Real Estate in Italy

An Overseas Property in Italy

There are many reasons to buy a property in Italy, mainly it can be done for vacation, relocation or investment.
Foreigners love to buy real estate in Italy! Perhaps, because it is the first nation in the world for UNESCO heritage, for its natural beauty, for the excellent food, for the history we breathe, or for the Italian lifestyle. However, real estate sales by foreigners in Italy represent around 5.5 billion a year. According to a report published by the World Tourism Organization, Italy is the fifth most visited country in the world with 58.3 million visitors per year.

Contacting a Lawyer means having legal assistance in your exclusive interest, unlike any other professional involved in a property purchase in Italy

Yes, but hiring a lawyer means additional costs! Yes, but it is relatively true.

It could mean more spending, but often this expense is nothing compared to the security and guarantees that it holds with such an important purchase, as a property, in a Foreign Country, where, in the case of Italy, the bureaucracy and the laws are so different and among the most complicated of the World. Without neglecting the linguistic and cultural wall that is encountered in communications with the various operators of the transaction, the banking institutions, the notary, the owner of the property, or the eventual real estate agent involved.
Not to mention that in our due diligence, some legal issues can be discovered that represent a good negotiation element that can lower the final purchase price.

The legal due diligence in the buyer’s interest

The legal protection is ensured through scrupulous due diligence and property investigation, checking the regularity of the eventual agreements or contracts – also already signed – and the legitimacy of the actual claims by the parties, if these are regularly registered and formally valid through appropriate due diligence at the Competent Offices.

The lawyer identifies the taxation applicable to the specific case and proposes it to the parties as well as checking, following indications from the parties, the existence of the requirements for any tax benefits (for example, benefits for the purchase of a first home, or a tax credit or exemption in the case of transfers pursuant to separation or divorce proceedings).

Buy safely, avoiding future Courts litigations thanks to our legal check that can be done both in the ordinary and distressed market.

Are you really sure that you want to purchase unassisted property in a Foreign Country?

Buying a property can be tricky, it’s a process with several steps and variables that change the options and the terms of agreements, that’s why it is always better to have a legal check in any step of the transaction from start to finish.

Sometimes people hear that other foreigners bought safely alone, or just with the real estate agency, and they think that it is the rule: no lawyer needs. They think that everything will go smooth in their transaction too, but a lucky transaction isn’t a rule. It is always better, and cheaper, to hire a lawyer before the legal issues, to try to avoid possible pitfalls during the process of purchasing a property in Italy.

We discover evidence that can reduce the property price

As usual, preliminary checks can lead to lowering the price, solve the problems with the right negotiations, terms, and clauses, and this can lead to paying even less the previous property price!

If during our Due Diligence we find out any legal issues, we will suggest to the Client to negotiate the price keeping in mind this legal unexpected complication.

Often, we negotiate on Client’s behalf and we obtain a price reduction or an agreement with the seller that obliges himself to pay the costs of the cleaning of the property’s issue.

Off Plan Development (Vendita su carta)

In Italian you will read many listings regarding properties under construction (off-plan) with the definition “vendita su carta” it means is under development, so you buying a off-plan development.

This particular case has different clauses and legal warranties that an independent lawyer obtains for the best protection of the buyer.

Ex. Warranty covers all the sums deposited by the buyer to the seller, even in the case of the failure of the developer.

Buying assisted always leads to a better and smoother process.

Be sure to hire Independent Lawyers that represent only your interest in every single phase of the purchasing process. 

Our Legal Check is done in the real estate registries, check judicial issues or prejudicial property recording, mortgages, loans, liens or any legal issues upon the property, donations history check, protecting the Clients from any hidden fee or cost.

Without professional legal assistance, the buyer could discover these issues only after being the new owner, becoming obliged to pay and losing the possibility of negotiations with the seller when he has the power to do it.

It’s crucial to hire an English-speaking Italian Lawyer specialized in Property Law, working only on Client’s interest. We offer trustworthy independent legal services to international and foreign Clients with a specific focus on cross-border residential and commercial property transactions.

There is a good way to do the whole process in complete peace of mind. Keep reading to discover more about it!

Online” Purchase of Italian Property, Remote Transaction

Time is the most precious asset.

A service particularly appreciated by foreign investors concerns the case in which the client chooses to delegate all the formalities to our trusted professionals and see himself becoming the owner of the property without his physical presence in Italy.

In this case, the customer can sign a special power of attorney and be represented directly by the lawyers of the firm, also in the notarial deed.

You just need to push a single button and prepare the transfer to the Escrow Account, held by our Notary, and you’re done! We will take care of distributing the sums for the payments of balance price, expenses, and taxes.

Once the Notary Deed is ready, we will send it to you by email. At this stage, you will be officially the owner of the property and, if you need, we will keep the keys of the building for you.

Real Estate Investments in Sardinia, Italy.

The legal assistance is provided within the property ownership and all the legal rights of real estate transactions. Assistance is guaranteed at every stage of the purchase and sale agreements of properties with the intended uses such as residential, commercial, logistics, deposit or land, through the preparation of contracts and the necessary research and analysis of the legal files and documentation in order to prevent any prejudicial situations.

The consulting services offered also concern the drafting and negotiation of the lease, rental, rent to buy, loan and mortgage, exchange, loan, collateral arrangements, and commercial lease, with particular analysis on the special legislation, as Law n. 392/1978 and Law 431/1998.

We ensure that the interests of the clients are properly protected, landlords or tenants depending on the case, in critical situations such as breach of contracts and notice.

In the event of a breach of contract, the party is assisted before the competent Authorities, including the case of eviction procedures for arrears or for the end of lease with consequent release of the property, also thanks to the experience gained in the execution, expropriation and bankruptcy procedures.

The legal protection is experienced through a scrupulous investigation and due diligence and therefore the regularity of the private agreements – also already signed – and the rights claimed by the parties are properly verified. The property documents are then inspected with all the formalities required by the law to be carried out through appropriate due diligence at the competent offices, such as the Land Registry and the Conservatoria Office.

