How to sell a property in Italy

There are many reasons why people may want to buy property in Italy. Here, we will take you through the process of conveyancing in Italy, how long it is likely to take, and how important it is to instruct a cross-border law firm such as Giambrone & Partners can help.

Click on the links below to jump to that section:

Find out which documents you require to sell a property in Italy.

Read how long you can expect it to take to sell your property.

Find out more about the steps to take to sell your property in Italy.

We answer common queries on selling a property in Italy and using a real estate agent.

Which documents are required to sell property in Italy?

When selling a property in Italy, there are six key documents that are requested by the notary:

  • Visura catastale (cadastral document)
  • Atto di provenienza (ownership title)
  • Floor plan
  • Building permits if the house was built after September 1967
  • Attestato di prestazione energetica (energy certificate)
  • Documents that identify both seller and buyer, such as passports and tax codes (your estate agent will provide you with a tax code for free).

Do you need assistance on the process of selling your Italian property? Contact us today.

How long is the process of selling your property in Italy likely to be?

It often takes around four to five months to sell your property in Italy; however, this can be dependent on whether there are any issues with the property valuation or planning permission. To speed up the process, we recommend getting in touch with Italian real estate lawyers for their expertise.

The process of selling your property in Italy

Why it is important to contact a surveyor?

It is recommended to instruct a surveyor to provide a full report on the property you wish to sell. This will confirm that the property has relevant planning permissions and that the floor plans lodged with the Land Registry reflect its current state.

It is also important to be aware that selling a property in the knowledge that there are building issues could have civil consequences, compensation could be awarded to the buyer if building issues or damage to the property are found after the sale. A full report from a reputable surveyor removes this possibility.

Are you unsure how to get a property report from a surveyor? Contact our Italian real estate lawyers today, or find out how we can help.

Selling a property through an agent

Providing you are selling your Italian property through an agent, you can expect to receive a detailed formal offer from a buyer. If the offer is accepted, a deposit (the “caparra”) will be paid to you, the offer will become a “compromesso”, also known as the preliminary contract.

This contract is legally binding, so it is extremely important that the offer is carefully checked before being signed to ensure that any clauses that will adequately protect you are added.

Should you sign a preliminary contract in a private sale of an Italian property?

In the event of a private sale, it may be worth signing a preliminary contract if you need more time before accepting an offer. This type of contract may be more suitable if you have inherited an Italian property and have found a buyer but are unable to sell until the succession procedure is finalised. If you need assistance on this process, please contact our Italian real estate lawyers today.

Organising a meeting with a Nataio (Notary)

Providing all the due diligence has been undertaken and any issues are resolved – the Nataio (Notary) will suggest a date for a meeting (“il rogito”) where both parties should be in attendance to hear the deed of sale being read out, and sign the deed of sale.

Traditional italian street in Scauri, Italy

Providing copies of planning permissions

The Nataio will request you to provide copies of all relevant planning permissions, the property energy certificate and certificate of use for the land, alongside any other required documentation.

Completing the process

Once the deed of sale has been signed by all parties, the sale will now officially be completed, with the keys being handed over to the new owner. The Notaio will update the Land Registry to reflect the change of ownership.

Receiving the balance of the purchase price

The buyer of the property should pay the balance of the purchase price directly to you. This can be done either with a banker’s draft at the rogito (if the seller has an account in Italy) or by bank transfer.

What additional fees should you expect to pay?

As well as any estate agent’s fees, you may also have to pay Capital Gains Tax (“Plusvalenza”) on the property, calculated at 20%. However, liability exists only if the property is being sold within five years of purchase and is not registered as the seller’s main residence. Capital Gains tax will also not be required if the property you are selling was inherited.

Tuscany, Landscape - Scenery, Italy

Why should you use a real estate lawyer when selling Italian property?

If you are considering buying or selling a property in Italy, a country where you may not be familiar with the language or the technicalities involved in property purchase, it’s important to obtain independent legal advice to limit your exposure to any risks.

A real estate lawyer will also have your best interests in mind and will ensure you sell your property for a fair price.

How Giambrone & Partners can help

At Giambrone, our Italian real estate lawyers bring insight, knowledge and experience to every transaction, having in-depth expertise in a wide spectrum of residential and commercial property transactions.

Not only will we provide the expertise to ensure that your property transaction is conducted as smoothly as possible – but our lawyers will also deal with the surrounding issues that are associated with your purchase. At Giambrone & Partners, we have the ability to offer a comprehensive service for all legal matters associated with real estate.

Contact us today to find out how we can help.

Frequently asked questions

Is tax payable on the sale of real estate?

If you have decided to sell your house in Italy and it is more than 5 years after the purchase date, then you do not have to pay personal income tax (IRPEF) or any other kind of capital gains tax. You will have to pay capital gains tax and personal income tax in Italy if the property was purchased within the last 5 years.

Do you need a visa to live in Italy?

If you plan to live in your Italian property, or you expect to spend long periods of time throughout the year in Italy, you will need to apply for a visa. A visa is not necessary if you only live in Italy for two periods 90 consecutive days which must be interrupted by a period of time out of Italy.

What is the cheapest area to buy property in Italy?

Southern Italy offers some of the most affordable houses in Italy. Calabria, in particular, offers low budget properties. Abruzzo, Molise and Basilicata also have reasonably priced real estate.

Do you need a real estate lawyer in Italy?

Buying a property in Italy as a foreigner can prove challenging and in most cases, it is advisable to get the help of an expert real estate lawyer.

Do foreigners pay tax in Italy?

Foreign citizens who reside in Italy have the same tax liability when purchasing property as that of Italian citizens.