Simple Guide to Buying a Property in Italy

Simple Guide to Buying a Property in Italy Sardinia Lawyer and real Estate agents


Welcome to our comprehensive and user-friendly guide on purchasing a property in Italy. Buying real estate can be a complex and daunting process, especially in a foreign country with its unique legal system and customs. That’s why we’re here to provide you with clear and concise information to help you navigate the intricacies of the Italian real estate market.

When it comes to buying property, it’s essential to understand that each country has its own set of rules and procedures. Italy is no exception. The Italian property buying process differs from what you might be familiar with in your home country, particularly if you’re coming from the United States. In Italy, for example, there is no title company involved in the closing process. Instead, a public notary plays a crucial role in officially sealing the transaction and transferring ownership to the buyer.

While the objective of buying a property remains the same – finding a suitable property, negotiating a contract, and obtaining ownership rights – the specific steps and parties involved can vary significantly. Furthermore, language barriers and the nuances of technical and legal terminology can pose additional challenges. Italy boasts one of the world’s most intricate legal systems, adding further complexity to the process.

We understand that navigating the Italian bureaucracy and adhering to formalities can be overwhelming. That’s why it’s vital to seek proper legal guidance to ensure a smooth and error-free experience. Our team of buyer’s attorneys specializes in real estate interests and provides expert advice to individuals looking to purchase property in Sardinia, Italy.

Key Services

Our assistance begins with conducting thorough legal due diligence, which includes scrutinizing legal documents and researching property ownership records in the Public Real Estate Registries. We also handle the drafting and negotiation of contracts and agreements to safeguard your interests throughout the process.

In this guide, we aim to walk you through the key steps involved in purchasing a property in Italy, offering a classic example of a foreigner buying property in the country. While the information provided is not exhaustive, it will give you a solid understanding of the typical process and requirements.

From obtaining the necessary Italian Tax Code (Codice Fiscale) to opening an Italian bank account (Conto Bancario), and from conducting legal due diligence (Controllo Legale) to navigating mortgage procedures if needed, we cover all the essential aspects of buying property in Italy. We also explain the importance of making a proposal offer (Proposta d’Acquisto) and guide you through the preliminary contract (Contratto Preliminare) and the final notary deed (Rogito Notarile).

Whether you’re a first-time buyer or have previous experience in real estate transactions, our goal is to empower you with the knowledge and confidence to make informed decisions throughout the buying process. Remember, having the right legal support and understanding the intricacies of the Italian system will contribute to a successful and stress-free property purchase.

Let’s dive in and explore the steps involved in buying a property in Italy, ensuring that you embark on this exciting journey fully prepared and well-informed.

Buying Steps

To give you an idea of the steps involved, although not exhaustive, we provide a typical example of a foreigner buying property in Italy.

  1. Obtaining the Italian Tax Code “Codice Fiscale”: To purchase a property in Italy, you need to obtain the Tax Code (Codice Fiscale), which can be requested from the Revenue Agency (Agenzia delle Entrate) in Italy.
  2. Opening an Italian Bank Account “Conto Bancario”: It is useful to open a bank account in Italy when buying a property. This facilitates streamlined payment procedures and is necessary for automatic utility bill payments, which is particularly beneficial for foreigners or Italians living abroad.
  3. Conducting Legal Due Diligence “Controllo Legale”: Performing a legal check is always advisable. It helps ensure that the property is properly registered, belongs to the seller, and is free from mortgages, hidden issues, fees, or condominium insolvency. Avoid future complications and costly mistakes!
  4. Mortgage (If applicable): Govonilaw assists foreigners in purchasing a property with a mortgage, including communication within the parts involved and navigating the legal steps in Italy. Usually, the buyer asks for a mortgage or loan from his bank in his country.
  5. Making a Proposal Offer “Proposta d’Acquisto: When you have visited several properties and decided to proceed with purchasing one, consider the best price and submit a Proposal Offer (Proposta d’acquisto) to the seller. This offer requires a fiduciary deposit of around €5,000 to secure it, which will be held by the Law Firm. The proposal offer must be in writing and typically remain valid for 7-15 days, while the acceptance can be given verbally. Once the seller signs the proposal, they agree not to sell the property to any other buyer until a certain date, protecting the buyer from losing the opportunity.
  6. Signing the Preliminary ContractContratto Preliminare“: The preliminary contract, also known as “Contratto Preliminare,” comes into play when there are more complex transactions or deferred payments in multiple installments. Generally, our bespoke legal clauses are included in the Offer and we proceed directly to the closing in front of the notary (Next Step). It’s important to understand that the proposed offer, once stipulated and accepted, establishes a legally binding relationship between the parties. That’s why is crucial to use the right clauses and terms, not a standard offer that you found online.
  7. The Closing: Completing the steps with the Notary Deed Rogito Notarile“: The notarial deed is the final step in the real estate sale process. The buyer chooses a notary, and we usually recommend our Partner Notary for a smoother procedure. The notary performs final checks on mortgages, building amnesty practices, and town planning issues. Although the notary is an impartial professional, responsible for recording the seller’s statements, the latter veracity is not guaranteed. This is another reason why hiring an expert lawyer is beneficial.


You have reached the end of our comprehensive guide to buying property in Italy. By now, you should have a better understanding of the unique aspects and steps involved in the Italian property-buying process.

We have covered essential topics, including the importance of legal consulting, obtaining the Italian Tax Code, opening an Italian bank account, conducting legal due diligence, mortgage assistance if applicable, making a proposal offer, and signing the preliminary contract. Each step is crucial in ensuring a smooth and successful property purchase.

Remember, when buying property in Italy, it is essential to seek legal guidance from experienced professionals specializing in real estate interests. They can navigate the complexities of the Italian bureaucracy and provide valuable advice to protect your interests throughout the process.

As you embark on your property-buying journey in Italy, be prepared for the unique system, language barriers, and legal intricacies that may arise. However, armed with the knowledge gained from this guide and the right legal support, you can navigate the process with confidence and peace of mind.

Good luck with your property purchase! May it be a rewarding and fulfilling experience as you find your dream home in the beautiful country of Italy.

don’t hesitate to contact us to ensure a worry-free purchase experience.