Distressed and Non-Performing Loan (NPL) Procedures

Within the executive and expropriative procedures, concerning the so-called distressed properties and NPL (non-performing loans), the Law Firm team provides legal protection according to the case to the client in court auctions, to the debtor, the creditor or to the bidder that intends to participate to win the auction obtaining the distressed property ownership. To this end, rigorous control of the documentation relating to the real estate assets is carried out and, for the best outcome of the practice, the most appropriate legal instruments are used according to the procedure under examination.

Contacting a professional, such as a Lawyer, is crucial and is synonymous of legal protection as his work is exclusive with the interests of his Client and this translates into savings on future expenses, legal disputes or litigations, and also in this last case, the assistance is given in any disputes.

In the matter of the related fiscal aspects and tax fees related to the purchase, sale or any other contract agreement of the real estate asset will be done, when necessary, professional communication with the Fiscal Agency.

The assistance offered also concerns all real estate rights, legal and/or conventional communions, easements, usufruct, possession and misuse, legal distances, lights, and views, as well as the property, condominium, including relationships with the administrator and other condominiums.

Condominium Law in Italy

The Firm offers its own consultancy to protect the interests of both the individual or the entire condominium, depending case by case.

The client is assisted in matters and disputes related to the condominium, below are listed the most common cases. Abusive occupation of common parts, advice in the assembly and related resolutions, validity of the same, advice in the procedures of mandatory mediation (Italian Legislative Decree n. 28/2010), appeals for payment injunction, proceedings for delivery of properties, complaint of new work or property damages, appeals against the Public Administration for defaults and omissions, appeal for release of property, evictions, violation, building abuses, water consumption concerning payment claims already prescribed or abnormal compared to the use of the single condominium or condominium.

Buy Your Luxury Italian Villa

Buy your Villa in Italy safely with our assistance and find exactly the property you were looking for thanks to our Real Estate Agency Partner that assists you in finding prestigious villas in Sardinia and in the other Top Destinations in Italy. Your dream property by the sea, in the countryside, on the lake of Como and Garda, or in the historical centers to enjoy the real Italian Dolce Vita in privacy with family and friends. Charming Villas in Tuscany or Rome and Cozy Houses with Pool in the best holiday locations in Italy.

Renovation and Rebuilding Agreements

The Firm, in synergy with qualified Partner Professionals with whom the Firm works, assists Clients through the delicate phase of the renovation and rebuilding of real estate properties and the related drafting of agreements.

Following the desire of our Clients, we take care of the check and legal due diligence upon the property drafting all the necessary agreements with the right clauses for the renovation and rebuilding of the property, especially if it an old residential property that needs a strong renovation. In this way, the property will gain an enhanced market value for the maximization of asset profitability.

Thanks to our technical partners, the assistance can be achieved, according to the Italian law, in the following ways too:

  • Technical and economic analysis of the real estate;
  • Opinions on possible development initiatives in compliance and within the constraints of urban planning and landscape;
  • Check and possible “sanatoria” request to the various Authorities in charge, in case of building abuses (abusi edilizi);
  • Change of use and destination, structural reorganization, and re-determination of the functions of the property;
  • Check of the Certificate of Habitability (certificato di abitabilità);
  • Check of the Energy Certification of BuildingsCertificato di Certificazione Energetica” “APE” and “AQE“;
  • Restructuring, rebuilding, renovation, and in general upgrade of the assets.

Real Estate Contracts

After the legal due diligence, our Lawyers provide their expertise drafting various real estate contracts as preliminary contracts; lease and rental contracts both for commercial and residential buildings; share transfer with related real estate assets; company rental contracts or leases of company divisions. The Client gets a consulting service for every legal aspect without having to suffer unpleasant “surprises” related to unfair terms, lack of guarantees.

Check Govonilaw Property Purchase Consulting Pack for complete legal assistance or directly contact us for further information.

Title Examination Before Buying

For the Offer and Preliminary Contract: Verified Legal Due Diligence in the Purchase of properties in Sardinia and all over Italy. Buy safely, avoiding future Courts litigations thanks to our legal check that can be done both in the ordinary and distressed market.

Before buying a home, have the title examined by a real estate attorney.

Buy safely your coastal sea view villa and rural house in the ordinary and distressed market, bargain, undervalued property, bankruptcy, and Public Heritage’s sale and auctions.

Our legal protection is done through scrupulous due diligence and property investigation, checking the regularity of the eventual agreements or contracts – also already signed – and the legitimacy of the actual claims by the parties, if these are regularly registered and formally valid through appropriate due diligence at the Competent Offices.

Property Due Diligence & Title Examination of a Property is done in the following way:

  • Check of the documents and reports at the Catasto Office;
  • Check of the documents and reports at the Conservatoria Office;
  • Check for any prejudicial Transcription;
  • Check for any prejudicial Donation;

Otherwise, you can hire us asking for the Property Purchase Consulting Pack, and receive the complete legal assistance for buying your house in Sardinia or in a top destination in Italy.

In any case, we will ensure that:
1) The seller really owns the property and has the right to sell it:

The lawyer ascertains the identity of the parties involved in the transaction and their right to act, by verifying the matrimonial property regime applicable between spouses, any power of attorney, etc.

Our check on the identity of the parties serves to avoid the risk of identity theft, which is widespread in jurisdictions where there is no “Latin” notary.

2) The property is not mortgaged:

We ascertain that there are no previous mortgages, liens or foreclosures recorded at the Territorial Offices of the taxation authorities.

We will ensure also that the property in question is not subject to specific constraints e.g. in terms of public housing (existence of particular individual requirements on the buyer, or price constraints), or right of first refusal in favor of certain persons, or covenants regarding assets classified as of historic, artistic or archaeological value.

3) The previous owner has paid all service charges:

Upon completion, it will be essential to have the managing agent prepare a statement on the payment in full of service charges and levies by the seller since the buyer is liable for the non-payment of service charges due in the previous year.

4) The cadastral plan conforms to the actual state of the property:
Our Due Diligence includes the check for ensuring that the cadastral plan exists and must bring it to the
attention of the parties; the seller must declare and guarantee correspondence between the cadastral plan and the actual state of the property.

