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Buying a property in Italy - Procedures and costs

In reality buying a property in Italy is not that complicated and is relatively swift. We are able to assist through each stage of the process, if required.

Codice Fiscale

The first thing you will need to have is an Italian tax code (Codice Fiscale). This is a simple process and you can obtain this document in the local tax office in Italy or the Italian Consulate in your home country.

Proposta d'Aquisto

The next stage, when you have found your property, is the Buying Proposal (Proposta d'acquisto). This is a document prepared in Italian and English (or native language). You normally pay a small deposit of 5% at this time, which is held by the estate agent until the purchase offer is accepted by the seller and a few checks are made on the property. If there are any legal issues you can normally withdraw without losing your deposit.


The Preliminary Contract (Compremesso) is then drawn up in both Italian and English (or your native language) and is legally binding. It includes a description and plans of the property and sets out conditions such as rights of way, payments and timing of the buying process. At this time a further deposit of 20%, as well as any agency fees, are paid. This stage virtually guarantees that the purchase will proceed. From preliminary to final contracts takes between one to three months. If the buyer pulls out at this stage, the buyer will lose their deposit. If the vendor pulls out they will pay double the amount of the deposit, thus making it an unlikely occurrence.

If purchasing a farm, neighbouring farmers have the first right of refusal and on sight of the Preliminary Contract they have one month to decide.

The buyer will choose a Notary before the next stage.


The Final Contract (Atto) is signed at the Notary's office. Notaries are members of an independent legal body who work for both the buyer and seller, conducting searches and preparing deeds. The contract will be read out, so non-Italian speakers will need a qualified translator. The notary's fee and purchase taxes are paid at this time along with the balance of the purchase price. The keys and the property are then yours!

Purchase Deeds

The buyer receives the purchase deeds about two months later, after the notary registers the sale with the land registry.

Purchase Costs

These costs vary depending on whether you plan to take Residenza and live in Italy most of the time. In this case the house becomes your primary residence (Prima Casa).

If it is a holiday home it becomes your second house (Seconda Casa). The House Registration Tax (Imposta di Registro) is calculated by the Italian Land Registry. The Cadastal value is usually less than half of the purchase price and is determined by factors such as location and floor space.

The Imposta Ipotecaria, Imposta Catastale and Purchase Proposal Registration are fixed taxes.

*Foreigners buying a Primary Home Foreigners buying a Second Home
Stamp Duty (Imposta di Registro) 2% of the cadastral value or 1,100 whichever is the higher 9% of the cadastral value
Land Registry Tax (Imposta Ipotecaria) 100 100
Cadastral Tax (Imposta Catastale) 100 100
Purchase Proposal Registration Fee at Compremesso 300 300
Estate Agency Fees Property value:
- 0-100k
- 100k and over

3000 + 22% IVA
3% of purchase price + 22% IVA

3000 + 22% IVA
3% of purchase price + 22% IVA
Notary Fee (Increases with the value of the property) 1,800-4,000 1,800-4,000
Translator's Fee 500-600 500-600

*Buyers have up to 18 months after the purchase to register as Italian residents

  • The taxes for purchasing a property from a developer will be more.
  • There is a 15% Registration Tax for purchasing Agricultural Land.
  • There is a 9% Registration Tax for purchasing Building Land.

On-going Running Costs

Once you have bought the property you will have to pay the following three taxes:

IMU (Imposta Municipale Unica)

Due bi-annually in June & December, this is a community charge on all non-resident property and landowners. Residents are currently exempt from IMU.

TARI (Tassa Rifiuti)

A charge for waste collection which is based on the size and location of the property together with the number of inhabitants. There is a discount for non-residents.

TASI (Tassa Sui Servizi Indivisibili)

A charge for road maintenance and street lighting which is due bi-annually. Properties registered as a main residence are exempt from this tax.

Other costs to consider include:

  • Building Insurance
  • Contents Insurance
  • Utilities: gas, electricity and water
  • Telephone and internet
  • Management fees for communal properties
  • Pool and/or garden maintenance

Annual running costs usually average around 2-4% of the cost of a property.

Sell your property through us and our network of Licensed Estate Agents in Italy

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