The buying process in Italy

STEP 1 PROPOSAL OF PURCHASE or “proposta” This document is a written offer on a property in which the purchaser acknowledges that having seen the property and wants to make a offer stating his terms regarding, finance, survey etc. At this stage the client needs to put down a deposit, corresponding to 5 – 10% of the purchase price. This deposit is held by the real estate agent and is given to the seller if the purchase offer is accepted by the Seller. In the case the seller does not accept the terms of the “proposta d’acquisto” the deposit is returned to the purchaser.

STEP 2 PRELIMINARY PURCHASE CONTRACT or “preliminare di compravendita” The preliminary is a private contract which is binding on both parties where the parties – A “the seller” promises to sell to B “the purchaser” who promises to buy. In the preliminary contract is being specified the price, date of completion and any also additional clauses if necessary. At this stage generally is being paid 30% of sale price to the owner. At this step the documents are being send to the notary, which will require about a month to control the necessary documents, to find out if there are legal problems or if there is a mortgage on the property and prepare all the paper work needed for the Deed of Sale. Broker’s/ real estate agent’s fee is being paid at this stage.

STEP 3 FINAL PURCHASE CONTRACT or “rogito notarile” The final contract is being signed in the notary’s office in the presence of the two parties. At this stage is being paid the rest of the amount by bank transfer or bank drafts issued by the Italian bank to the vendor and on final signature purchaser becomes legal owner, receives the keys. The registration of the Deed is being made by the notary.


The seller (private or company/developer), together with the declared price of the property determine the type (“registration tax” – Imposta di Registro, or “VAT” – IVA, Imposta sul Valore Aggiunto) and the amount of taxes that needs to be paid at the transaction. The purchase of Italian real estate for non residents is subject to “mortgage tax” (imposta ipotecaria) and “cadastral tax” (imposta catastale), with tax rates set respectively at 50 € each and registration tax “Imposta di registro” respectively 9%. Specifically, in cases where the seller is a Developer or Company (e.g., real estate companies, construction companies, developers, etc.), the purchase price agreed and registered in the deed of sale is usually charged with: a) VAT at the 10% rate; b) registration tax at a fixed amount equal to 200 € ; c) mortgage tax at a fixed amount equal to euros 200 and d) cadastral tax at a fixed amount equal to 200 € . In case the Seller is a private taxes to be paid are from the cadastral value which is lower then commercial value: 1) registration tax at 9% rate; 2) mortgage tax at fixed amount of € 50 ; 3) cadastral tax at fixed amount of € 50.