5) The necessary checks have been put in place to ensure that the property is in order in terms of  building/planning permissions

6) An appropriate fiscal regime adopted by the parties:
The lawyer identifies the taxation applicable to the specific case and proposes it to the parties as well as checking, following indications from the parties, the existence of the requirements for any tax benefits (for example, benefits for the purchase of a first home, or a tax credit or exemption in the case of transfers pursuant to separation or divorce proceedings).

7) The energy performance of buildings is certified in accordance with national and regional rules:

8) Regulations have been observed regarding money launderingtraceability of payments and the commissions and legal fees paid.

Property Purchase Consulting Pack

Legal Due Diligence and Preliminary Contract Drafting.

This the most requested service that includes the Real Estate Legal Due Diligence, the Condominium Check, the Tax & Fiscal Consulting and the Live Assistance of our Lawyers in the Notary Closing with real-time Juridical Translation. We will also take care of the Italian Notary Correspondence on your behalf and organize the Closing Deed and be there with you for any clarification and juridical assistance. Before that step, the Firm draws up the Preliminary Contract with the necessary clauses for the protection of the client. In fact, this contract, known as “Contratto Preliminare” is the agreement with which the parties mutually oblige themselves to sign a final Notary Deed otherwise we will recover the sums deposited by the buyer plus compensation for damage.

Preliminarily, on your behalf:

  • We obtain the Italian Fiscal Code Codice Fiscale, necessary for the purchase of a house in Italy;
  • We provide to open your Italian Bank Account, for the deposits of sums and future payments of bills and taxes upon the Italian property. In the case of foreign bank mortgage, for a more transparent and safe transaction, we provide an escrow account service, from our Notary Partner.

If our Legal Due Diligence gives us a positive output we can go on in the further steps.

1) Proposal Offer drafting (in Italian, Proposta d’Acquisto), where the potential Property Buyer pays a Fiduciary Deposit to guarantee the proposal held by Govoni law firm. This sum is usually around 10% of the property price.

In the offer we will write the economic terms of the purchase;

2) If the Seller accepts the offer and the terms, we draft the Preliminary Contract with all the clauses for the terms and guarantees as per buyer proposal and it will need a payment that will be added to the previous sum to reach the 10% for the Caparra;

3) ConveyancingNotary Deed (Closing) “Rogito Notarile” will complete the purchase with the final balance.

The notarial deed represents the final act of the real estate purchase negotiation. The Notary is chosen by the buyer, we usually suggest our Partner Notary for a smoother procedure.
The final checks on the existence of mortgages, practices of building amnesty and town-planning problems, can be expressly entrusted to the Notary, which is a third and impartial professional; anyway, he assumes the responsibility of recording the seller’s statements, not their veracity. This is one of the good reasons to hire an expert Lawyer.

The Preliminary Contract (commonly known as “Contratto Preliminare”)

This is the first contract that the seller and the buyer must sign. Sometimes, however, the preliminary contract is preceded by a purchase proposal (“Proposta d’Acquisto”). With the preliminary contract, the party agrees to sell/buy; the total price of the property is set, as well as the terms of payment, the actual timing of the sale and the amount of the advance payment (down payment/deposit) that is paid at that moment to the vendor. 

This preliminary agreement (even if it is concluded privately) gives rise to commitments that are legally enforceable. They pose constraints for both the seller and the buyer: if after payment of the deposit the buyer decides not to buy the property, the seller may retain the deposit; but if the seller decides not to sell, the buyer is entitled to receive back an amount equal to double the deposit paid.

It should also be pointed out that if the preliminary contract is made with a notarial deed, the contract can be “transcribed” into the registries: in this way the buyer is protected from any problem that may arise during the period of time between preliminary contract and completion of the Notary Deed, such as mortgages, foreclosures or bankruptcy of the seller.

In case of insolvency of the seller, for example, registration of the preliminary contract allows for recovery of all or part of the amounts paid. This suggested approach offers the best protection for the buyer.” 

Don’t fall in the most common mistakes that buyers keep doing again and again. Buy Safe!

Italy Property Buying Guide

How to Buy Your House In Italy: Discover the correct legal procedure to buy your house smoothly without errors in complete peace of mind, with a legal consulting through the drafting and negotiation of contracts and agreements with the necessary research and analysis of legal documentation.

Real Estate Purchase Process in Italy

The correct legal procedure to buy your house smoothly, without errors, in complete peace of mind, needs proper legal consulting, in the jungle of Italian bureaucracy and formalities.

We are buyer’s attorneys for real estate interests. Our legal advice focuses on individuals who want to buy a property in Sardinia, Italy.

Our assistance starts with legal due diligence, drafting, and negotiation of transactional contracts and agreements, with the necessary research and analysis of legal documentation in the Public Real Estate Registries. To give an idea of the steps, of course not exhaustively, we offer a classic example of a foreigner buying a property in Italy.

1) The Italian Tax Code “Codice Fiscale

The Tax Code (in Italian, Codice Fiscale) is necessary for being able to purchase a property in Italy. This has to be requested from the Revenue Agency (in Italian, Agenzia delle Entrate).

2) Opening of a Bank Account In Italy “Conto Bancario

When you want to buy a property it is useful to open a bank account in Italy both because it will make the payment procedures more streamlined, and because it will be necessary to have the bank domiciliation for the automatic payment of the utilities (very appreciated by the foreigners or Italians who live abroad).

3) Legal Due Diligence “Controllo Legale

A Legal check is always a good idea, for example, to see if the property is properly registered, if it really belongs to the seller, if it is or not subject to mortgages or hidden issues, fees, or condominium insolvency. Avoid future headaches and expensive mistakes!

4) Mortgage (Eventual step)

Govonilaw assists foreigners to buy a property with a mortgage, following the communications with the bank and the legal steps of the procedure in Italy.

5) Proposal Offer “Proposta d’Acquisto

When a potential buyer, after having visited several properties, decides to proceed with the purchase of one of them, consider the best price and send to the seller a PROPOSAL OFFER (in Italian, Proposta d’acquisto).
This Offer will have a Fiduciary Deposit to guarantee the proposal and will be held by the Law Firm, this sum should be around 5.000 €.
The proposal offer must be made in writing (usually it is valid for 7-15 days), while the communication of acceptance can be given verbally.
Once the seller signs the proposal, accepting the price offered, he agrees not to sell the property to any other buyer until a certain date. This is done to protect the buyer from the possibility of losing the purchase of the property.

