For the purchaser

Even if each sale is different, we are keen to show you how we work and the general purchasing procedure in all its phases.

The first step is to understand the purchaser’s needs and help to identify the ideal property studying together the various kinds of properties, the areas and necessary features.
Each time a potential purchaser visits a property with us, we make them sign a form called “SCHEDA DI PRESA VISIONE” (VIEWING ACKNOWLEDGEMENT FORM ) of which a copy is given. It is a viewing form in which the client writes down their details, stating to have visited the indicated property/properties for the first time with “Betti Immobiliare” and agrees to receive the newsletter to be updated on new proposals.

Having identified the ‘right’ property, an offer in writing is drawn up together. In this phase we offer help assisting the purchaser to understand the taxes, dues and costs to take into consideration as well as the purchasing price.
If the purchaser does not personally know any professionals in the field, we put them in contact with our trusted specialists, including well-known notaries in the area, giving them quotations in advance.
An IRREVOCABLE PURCHASE OFFER is drawn up in the real estate agency’s office and presented directly to the seller’s agent.

It is the document with which the purchaser makes their offer to the seller in order to purchase the property and is a free and customised text according to the various needs, approximately containing the following data:

  • seller’s and purchaser’s details
  • address, description, land register identifiers, energy rating
  • price offered for the property
  • deadline within which the seller can accept the proposal
  • payment times, date and place of the future notarial deed
  • a pledge to put down a deposit (between 10 and 20 % of the proposed price). If a deposit cheque is left, this must always be in the name of the selling party with non transferable written on it; it will be kept at the real estate agency and considered a down payment on the price to be contained in the preliminary contract.

The seller must be compulsorily informed of the proposal and is free to refuse and/or rephrase a counteroffer, but if accepted, the purchaser is obliged to keep faithful to the offer.
If the seller does not answer within the terms established by the purchaser in the proposal , this latter will not have any obligation.

If, on the other hand, the purchasing proposal is accepted, the parties will have to respectively keep faith to the agreement underwriting a PRELIMINARY SALE CONTRACT.
In this phase it is important that the purchaser, who intends purchasing by applying for a mortgage, goes to the bank to start the procedures because processing times vary from 30 to 90 days according to banks.

The Preliminary Contract is usually carried out at a notary’s office chosen by the purchaser and with this contract the purchaser acquires the right to have the sale finalised at the established conditions.
The notary will carry out a further check on the property thus verifying that the property on sale is free from prejudicial constraints and land register discrepancies thus enabling a secure purchase for the date of the definitive notarial deed of sale.

The fundamental elements indicated in the preliminary contract of sale are the following:

  • full details of the purchaser and seller or the property;
  • means of payment (cheque, bank transfer) and the relative deadlines;
  • description of the house (land register outcomes, rooms, accessories) and of the other confining properties with all the details of origin;
  • date of the notarial deed;
  • presence of any bonds (such as mortgages or various servitudes);
  • compliance with building regulations;
  • Any clauses, payment of a confirmation deposit or penitential deposit;
  • The title of possession with the starting date and any limitations;
  • Specification whether the purchase is being done with or without a mortgage;
  • Date and signature of the contracting parties.

At the stipulation of the preliminary act, the estate agent’s fee is paid unless there are suspensive clauses. In the preliminary phase, the amount required for the tax advance payment based on the deposit paid is left with the notary ( who will see to its registration at the competent office). The last act is the Notarial Deed, that is the PURCHASING CONTRACT which must necessarily be drawn up by a notary. All that had already been stated in the preliminary contract of sale is basically repeated in the notarial deed with any additions that may have been necessary in the meantime. The selling party’s trusted specialist will have to produce a technical report certifying the “confirmity statement” of the property as well as the certificates of the installations.

It is the seller’s duty to supply all the documents the notary requires for the stipulation. The purchaser, at the moment of the notarial deed, will have to see to the payment of the balance. At the moment of the notarial deed, the VAT or registration tax will be paid as well as the Notary’s fee. The means of payment allowed are bank transfer to the notary’s account, cashier’s cheque (preferably because payment is directly guaranteed by the bank which has issued it), or bank transfer directly to the seller’s account.

Once the sale has been concluded, the purchaser has the right to obtain an authenticated copy of the Purchasing Act which will have to be transcribed by the notary at the Land Registry Office which is usually available within about 3 weeks from the stipulation date.

In the end, it will be necessary to:

  • prepare new contracts for utilities or carry out the transfer of gas/telephone subscriptions
  • give notice of the new owner to the condominium administrator (where present)
  • notify the Town Hall where the purchased property is located with the details for the TARI (refuse tax)
  • no notification is necessary for the IMU (sole municipal tax) because the registration of the deed at the Inland Revenue carried out by the notary applies to this end
  • as of the first of January 2014, IMU on the main residence (where one’s anagraphical residence has been established) and the related appurtances, excluding registered houses in the categories A/1, A/8 and A/9, is no longer due
  • if the purchased property is a ‘second home’ the IMU must be paid in two installments (with deadlines on 16th June and 16th December) by way of the F24 form. It is advisable to enquire about the exact sum to be paid at the Town Hall where the property is located because the rates are established locally and change from year to year.

Frequently asked questions

Who can buy a house in Italy?
  • Citizens from countries of the European Union or adhering to EFTA and stateless people residing in Italy for more than three years.
  • Foreigners if regularly residing together with their family members or stateless people for less than three years with a residence permit or valid residence card.
  • Foreigners non regularly residing provided that there is an international agreement permitting it or there is a so-called reciprocity condition, namely that in the foreign person’s country of origin an Italian citizen is permitted to purchase property.

