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The demand for property in Italy has never been higher with more and more foreigners considering the benefits of moving to Italy and becoming an Expat. However, in reality, you may not always have the opportunity to visit the country before you buy a property so how can you get the on the ground expertise to help the sale go through without any hitches?
There’s a wide range of reasons why people may not be able to visit the country before purchasing property. You may wish to buy property in Italy purely as an investment, as a holiday home which you can rent out and only visit occasionally or simply because you don’t have time to spend in the country before you buy a property.
The internet has helped to streamline the process of buying a property remotely but in Italy there are also local law firms that specialize in assisting foreigners buy property in Italy. These real estate law firms can assist you to navigate the complexities of the Italian legal process from start to finish while ensuring that the sale goes through in a timely manner.
I own a property in Volterra, about a 75 minute ride from Florence. The whole buying process, including searching for the property, investigating the property and the closing activities were done remotely from the United States. I was unable to visit Italy during this time because of my work. The firm that I hired also had a real estate arm. So they were also involved in searching for the property, visiting the properties and taking photos and videos, inspecting the property and in helping me in assessing the value of the property. Overall, the law firm did a fantastic job.
Personally Tailored Remote Assistance.
Italian legal experts can help you to purchase a property and make sure that all the rules and regulations are followed to the letter. This takes the pressure off you and although they do charge a fee for their services, it’s well worth it to save you the time and hassle of trying to purchase a property from halfway round the world!
Work with an Italian Real Estate Law Firm.
When you’re looking for a real estate law firm in Italy to help you with the purchase of a property you want to make sure that they have experience of working with International clients. You should check that they can translate Italian documents into English so you understand what you’re signing and how the process is going.
The real estate agency will usually have a team of lawyers and experts who have experience in all areas of property law and procedures in Italy. They will be able to explain the complexities of the process while providing you with vital local knowledge based on their past experience in the field.
A real estate law firm can assist you with the purchase of a residential or commercial property and, generally speaking, the entire process should take between 4 to 6 weeks if there are no unexpected complications that arise.
Preliminary Consultation – Starting the Process.
The first you need to do is to get in contact with a real estate law firm in Italy that works with international clients. Once you have made contact they will conduct a preliminary consultation with you to understand what kind of services you will be needing from them.
They will have experts in all areas of Italian real estate law so they will be able to explain the entire purchasing process including all the paperwork and documents that you must have to proceed.
In many cases they can help you with opening a local bank account, applying for your Codice Fiscale and conducting on site viewings of any properties you may be interested in. The firm will offer a wide range of services so don’t be afraid to ask questions and find out exactly what they can do for you.
There will, of course, be fees associated with their services but given that they handle all the complicated located regulations, tax requirements and paperwork on your behalf it’s well worth the cost. The law firm can also help you to arrange further services once you have arrived including getting new white goods for your property or arrange local tradespeople to conduct any renovations you had planned.
Advantages of Working With A Law Firm.
- Privacy and the Security of Your Information: When you’re conducting the purchase of a property in Italy from overseas you will need to transfer a great deal of personal information to make the sale go through. Working through a local real estate law firm will help you to keep your information safe throughout.
- Guidance Through the Italian Legal System: Your lawyer will also make sure that you understand the legal system in Italy, including the wide range of municipality regulations which can be extremely confusing for foreign buyers.
- Translation Services: All documents will be in Italian and if you aren’t fluent in the language then they will provide translations so you can remain informed of the progress and any relevant details of the sale.
- Opening a Bank Account in Italy: If you don’t have an Italian bank account, which is required to purchase a property in the country, then you can give the lawyer the power of attorney and they can make the purchase for you. Alternatively, they can help you to set up a local account, from which the money for the purchase can be transferred.
- Help With Property Price Negotiations: In Italy the initial property price is often set too high with the seller expecting that the buyer will negotiate it down. Your lawyer, who is overseeing the purchase on your behalf, will negotiate the price down to a good rate that is in line with the realistic property prices in the area – something which would be very hard for you to do from overseas.
- Flat Fees For The Legal Service: When you work with a local real estate law firm you’ll get the information to make the right decisions. Most firms provide a flat fee service so that you’ll know in advance how much the transaction will cost you.
Ensuring that the Purchase Goes Smoothly Without Delays.
While you are in the process of purchasing a property it’s vital that you stay in close contact with all the parties involved throughout, however, if you are overseas this may not be possible with the differences in the Time Zones and your own work schedule or commitments.
The local law firm will do all this by staying on top of the case and ensuring that everything runs smoothly and without delays. Since the firm charges a flat fee for their services they have a vested interest in ensuring that things don’t run on for longer than necessary so they develop efficient strategies to get the job done!
The Purchasing Process Made Simple.
The real estate law firm will oversee the entire process of the property transaction so you can sit back and just wait for the results! The process of purchasing a property in Italy is fairly complex and hard to navigate from another country. The process involves three main stages :
- The Initial Purchase or Reservation Offer.
- The Preliminary Contract of Sale.
- The Final Agreement – Confirming the Sale.
Your lawyer will manage the entire process on your behalf and ensure that all local tax relations and municipality codes are complied with. The lawyer will liaise with all the relevant parties for you, which include :
- The Property’s Legal Seller.
- The Property’s Legal Buyer (you).
- Local Real Estate Agents (if they are involved in the transaction).
- The Local or Regional Notary.
- The Property Lawyers of the Seller.
The law firm will contact you when they need extra information however, generally, they will take care of the whole process on your behalf. They will deal with all aspects of the transaction and help you with any translations or guidance that you need. They will certify the local documents on your behalf, using power of attorney, and ensure that any international documents are legally processed and recorded on file.
Working with an Italian Real Estate Law Firm.
The entire process should take about a month on average, although sometimes it can take up to 6 weeks. Once the sale has gone through they can also help with paying any utility bills that are required, find tenants if you wish to rent it out or help you arrange your moving plans.
The service is extremely thorough and helps you at every step of the way. Working with local experts takes the stress out of buying an overseas property and means that you can start enjoying your property as soon as possible without falling foul of local laws and regulations that can disrupt the process and cost you money.
Are you thinking of buying a property in Italy remotely? Let me know if you have questions or comments.