6) The Preliminary Contract “Contratto Preliminare

Once the proposal is officially accepted, the economic terms and the legal clauses are part of the preliminary contract (contratto preliminare) that is necessarily drafted by a lawyer.
The preliminary contract is the agreement with which the parties mutually undertake the stipulation of a subsequent final contract (deed). However, it must be clear that the proposed offer, if stipulated and accepted, already creates a legally binding relationship between the parties.
The Preliminary Contract will need a payment that will be added to the previous sum, to reach 10% for the Caparra (if this is the agreed percentage);
Once the preliminary contract has been signed by both parties and the deposit has been paid, the seller can decide to withdraw only by returning to the buyer twice the deposit paid.

7) The Notary Deed “Rogito Notarile

The notarial deed represents the final act of the real estate sale negotiation. The Notary is chosen by the buyer, we usually suggest our Partner Notary for a smoother procedure.
The final checks on the existence of mortgages, practices of building amnesty and town-planning problems, can be expressly entrusted to the Notary, which is a third and impartial professional; anyway, he assumes the responsibility of recording the seller’s statements, not their veracity. This is one of the good reasons to hire an expert Lawyer.

Costs for the Purchase of a Property in Italy

The costs for the purchase of a property in Italy are between 10-20% of the purchase price.

• Commission for the Real Estate Agency, “Agente Immobiliare

In the event that you buy a house through a real estate agency, the commission due to the agency is around 3% of the purchase price + 22% VAT.

Once the communication to the proposer of the acceptance of the proposal by the owner of the asset has taken place, the deal is to be considered concluded for the agency pursuant to art. 1755 Cod. Civ. with the relative right to commission.

Generally, 3% + VAT is recognized by both the seller and the buyer.

• Indirect taxes: Registration tax – Mortgage tax – Cadastral tax

The “declared cadastral value” c.d. “Price value” in the deed represents the tax base on which these three taxes are applied, usually lower than the market value of the property. But the rule of “cadastral value” is not applicable to all trades; in fact, for example, if the buyer purchases not as a “private”, but as a “company”, the tax base will be given by the commercial price of the property.

The amount of these three fees to be paid varies depending on the type of property and the “characteristics” of the buyer and seller:

A) Trading subject to proportional registration tax (ie those in which the selling party is: a private person; or a company that has neither built nor renovated the building; or a company that has built or renovated the building from over 5 years and in place does not exercise the VAT option):

1. Registration taxImposta di Registro

  • first home: 2%, “prima casa” (on the cadastral value);
  • second home: 9% (on the cadastral value if you buy a private one or to calculate on the declared price if a company is to buy or a natural person who buys as a sole proprietor or a professional);

>> Registration tax can never be less than € 1,000.

2. Fixed mortgage tax: 50 euros;

3. Land registry tax: 50 euros.

B) Sales subject to VAT (ie those in which the selling party is: the company that has built or renovated the building for less than 5 years; or the company that has built or renovated the building for more than 5 years and in place exercises the VAT option):

VATItalian “Partita Iva” (P.IVA)

  • first home: 4% (always to be calculated on the declared price in progress);
  • second home: 10% (to be always calculated on the declared price in progress);
  • luxury building: 22% (to be calculated on the declared price in progress);
  • Fixed registration tax: 200 euros;
  • Fixed mortgage tax: 200 euros;
  • Fixed land registry tax: 200 euros;
  • Fixed stamp duty: 230 euros;
  • Fixed mortgage fee: 35 euros;
  • Fixed transfer fee: 55 euros.

• Notary fees: Usually about 1 – 2% of the property price.

• Other expenses: For example legal fees; surveyor or architect for property inspection; moving company.

Ownership/Management Costs:

• IUC (single municipal tax)

It is a tax that includes 3 taxes: IMU (you do not pay on your first home unless it is a luxury home), TASI (tax on municipal services such as road maintenance, public lighting, etc.) and TARI ( waste, garbage). Who owns property in Italy, whether resident or non-resident, is subject to IUC payment, the amount of which is divided into two / three tranches. The IMU is applied to the cadastral value of the building plus 5%. The amount must be further multiplied by the coefficient corresponding to the cadastral category. The basic rate for second homes is 0.76%, but the municipality may decide to increase or decrease it by 0.3%. The same argument is also valid for TASI. But it must also be considered that the sum of TASI and TARI cannot exceed 10.6%.

The TARI is instead calculated on the basis of square meters.

• Utilities: Electricity, water, heating, telephone, gas usually provide for the payment of a fixed plus a part to consumption and are paid every two months.

• Condominium fees: If you buy a property that is part of a condominium, you will have to pay a condominium fee that will vary depending on the size and type of condominium area.

Distressed Real Estate in Italy

Legal Assistance to Buy a House In Court

The Govoni Law Firm has matured over the years an important experience in the field of bankruptcy law, executions and insolvency procedures in general. In particular, our lawyers assist the Client in the purchase of properties in the non-performing loan market, or in insolvency proceedings.

With years of experience, assisting clients (debtor, creditor or bidder who intends to make an offer) in Court Auctions concerning Distressed Properties object of foreclosure or in general insolvency procedures.

Judicial Auctions, Competitions, and Negotiations for the purchase

We perform a legal check on assets subject to interest of the Client and we represent them in every stage of the purchase transaction until obtaining the ownership of these distressed properties in Italy.

Regarding the property-related circuit of non performing loans (NPL), our Team assists and represents clients in all kind of purchase, such as: sale; auction; invitation to offer; direct offer; private negotiation; sale asynchronous; private auction; notarial authentic; bidding; informal bidding; restricted tender with Commissioner; sealed bid; solicitation of lease; assignment; competitive sale.

The purchase of the property, even if involved in insolvency procedures, foreclosures or otherwise related to distressed assets, will be done safely and guaranteed thanks to the advanced control and due diligence done by our Lawyers that will allow the transfer of the assets purged from any prejudicial transcription.

