should contain all premises of the purchase. It defines the property in detail, including registry numbers from the Local Land Registry (Catasto) and blue prints. It states conditions such as agreed price and payment stages, deals with any existing mortgages or third parties’ rights and all other agreed conditions regarding the property purchase. When signing Compromesso, a deposit will be payable, ranging between normally 10% and 30% of the total price. The contract should be submitted to a specialized Italian lawyer for advice before signing. In some cases, you may choose to go directly to Rogito, the final contract and skip the procedure of Compromesso. In that case you are subjected to the same procedure but you will close the deal at once and will be entitled the direct access to the property.
First stage payment
is due at the time of signing the Compromesso. If you’re buying a property under construction, you shall receive the bank guarantee /Fiddeiussione before the money is sent to the seller. At this stage also the payment/commission to the broker, who receives a commission both from the seller and the buyer, is to be paid in full, or in part, as previously agreed.
Opening a bank account
A bank account will be needed for check payment at Rogito, the final contract, and for running costs such as water, electricity etc.
After completion of agreed works listed in Compromesso, it is recommended to verify the work through an inspection. If the state of the property complies with the premises of the Compromesso all should be in order for moving on to final contract. If not, a list of remaining work shall be communicated to the seller with a deadline, and preferably a specified penalty for time delay.
Final Contract, Rogito
This is the last step which finalizes the purchase. The Rogito is signed at the Notary selected by you, who has controlled and prepared all documents in advance. Contracts are read out load and if you don’t speak Italian you should have a trusted Italian-speaking person present during the meeting to represent you. You pay the remaining amount of the agreed property purchase price, either with a bank check of your Italian bank or with a bank transaction with immediate effect. Immediately after signatures has been exchanged and the money is available on the sellers account transferred, you are the owner with immediate access to your property.