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Estate agents are neither lawyers nor independent. We are both.

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Estate agents are neither lawyers nor independent. We are both.

Don’t Leave Your Italian Property Transaction To Chance… Seek Independent Legal Advice!

Estate Agents are not lawyers

When buying or selling a property at home, most people wouldn’t dream of entering into a transaction without the assistance of a qualified and independent lawyer. Yet in Italy, many buyers and sellers, particularly foreigners, decide not to instruct a lawyer and instead rely on an estate agent to handle the transaction on their behalf. Many foreign property buyers find their way to our law practice this way. They have encountered serious problems; some have lost everything. Read more

De Tullio Law Firm and the New York Times

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De Tullio Law Firm and the New York Times

De Tullio Law Firm’s second contribution for the New York Times

One year after our first contribution for the New York Times, De Tullio Law Firm was interviewed for the second time to provide, once again, potential investors in Italy with useful guidelines regarding the buying basics of the Italian conveyancing process.

This time, the article is focused on the Riviera Ligure, one of the most sought-after places of the Italian country, but the legal information provided herein are extended to the whole Italian territory.

The article includes critical information, such as Italian Notary’s fees (Italian Notaio’s fees), legal fees and Italian property taxes.

De Tullio Law Firm and the New York Times - Riviera Ligure

Buying basics in the Italian Riviera

There are no restrictions on most foreigners buying real estate in Italy, said Giandomenico De Tullio, a managing partner at the De Tullio Law Firm, which has offices in Italy and Britain.

Transactions are handled by a notary, whose fee is negotiable, but typically starts at around 1,500 euros (or about $1,860) and varies depending on the price of the property and the complexity of the deal, said Gianluca Giovannini, a notary in Livorno. For complicated transactions and sales involving foreigners, it is a good idea to hire a bilingual lawyer as well, said Mr. De Tullio, who estimated that a lawyer’s fee would be about 1 percent of the sales price. In addition, there is a 22 percent value-added tax on both services.

De Tullio Law Firm and the New York Times - Riviera Ligure by night

The stamp duty is the buyer’s biggest closing cost, at 2 or 9 percent of the property’s assessed value, depending on whether it will be a primary residence or a second home, Mr. De Tullio said. (To get the primary-residence tax break, buyers must typically establish legal residence in the municipality within 18 months of buying the property, he said.)

Other closing costs include a building registry tax of 50 euros (about $62) and several other taxes and fees that add up to a few hundred euros. A rough estimate of closing costs on a 1 million euro property is around 30,000 euros (about $37,000), Mr. De Tullio said, but he added that it can vary greatly.” Read the full article here.

Property buying in Italy can be a nightmare.

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Property buying in Italy can be a nightmare…

Property buying in Italy is a serious investment and often the fulfilment of a dream. Italy’s unique real estate laws and local customs all lead to the recommendation of having the right team of advisors in place to make your experience successful.

property buying

A couple from Bristol found a house in the Abruzzo that they wanted to buy. The local real estate agent, that the couple had engaged, got them to sign a Proposta di Acquisto (purchase offer).

The purchase offer was immediately given to the vendor. The offer basically stipulated the price the couple was willing to pay for the property and was accompanied by the couple’s cheque for €5000, made payable to the vendor. The vendor accepted the couple’s offer, took the cheque, and the deal became irrevocable. The agent also asked the couple for his brokerage fee of 3% of the purchase price, which they paid.

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Property Selling Guide

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This property selling guide focuses on the issues that a seller may encounter during an Italian property conveyance.

When selling an Italian property, there are some legal issues which should be seriously considered. Due to the language barrier and differences in property sellinglegal systems, real estate transactions in Italy can appear as a difficult and protracted process for foreign investors. The Italian legal process is obviously technical and might expose you to some risks. Considering the interests at stake in a real estate transaction, it is advisable that you seek the assistance of a qualified bilingual legal advisor, who has the competence to guide you through the process and advise on potential risks. Read more

Property Buying Guide

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Italian Property Buying Guide

This Property Buying Guide aims to cover key elements of the Italian purchasing process.property buying guide

For a more in-depth explanation, you may wish to read our comprehensive Italian Property Buying Guide.

The purchase of a property in Italy proceeds through 3 key stages:

  • Proposta irrevocabile d’acquisto (Reservation offer)
  • Contratto preliminare di vendita (Preliminary contract)
  • Atto di vendita (Deed of sale)

Once you have chosen your property you should engage the services of a solicitor, whether you buy through a real estate agent or directly from the vendor. The knowledge that an Italian solicitor has about Italian real estate law is invaluable – plus, your own solicitor is there exclusively to look after your interests. Read more

2017 Legislation: Holding Account

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Keeping Your Money Safe in a Holding Account until the Completion of Your Italian Property Purchase

On 29th August, 2017, the holding account was introduced. The new legislation governing payments for the purchase of Italian residential and commercial Holding accountreal estate property came in to effect as part of the Law of Competition. The legislation is retroactive, which means that it also applies to ongoing property purchases started prior to 29th August 2017.

New rules aim to give better protection to both buyers and sellers. Funds for the completion of purchase of Italian property real estate will now be held in a holding account by the chosen notary to the transaction. Deposits connected with a reservation offer and preliminary contracts are not subject to this new legislation. Read more

Property Inheritance Laws in Italy – An Overview

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Property inheritance laws in Italy

Italian Succession Law – An Overview

IntroductionProperty Inheritance Laws in Italy

Italian succession law follows the Roman Law principle which gives some protection to close members of the family, partially limiting the right of the testator to dispose of assets.

Testamentary Succession consists in the assignment of hereditary assets in compliance with the wishes of the testator as set out in an Italian Will. In the absence of a Will, instead, inheritance is devolved following the principles of Legal Succession. Read more

Italian Inheritance Law Regulation

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Italian Inheritance principleItalian inheritance

The law no. 218 of the 31st of May 1995 regulates the field of Italian inheritance law in the framework of international private law.

The succession rules are determined on the basis of the national law of where the decedent was deemed habitually resident at the time of death.

Italian Inheritance legislation adopts the principle of “unity of inheritance”. This principle differs substantially from the one adopted in common law countries. It is based on a division between non-property assets and property assets: Read more

Italian genealogy research – Collaboration with Lo Schiavo Genealogica

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Italian genealogy research

Collaboration with Lo Schiavo Genealogica

We are pleased and proud to announce our collaboration with “Lo Schiavo Genealogica”, an international research firm that specialises in Italian Lo Schiavo Genealogicagenealogical research, Italian-American dual citizenship, and Italian-American probate cases.

Owner, Melanie D. Holtz, is a board-certified genealogist, writer, and lecturer with over 20 years’ experience in the genealogy field.

Melanie started out by researching her own Italian ancestors, who emigrated from the Italian province of Palermo at the end of the 19th century. Melanie brings her love of family and passion for all things Italian to her work. Read more

A deceased relative of mine owned Italian assets. How should I proceed?

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Italian assetsWe received this question from a reader wondering how to proceed with Italian assets. We hope that you find our answer helpful. If you have any queries related to Italian property or inheritance law, please send your questions to us. We are here to help.

You may also find our Guide to Italian Inheritance a useful resource. Read more