The Process for Purchasing a Property By Judicial or Court Auction

1) Free preliminary interview;
2) Search the real estate that you are looking for;
3) Check of the Customer requirements: disposable income, type of purchase (first home, summer
house, etc.) and evaluate any additional benefits (for example tax benefits for investments);
3) Formal verification of prejudicial issues, misuse and hidden costs that may exist;
4) Obtaining the Italian Fiscal Code on behalf of the foreign Customer;
4) Participation in the Auction on behalf of the Customer, up to a maximum price set by him;
5) Deposit 10% of the offered price following the rules of the Court;
7) Assistance in all procedural formalities to obtain the property and the transfer deed;
8) If the Customer wins the property we will follow all the post-win formalities in accordance with
the terms of the law, such as the transcription of the transfer deed until obtaining the keys of the

We strongly recommend considering this kind of investment with proper financial availabilities.
If you want some specifications sheet, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Mortgage & Loans for Non-Residents and Foreigners

Buy with Leverage a Property Asset: Buy a Real Estate Asset with the assistance of our Team in the various steps of the process in Sardinia and all over Italy. It could be the purchase of a property by the sea, in the city center, or in the countryside.

Mortgages and Loans for Properties in Sardinia, Italy. Govonilaw assists foreigners to buy a property with a mortgage, following the communications with the bank and the legal steps of the procedure in Italy.

Foreigners can buy houses in Italy with a mortgage, and it is possible with various Italian banks, but in order to obtain it there are some general requirements that need to be met.
Let’s try to get more into the details of the procedure of mortgage lending to foreigners to know more about this opportunity.

1) Individual Foreigner Financial Check: The bank will review your personal finances (such as income, salary, guarantees, properties, etc.) to see your stable economic status;
2) Property Check: Then, they will check the property, obtain information and data about it, figuring out if there are any issues against the possible mortgage;
3) Mortgage Application: You will make a mortgage application following some specific forms;
4) Pre-Approval: If the previous steps went well, you will obtain an informal pre-approval;
5) Surveyor Inspection and Compliance: the bank will send a surveyor appointed for the property inspection and he will do a compliance reporting to the bank any technical issue on the property and its evaluation, in this way, the bank will know how much has to lend to the foreigner in the agreed percentage of the property value;
6) Notary Title Check: a notary will be appointed by the mortgage applicant to review the property title and issue a title check report for the bank;
7) Final Mortgage Approval: Assuming that the foreigner’s solvency, house status, and title have been checked out without any problem, the bank issues a formal mortgage approval;
8) Funds Release: After mortgage approval, the parties agree on a signing date for the notary deed (done the same day of the deed of property purchase), and finally, the foreigner will receive the funds.

The real market value of the property is usually much higher than the cadastral value, and sometimes both can differ from the bank surveyor.

To complete the mortgage process, the bank might want you to open an Italian bank account with them to set up automatic mortgage payments, but since it isn’t a legal requirement you could agree to use your current Italian bank account if you already have one.
The mortgage obtained will be anyway not for the 100%, often the bank will lend up to foreigners 50-60% of property value.

“A mortgage loan is the typical financing contract within our legal system and almost always one of the parties is a bank.
To obtain a home loan it is sufficient to approach a bank and provide the documentation it requests.
Those applying for a mortgage loan who need clarification can also consult, in addition to the bank, various consumer associations and their usual notary who can furnish all the advice and information needed for the operation.

It is not necessary, on the other hand, to make use of a credit intermediary (e.g. a credit broker or financial asset manager): if this occurs, the costs of the operation are destined to grow, the broker’s fee sometimes is expressed as a percentage of the amount borrowed. Common sense and prudence are necessary for applying for a home loan or other financing in general. 
The use of credit is now common for the purchase of motor vehicles or non-durable, sometimes inessential, goods. Also, the use of electronic means of payment often does not allow one to fully assess a dangerous decline in one’s savings.
One must, therefore, be fully aware that the accumulation of installments that have been inadequately weighed up at the time the commitments were made, could render the periodic payments out of real family income unsustainable, thus in some cases causing serious financial difficulties with unpredictable consequences.

Sometimes it is wiser to give up, limit or postpone a purchase. Good advice and the exchange of views with an expert can help ensure one’s future serenity.  The lawyer, in addition to checking the validity of the contract and accepting responsibility toward the bank as to the ownership and freedom from encumbrance of the property denominated as security, checks in the contract for the existence of any unfair terms detrimental to the client, prevents fraud that might harm the bank or the client and, by virtue of his experience and training, can advise the borrower regarding the best solutions, pointing out provisions that could lead to an imbalance in the contractual terms. 

The practice of contacting the notary early on is really crucial because the notary has less room for maneuver if problems are raised when contractual deadlines are imminent and when the buyer of the property, to meet his commitments, absolutely must somehow and without delay obtain the release of the funds. It should be remembered also that prior intervention of the notary in contracts of this kind is in effect an opportunity to obtain legal assistance that is routinely included in the total cost of the deed.

A mortgage loan normally accompanies the purchase of real estate (a so-called “fondiario” loan, i.e. secured by real estate, where the amount is not more than 80% of the market value of the mortgaged property), so that it very frequently happens that the deed of sale and the mortgage are signed in front of the notary simultaneously. In this case, too, it is useful to contact the notary well in advance, so as to have all the information necessary for the procedures to be followed with the bank, especially with regard to the mode of delivery of the money, which is not always at the time the mortgage deed is signed”.

WARNING: In 2019, Italian banks unlikely to approve a mortgage for foreign nationals or Italian citizens working abroad. One option is to ask your mortgage or loan to the bank where the foreigner resides and/or works. In our experience, the latter option is a viable one. Anyway, we are in touch with major Italian Banks and Institutions, so if you need a mortgage let us know.

Taxes & Fiscality: Delivering tax advice for the developer, investor, landlord, private and corporate client with a real estate asset. Communicating on your behalf with the Bank Institutions for financing and mortgage associated with a real estate acquisition and investment.

Property Taxation & Fiscal Law

Property Taxation for Real Estate Transactions

Delivering tax advice for the developer, investor, landlord, private and corporate client with a real estate asset. Communicating with the Bank Institutions for financing and mortgage associated with a real estate acquisition and investment.

Do you need a bank account in Italy? 