A foreigner must hold an Italian tax code which is issued upon request by the Inland Revenue to be able to purchase any property.

What taxes must be paid for the purchase of property?

Taxed to be paid, depending on the cases, are: VAT, registration tax, mortgage tax, cadastral tax, stamp duty.

Purchase from private sellers

In the case of purchase between private buyers and sellers, the following must be paid directly on the day of the Notarial Deed at the notary’s:

  • an ordinary registration tax equal to 9% (with a minimum of 1,000.00 euros)
  • fixed mortgage tax of 50 euros
  • fixed cadastral tax of 50 euros

The registration of the preliminary sales contract has a fixed tax of 200.00 euros + the deposit of the registration tax of 0.5% of the deposit paid and relative stamp duties.

Reduction for the purchase of a primary residence
There are reductions in case of purchase with “prima casa” (first home) benefits which are set as follows:

  • a registration tax of 2% (with a minimum of 1,000.00 euros)
  • fixed mortgage tax of 50 euros
  • fixed cadastral tax of 50 euros.

Purchase through construction companies

If, on the other hand, the seller is a construction company, the company itself must be paid:

  • 10% VAT second home (upon total value)
  • fixed registration tax of €200.00
  • fixed mortgage tax of €200.00
  • fixed cadastral tax of €200.00

Reduction for the purchase of a primary residence
Even in this case, there are benefits for those who take advantage of the legal benefits of the “first home” with a consequent VAT reduction from 10% to 4%.

What are the requirements to have first home benefits?

The fiscal benefits provided for the purchase of the “first home” are acknowledged under certain conditions and only if the purchaser has specific requirements.

The home purchased has to belong to one of the following cadastal categories:

  • A/2 (standard houses)
  • A/3 (economic houses)
  • A/4 (council housing)
  • A/5 (low level council housing)
  • A/6 (rural houses)
  • A/7 (countryside cottages)
  • A/11 (typical housing and accommodation)

Instead, the “first home” benefits are not permitted for the purchase of houses belonging to the cadastral categories of A/1 (elegant houses), A/8 (villas) and A/9 (castles and buildings of outstanding artistic and historic merits).

The benefits are also due for the purchase of appurtenances, classified or classifiable in the cadastral categories of C/2 (warehouses and storage rooms), C/6 (for example, depots and garages) and C/7 (closed or open canopies), limited to an appurtenance for each category. However, it is necessary that the same are destined to be of a long-lasting nature to the main residence and that this has been purchased using the “first home” benefits.

  • the house has to be in the Municipal area where the purchaser resides. If residing in another Municipality, the purchaser has 18 months’ time to transfer residence to the Municipality where the property is located. The statement declaring the intention to change residency has to be contained, under penalty of forfeiture, in the purchasing deed.
  • not being the owner, exclusive or in communion with the spouse, of property rights, usufruct, use and residence, of another house in the Municipality where the property to be purchased using the benefits is found.
  • Not being the owner, not even of shares or in legal communion, on all the national territory, of property rights, use, usufruct, residence or bare ownership, of another purchased property, even by the spouse, taking advantage of the same ‘first house’ benefits.

N.B: As from 1st January 2016, the fiscal benefits have also been extended to the tax payer who is already owner of property purchased with the first house benefits, on condition that the house of which the person is the owner will be sold within a year from the new purchase.

Can a person residing abroad buy property in Italy with First House benefits?

The notary can apply the ‘first house’ fiscal benefits at the purchasing of the house if:

  • The buyer changes residence to the Municipality where the house is within eighteen months.
  • The buyer, declares to be an Italian citizen residing abroad and registered in the AIRE (registry office of Italians residing abroad)
What is pre-emption agricultural rights, so frequent in Tuscany?

What does pre-emption rights mean?

Pre-emption is a person’s right to be favoured instead of another, at the same conditions in the purchase of an agricultural plot which the owner intends to sell. Such pre-emption right allows the confining person who cultivates a determined piece of land, to be ‘favoured’ at the same conditions established by the purchaser in the sale of the agricultural plot and become its owner. The neighbour who has this right can be a DIRECT FARMER or A FARMING ENTERPRISE. A direct farmer is the farming entrepreneur who is directly and habitually dedicated to the manual cultivation of the lands, as owner, tenant, life tenant, leaseholder, and / or to the breeding of animals and related activities.
The right is provided for by the law dated 26th May, 1965, no. 590, art. 8 [pre-emption of the direct farmer] and by the law dated 14th August, 1971, no. 817, art.7 no. 2 [pre-emption of the confining direct farmer and owner], thus being part, in the legal circulation of goods, of the so-called legal pre-emption (which prevails over the conventional one).

In this case it will be mandatory TO CONDITION an eventual purchasing proposal to the scope of agricultural pre-emption on the part of the confining direct farmers and put it in the Preliminary Contract of Sale.

It will be the seller’s obligation to notify the farmer, through registered mail or notification through bailiff (according to what the notary requests) with the preliminary sale agreement where the name of the purchaser, the selling price and the agreed conditions have to be shown. The farmer may exercise the right to accept the same price and conditions within the limit of 30 days from receipt of the notification or registered mail. After 30 days, it will be possible to proceed with the sale without the risk of people claiming their rights upon the purchased agricultural plot. If a seller does not communicate the selling proposal to the neighbour or goes to indicate a price different from that in the selling contract, the person entitled to the pre-emption has one year’s time from the transcription of the sale in the real estate registry, to claim the agricultural plot.