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There are no restrictions on foreigners buying property in Italy and both the legal and property market are both mature as is the case with all major western European nations.

Once you have found a property that you wish to purchase, if your finance is not yet in place and you need time to organise this, you could take advantage of an irrevocable purchase agreement (Proposta irrevocabile d'acquisto). This would involve the buyer paying a 10% deposit and upon execution of the contract by both the seller and buyer, the property would be taken off the market and a purchase would then be legally binding. If the buyer defaults on the sale, the seller will keep the deposit. On the other hand, if the seller does not deliver the property within the time scales involved in the contract, for example, or the sale does not go through via no fault of your own, the deposit would be returned to the buyer in double.

As is the case with all property purchases it is advised that you seek good legal advice and arrange for a surveyor to survey the property in your behalf.

The regular purchase procedure involves a two stage contract - a preliminary contract (Compromesso) and a final contract (Rogito). The Compromesso will commit both the buyer and seller to the purchase of the property, whilst the Rogito will include the legalities of the sale, for example, the final price, completion date, guarantees, etc.

Once the Compromesso has been executed, the buyer will be expected to pay an initial deposit (Caparra) equal to 33% of the total price of the property.

The final stage is for both the house buyer and seller to sign the Rogito, which will transfer the ownership of the property from the seller to the buyer. The Notary will draft this contract and it will need to be signed in their presence. At this stage, the final transfer of funds should be transferred to the seller and the property will be officially registered to the buyer via the notary registering the property at the Italian land registry.

A house buyer should expect to pay the following and allow 20% of the purchase price for fees:

Purchase Tax
Notary Fee
Surveyors Fee

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