  • Govonilaw has an excellent connection with primary banking institutions useful for these cases where the customer intends to ask for a mortgage or loan for the property purchase and all the other operations related to the opening of a bank account in Italy, this is very good to streamline the procedures for purchase and prepare the next bank domiciliation for the payment of utilities related to the property, a choice much appreciated by foreign customers;
  • The Lawyers take care of the client’s interests in the real estate tax aspects and the tax reduction and deductions according to the Italian legislation;
  • The Professionals advice in fiscal aspects of the purchase, in the case of a seller as a private or developer, with the proper legal warranty and insurance upon the property;
  • Problem-solving: If one of the parties detract from the obligations assumed, since an inert or defaulting, having been signed the preliminary contract and the deposit paid, pursuant to art. 1385 and ss. Code Civil, the seller purchaser that fails the obligation must return the double of the deposit, if the buyer fails to attend its obligations, he will lose the deposit. The Firm deals with the recovery of these sums on behalf and in the interests of the client assisted. Furthermore, there are other solutions, but it depends on a case by case.

Escrow Account

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Buy Safe: Buying a property safely done with an escrow account service or fiduciary deposits (conto dedicato) held by our trusted Notary according to the Italian Law n. 147/2013 for the Proposal Offer or Caparra in the Preliminary Contract, acquiring the property in complete peace of mind.

Buying a property without the client’s physical presence, safely done with an escrow account service, acquiring the property in complete peace of mind.

“An escrow account is a separate account that a lawyer can set up in conjunction with their client. The account is generally set up with a bank and is used to hold money that the client deposits in relation to the home sales transaction. These are usually monetary amounts dedicated to closing costs, settlement costs, and other costs related to the formal closing process. When the time comes for the amounts to be used, they will be distributed as needed.

In some cases, certain legal issues can arise in relation to the escrow account. These may include:

  • Commingling funds- The professional is not allowed to mix their personal funds into the escrow account, as the account should be used solely for the purpose of holding the client’s assets until the distribution of the assets
  • Using funds for personal purposes- The professional cannot use the escrow account funds for their own personal use or gain
  • Breach of contract- The account is to be used in a way that does not breach an escrow agreement or contract
  • Fraud- Full disclosure and transparency are needed in order to prevent misrepresentation and similar issues”

You should consider hiring a Real Estate Lawyer in your area if you need help with an escrow account. Your attorney can help you with account negotiations, setting up an account, and other tasks. Also, if there’s a dispute or conflict with the account, your attorney can help you file a lawsuit and can represent you in order to help you obtain the appropriate remedy.

Seller Financing

Buy a house in Italy without a mortgage.

Seller financing is a loan provided by the seller of a property or business to the purchaser. Often used by individuals in the context of residential real estate. Also known as Owner financing, it is a creative financing kind of purchase where the buyer obtains financing directly from the seller of that property. It is also known as seller financing, bond for title, or a longer kind of “rent to buy”.

Buy without Mortgage

owner financing
Discover Seller Financing in Italy!

Buy a house in Italy without a mortgage.

Owner financing is a creative financing kind of purchase where the buyer obtains financing directly from the seller of that property. It is also known as seller financingbond for title, or a longer kind of “rent to buy”. 

This is a classic creative method of purchase known, especially in the USA, the buyer uses a contract as the purchase tool, but usually obtain the title to the property only when he has paid the last installment of the agreement. Practically, he pays the equity in installments over time, usually various years, in the meanwhile, the buyer will act as the owner of that property, getting all the benefits, but also the expenses, and gaining appreciated equity above the value of the property that is growing from the time of the agreement. 

This financing tool often occurs if the buyer can’t obtain a normal mortgage or home loan for whatever reason.

Being an unconventional purchase method could be often associated with specific legal issues and concerns, such as higher down payments, compared to the ordinary mortgage loans; delayed transfer of the deed, the home is not transferred until the all of the payments are made.

A crucial specific legal concern is the Negotiation between the parties.

Since no institutional lenders are involved, the parties will have to negotiate all the financing terms, clauses and conditions on their own, doing their best to be fair and equal. While this can lead to a more tailored finance arrangement, both parties need to be sure that their interests are correctly represented and protected in the arrangement. 

It is already a hard task for parties speaking the same language, and it is even more complex for foreign buyers.

That’s one of the reason because is strongly recommended to be assisted by an Independent English speaking Italian Attorney. He will take care of your interest, considering the various legal aspects of the complex Italian legislation.  

Obtain a Codice Fiscale

You can easily do it without leaving your Country

Doing any activity in Italy needs several legal requirements, one of the most important is the Italian Fiscal Code (CF). We obtain it on your behalf online.

Another appreciated service is the opening of both personal and corporate bank accounts in Italy, also remotely with the POA.

Doing any activity in Italy needs several legal requirements. The Codice Fiscale is an important element, let’s discover what is it.

What is a Codice Fiscale?

The Italian Codice Fiscale (CF) is an Italian tax code, fiscal code or tax number assigned by birth to Italians and upon request to foreigners.

It is issued by the “Agenzia delle Entrate” (the Italian Revenue Agency) and is an alphanumeric code of 16 characters, that represents the individual’s name, gender, date, and place of birth. Codice Fiscale is similar to the National Insurance Number issued in the United Kingdom or the Social Security Number (SSN) in the United States Of America.

The utility of a Codice Fiscale. Why should you need it?

Codice Fiscale is a government identification number which is required for a wide range of crucial activities in Italy, such as:

  • Opening a bank or a postal account;
  • Signing and registering a Preliminary Contract for a property purchase;
  • Buying or inheriting a real estate property;
  • Buying or registering a vehicle;
  • Obtaining an Italian mortgage;
  • Signing a contract of leasing/rent for an apartment for a stay longer than 30 days;
  • working or getting a job;
  • signing contracts with utility companies (for example gas, water, internet, phone company, etc.).

For these aforementioned reasons, it is a very crucial element of a foreigner with some interests in Italy, and an indispensable part of Italian life.

The fact of requesting and obtaining it doesn’t mean alone that the foreigner will owe any tax to the Italian Revenue Agency.

It will become necessary to pay taxes when the individual will own qualifying assets in Italy or after becoming an Italian resident with a taxable income.

