Buying Property in Italy

As an overseas buyer looking to purchase property in Italy, there are certain legal requirements and procedures you will to be aware of.
Here are some key points:

1. Legal Restrictions: There are generally no restrictions on foreigners buying property in Italy. Your country of citizenship must have a reciprocal agreement with Italy for purchasing property. For example, American citizens have the same rights as Italian citizens when it comes to owning real estate.

2. Codice Fiscale: Before purchasing a property, you will need to obtain a Codice Fiscale, which is a unique tax identification number in Italy. This number is necessary for various transactions, including buying property. You can get one through the Agenzia delle Entrate in person, online, or through a representative if you’re not in Italy. Having your codice fiscale ready will streamline the process and ensure a smoother experience.

3. Notary and Preliminary Agreement: In Italy, property sales must be completed before a notary public. The notary plays a crucial role in verifying the legality of the transaction and ensuring all necessary documents are in order. Prior to the final purchase, it is common to sign a preliminary agreement (contratto preliminare) that outlines the terms and conditions of the sale.

4. Due Diligence: It is essential to conduct thorough due diligence on the property before proceeding with the purchase. This includes verifying ownership, checking for any liens or encumbrances, and reviewing the property’s cadastral and urban planning documentation. A Geometra is the best person to assist.

5. Property Purchase Tax (Imposta di Registro): The purchase of a property in Italy is subject to a purchase tax, known as Imposta di Registro. The current rate for non-luxury properties is around 9% of the declared value (dependent on the property’s size, zoning, and type.) It is important to consider this tax when budgeting for your property purchase.

6. Legal Assistance: While not mandatory, it is recommended to engage the services of a qualified lawyer and/or geometra. They can guide you through the legal aspects of the transaction, review contracts, perform due diligence, and protect your interests.

7. Translator: If you are not fluent in Italian, it is advisable to have a professional translator or interpreter present during the notarial act and throughout the process to ensure clear communication and understanding of the documentation. The notary can hire one for you.

8. Financing: If you require financing, it is important to explore mortgage options either in Italy or through international lenders. Italian banks may require specific documentation and have their own requirements for granting mortgages to foreign buyers. Ask the real estate agent if they can assist.

It’s important to note that regulations and procedures can vary depending on the specific region in Italy. Therefore, it is recommended to seek advice from a qualified professional (geometra/lawyer) who specializes in Italian real estate law and is familiar with the local regulations in the area where you intend to purchase the property. They will guide you through the process, ensuring compliance with all legal requirements and protecting your interests as an overseas buyer.