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Buying in Italy - Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long does the whole buying process take after signing the initial contract, the proposta irrevocabile di acquisto (irrevocable proposal to buy)? 
A: This can be as little as three weeks, if there are no legal complications. However, we find that between seven and eight weeks is the norm. Naturally, if you are buying off-plan or any other unfinished property it is usual to wait for building work to be finalised before completing the purchase.

Q: How much do I have to pay as a deposit? 
A: This depends on your agreement with the seller but is usually 10-30 per cent in total. 

Q: Can I be gazumped? 
A: Yes, if the seller has not yet signed their copy of the proposta irrevocabile. No, once this is signed by both parties. Then the deal becomes binding on both sides with financial penalties for defaulting. 

Q: How much extra should I allow for purchase-related taxes and professional fees? 
A: This depends on whether you are a first-time buyer. But expect to pay around seven to 10 per cent of the purchase price – which includes two to four per cent to the estate agent. Note, however, that you pay nothing extra whatsoever for engaging Property Organiser's services. See our section,Taxes & Likely Costs 

Q: What tax do I pay if I rent out my Italian home? 
A: You are liable for Italian taxes whether resident there or not. The first €8,000 is tax-free, with taxes then starting at 23 per cent. You will usually be able to use what you pay in Italy to offset against your tax liability in your home country. We strongly recommend you seek advice from a professional accountant in your home country or Italy. See our section, Taxes & Likely Costs

Q After completing the purchase, can I pass ownership onto a relative? 
A: Yes. But Italian authorities will deem this a new sale, meaning the new owner is liable for the same purchase-related taxes as they would be had they bought from an unconnected third party.



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