Application requirements for the Italian Codice Fiscale:

  • E.U. members and Italian dual citizens must present a valid passport copy;
  • Non-E.U. members and those who require a VISA to travel to Italy must present a valid passport and visa;

Besides the application process, dealing with the Italian government can be challenging and bureaucratic. Starting from the long lines at the Revenue Agency to the language misunderstanding for non-Italian speakers (also considering that very often the Agency employee doesn’t speak English isn’t eager to use any time for explanations or clarifications).

Double-check the paperwork.

It is always a good practice to double-check the elements of the Codice Fiscale paperwork, be sure to verify their accuracy. Sometimes mistakes can and do happen, so be sure that your code matches the information on your passport before using it for any operations.

Obtain it with a Representative Lawyer.

For these reasons, is always suggested to ask a professional Lawyer to request it on the foreigner’s behalf, to make the process smoothly and without the physical presence in Italy. Avoiding to spend time, money for flights and accommodations, besides the big efforts and stress especially for those people new to Italian bureaucracy.

Hiring a representative can make the process much faster, easy, without the hassles and issues of doing it personally.

We are highly experienced in dealings with the Italian bureaucracy and providing assistance to foreigners in their legal interests in Italy, mainly in Sardinia, offering a professional and friendly way to assist you start your life in Italy.

The Power of Attorney (POA, Procura)

The power of attorney (POA) in Italian “Procura” is an institution regulated by articles 1387 and following of the Italian civil code, concerning voluntary representation and the power to act in the name and account of another person in the fulfillment of legal acts whose effects will arise directly on the represented person.

Some example of the practical utility of a Power of Attorney:

  • Real Estate Conveyancing (including all preparatory activities for the notary deed) otherwise, the alternative a foreigner that doesn’t speak Italian, in order to execute a property transaction in Italy, needs to be physically present and have a legal translation of the contract. In this case, an interpreter is required to be part of the closing before an Italian notary and the transaction deed is required to be prepared in two languages (Italian and the foreign language). Note: For the Clients present in Italy, to make it more convenient, we usually assist them in the notary deed giving them the legal explanation of any point of the act, in this way, the client avoid to pay other expenses for interpreters and translators;
  • Italian inheritance claims, refusal, or related transfers of funds;
  • Requesting and Obtaining a Codice Fiscale;
  • Opening, modifying, managing or closing a bank account;
  • Requesting and Obtaining a Loan or a Mortgage;
  • Property or Asset Management.

Types of the Power of Attorney.

When someone confers the power to another person to perform acts in the name and on behalf of these, it is called a Power of Attorney and it can be special or general, depending on whether that is conferred for the performance of specific tasks or for a series of activities not previously determined.

To be more clear, the general power of attorney, for an indeterminate number of acts, may confer authorization power only for the completion of acts of business as usual or ordinary administration.

On the other hand, the special power of attorney may confer authorization power also for the performance of special administration acts. The acts performed by the representative will have the characteristic of being directly effective in the legal sphere of the represented (article 1388 of the civil code).

Why should I need one to buy my property in Sardinia or anywhere in Italy?

From the juridical point of view, therefore, it will be as if the documents were put in place by the person represented.

To give an example, a person may purchase a real estate asset (a luxury villa in Sardinia) through an attorney who represents him for the whole process and at the time of the notary deed, acting on his behalf. In this case, the purchased asset will be directly owned by the represented person, not by the representative who appeared at the time of the purchase.

Form of the Power of Attorney.

Article 1392 of the civil code disregards the form that the power of attorney must-have.

The latter must not have a predetermined form but must have as a minimum form that of the deed that the representative will complete in the name of the represented. In other words, the Power of Attorney has no effect if it is not conferred with the forms prescribed by law for the act that the representative must conclude.

If still using the real estate example a POA is given to purchase a real estatasset, the written form will be required as a minimum, in this case, a POA given orally will have no effect.

At the same time, if the POA is signed abroad, it will be necessary the legalization, notarized or apostilled, depending on the location of the represented while signing the Power of Attorney.

Limitations of the POA.

The representative, however, in the exercise of the power conferred, must observe very specific limits. The representative, in fact, can never exceed the limits set in the delegation act. If, for example, the power to purchase real estate has been conferred, the representative cannot contract with a contractor for restoration or any other unrelated action. The contract performed in the absence of the powers of representation will remain ineffective.

However, the proxy does not allow the representative to perform any act. It cannot be conferred for the fulfillment of so-called “very personal” acts, to which the interested party must necessarily take part. For example, it will not be possible to draft a will by Power of Attorney, as it is a very personal act.

If you want to complete any transaction or juridical action, but you are abroad, contact Govoni Lawyers, we will gladly assist you with the Power of Attorney.

Open a Bank Account

Often this is done with the idea of using it to purchase an Italian real estate property or start a business in Italy.

Before opening a bank account, the Client will need to request and obtain a Codice Fiscale (we offer within our service also the request to obtain the Codice Fiscale on behalf of the Client).

Depending on the banks and the Clients information or account type will be possible to request and open the account through a Power of Attorney (POA) without your physical presence in Italy. Our Lawyers will take good care of your best interests.

With the Italian bank account, the Client will have online-based services, such as Home Banking, which allow to manage it in real time and without the physical presence in Italy.

According to the bank compliance checks, depending on the client’s needs, there are strict regulations, both Italian and European, that will ask for further information before opening the account, and monitoring outgoing or ingoing funds.

We provide maximum assistance and cooperation in opening the bank account according to the Client’s needs.

Apostille and Legalization

Make your foreign documents legal in Italy

When you need to use foreign documents in Italy, you need to follow some legal steps of authentication and legalization. It can be done through Apostille and Legalization procedures, but it depends if your Country is part of the Hague Conference of 1961. We assist Clients with these procedures for any legal document or act.

When you need to use foreign documents in Italy, you need to follow a proper procedure of authentication and legalization. This is possible through the Apostille or Legalization, depending on if your Country is part of the Hague Conference of 1961. Read further down to better understand what these two procedures are.

The Apostille is a certificate done by the competent authority in each of the Countries part of the Convention of Hague, on October 5, 1961. Drafted by the Hague Conference on Private International Law, the Apostille abolished the legalization requirement for foreign public documents.

