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  Buying a Property in Italy

What to expect;

The buying of a property in Italy is actually easy and straightforward and although the Italian legal system is bureaucratic it is very simple to understand.

The following is a summary of of the procedures when buying in Italy.


When a property has been selected and a price agreed, a “Compromesso” or preliminary Contract is drawn up and signed. A “Geometra” will then carry out all the searches on your behalf.

The Compromesso

This is the Prelimary Sales Agreement and states:

  • The full price paid for the property in question
  • Method of payment
  • The deposit (which is negotiable, but is usually 20% but can be as much as 40% of the property price)
  • Who is buying and who is selling.

Stamp Duty – Imposta di Registro

There is no stamp duty threshold as in other countries, and you will therefore be required to pay at the appropriate rate. If the property is purchased from an individual, the rate is 11% of the government valuation. The value of the property assessed is not the purchase price itself, but the figure assessed by the local tax office from official tables.

  1. Land Registry Fees. The fees of the Property Registry for registering your scrittura in the register will be assessed on a scale fee according to the value.
  2. Notarial Fees. A fee is charged by a notary to prepare and legalise the scrittura. This is also a scale fee based on the declared value.
  3. Agent Fees. UNICASA PROPERTIES (UK) LTD (UK) will charge you 3% for the service we provide. This commission is payable on or before the date any monies are paid to the Vendor.


This is the final contract (completion). This usually takes place in the presence of a Notary Public 2-3 months after the signing of the Compromesso. Property in Italy is sold via a Notary Public whose duty it is to guarantee title to the incoming purchaser, by first checking to make sure that the property is free from liens and encumbrances. Once the ROGITO is signed, the buyer consigns to the seller the balance of the payment. Most of our buyers also use the services of an English speaking Italian lawyer who has a vast experience in property sales.


Incurred when buying a property.

Total costs, on average, should not exceed 12% of the purchase price and include purchase tax, stamp duty, the Notary’s fee, fees for the geometra and our fees.

One of the strange idiosyncrasies of buying a property in Italy is that the purchase tax which is calculated by the Notary using official tables is based on a declared value of the property as opposed to the actual purchase price. The declared value is based on calculations made by the Land Registry and is official. The declared value can be as much as 50% or 60% less than the actual price you’ve paid. The Notary’s fee is also about 2% of the declared price.


Please contact us if you would like further information about any of these properties
or details of our services.

Worlds End Studios
132-134 Lots Road
London SW10 0RJ

Tel: +44 (0)20 7924 4031