This certificate authenticates the seal and signature of the country’s authority. In this way issues a document that is legally valid also other Countries.

Check here to read if your Country is part of the Hague Conference.

The Legalization certifies the Documents from Countries not part of the 1961 Hague Conference. These documents need to follow a longer procedure than the Countries of The Hague Conference. Anyway, they are still authenticated by the diplomatic or consular authority of the target Country.

The legalization certifies that the authority issuing a document has legal quality and that its signature and/or stamp are verified. However, some bilateral or multilateral conventions may be exempt from any international authentication process.

We assist Clients with all these international procedures for any legal document or act (certificateswillsnotarial actscourt orders, etc.) from abroad in Italy and vice versa.

Take a look at the Investment Reports 2019 and minimum requirements.

Discover Public Real Estate

Invest in a High-End public property – Italian Public Heritage

The Italian Government is selling amazing and unique properties, representing a top-tier investment, otherwise impossible to find in the ordinary market.

Some example of these properties are:

  • top villa in prime locations, 
  • offices in top areas,
  • hotel in front of the sea,
  • old lighthouses, 
  • beaches licensing.

Why invest in Italian Real Estate Market?

Because Italy’s housing market is recovering gradually, despite the country’s struggling economy. Demand is now rising. Residential construction activity is increasing. And the market outlook is improving.

The nationwide house price index fell by 0.8% (-2.25% inflation-adjusted) during the year to Q3 2018, according to the European Central Bank (ECB). Quarter-on-quarter, house prices increased 0.6% in Q3 2018 but actually 1.4% when adjusted for inflation. Source: GPG.

We strongly recommend considering this kind of investment with proper financial availabilities.

Most Common Mistakes When Buying a Property in Italy

Buying a house is a process that is similar around the world but especially for a foreigner, it can be tricky.

In most cases, purchasing a property is one of the most important decisions and probably one of the biggest investments in most people’s lives, and yet the same errors are often made over and over.

In this article, we try to highlight some of the most common and fatal mistakes in buying a property in Italy.

The Italian housing market is recovering, the latest figures speak of a recovery in sales.  Last year data shows that the transactions in some cities like Bologna and Milan are growing 2 figures, and the banks have also started to provide funds again.

The main issues and mistakes are connected to the following key points (some points are mainly for foreigners and non-residents):

  1. Calculate wrongly the buying costs. Often people (especially non-residents) don’t know all the expenses and the fees that need to be paid connected to a property purchase, such as notary fees, legal assistance, previous condominium fees, buying taxes, transcription and registration costs;
  2. Unsureness on which tax needs to be calculated. Some transactions depending on the seller status are subject to VAT, in Italian “IVA (for example when buying from developers) or to the registration duty, in Italian “Imposta di Registro” and this can change depending on the buyer status and if for him is the first house purchase or not;
  3. Not consulting a property lawyer before signing important documents. Such as offers or preliminary contracts or agreements. For example, not everyone knows that donated assets are subject to revocation by any heir and this legal action has long legal terms. For this reason, many banks do not grant mortgage loans for the purchase of a property from a donation. In this case, as in many others, expert advice can avoid unpleasant surprises;
  4. Trying to avoid consultants. People can save often more money by going through a buying process with a professional such as property lawyers by his/her side. The purchase can be negotiated, especially if some hidden costs come out from the legal due diligence or condominium check shows up debts that by law have to be requested from the buyer, these elements can work in the negotiation and lower the price and convince the seller to give a substantial discount, or simply leave that property cause is getting to complicated and consider another more smooth purchase;
  5. Real Estate Agent is not a Lawyer!  Many people don’t hire a lawyer only because in the transaction there is an intermediary such as the real estate agent, but don’t know that in the Italian legislation the real estate agent doesn’t have the legal obligation to make a legal check, he has to link the buyer and the seller, the legal side is delicate and crucial and should be taken in big consideration, can save big headaches, future costs and fatal surprises (look at our testimonials and see some of our previous cases!);
  6. Mortgage Costs, Requirements, and Timing. Buying with a mortgage can take a long process and the percentage of the amount to lend can change if the individual is Italian or non-resident. This has costs and sometimes people don’t even know how much must be ready to pay and be ready to pay in the notary deed date. For the foreigners, can be lent a sum between 50-60% of the property value, but it changes from bank to bank and from the solvency and guarantees of the individual;
  7. Property Tax Report. People who buy a house do not know or find out in advance what taxes and maintaining costs are due for that property, and this can lead to unpleasant surprises;
  8. Not considering the Euribor. It could be at a high or low point, taking a look to Euribor current situation could help to know if a better idea is to maybe wait or is a good moment to just make the purchase right now because prices are raising;
  9. Borrowing too much and risking default. The Bank of Italy recommends that the portion of the mortgage, added to the rest of the debts (credit card, personal loans, etc.), should not exceed 35-40% of the income of the mortgage holder;
  10. Signing a self-made or standard template offer or contracts. Often people don’t understand that the terms, economic agreements and clauses of the preliminary contracts can be strongly dependents to what has been subscribed in the proposal offer, this issue can be even bigger if it regards the preliminary contracts and some legal guarantees can be lost, is always better to have a legal check before signing anything, but a property lawyer can find something to do even after, hire a professional pays off;
  11. Not having the sense of what is expensive or cheap for a nonresident. You have to look for statistical information and compare market prices. The information can be found in many ways, from local real estate agencies to reports from the Bank of Italy, and also through many top real estate websites (such as Immobiliare.it Casa.it, etc.) that use their data from daily transactions and, finally, the Borsino Immobiliare that has official Italian transactional data;
  12. Thinking that the prices will for sure go up and won’t fall. There is still no clear evidence of a generalized recovery in the housing market. Just because prices in the main cities and center of Milan or Rome have risen, that doesn’t necessarily mean they will do so in the other cities or suburbs.

For further information contact us.

  • ALGHERO, Via Gilbert Ferret, 86, Sardinia, Italy
  • LONDON, Office 23171, POBox 6945, W1A6US, UK
  • Email: contact@govonilaw.com
  • Whatsapp (chat only): +39 3921376728
  • Phone: +39 0796047210
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