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How to buy a property in Tuscany (and in Italy in general)

You need to know:


- there are no restrictions placed upon non-residents wishing to purchase a house in Italy, be they from Europe or elsewhere



PROPOSTA IRREVOCABILE D’ACQUISTO (means irrevocable purchase agreement)

– Note that this is an option!


If you see a propert proposta irrevocabile d'acquisto, which identifies both parties, the property, and gives an expiry date for signing the compromesso (see below). When you sign this act you y you love and don’t want to risk losing it, you can sign apay a deposit by cheque which is not cashed but held by the notary or the agency, and returned to you when you sign the compromesso. If you change your mind you will forfeit the deposit, as the owner will have effectively taken the property off the market for a certain period of time. If the sale does not go ahead in the specified date through no fault of your own, then your deposit will be returned to you.

Alternatively a preliminary agreement is often signed where a small payment on account is made - say 5000 or 10,000 euros. When the compromesso is signed the amount already paid is deducted from the due at compromesso.

The 'contratto preliminare' or 'compromesso' is drawn up. This is a legally-binding document which states the agreed sale price, the completion date, and the deposit to be paid at the signing of this contract. Usually it's about 30% of the purchase price. It may also include any other relevant legal details. The 'compromesso’ is a standard contract which describes the property as it appears in the land registry. The seller also states that the property is unencumbered by legal or financial liabilities, and would be liable should any arise.

Once this contract is signed and the deposit (caparra) paid, the seller may only back out if he pays DOUBLE the caparra amount to the buyer or should the buyer wish to back out, he will lose his deposit.

The agency fee can vary, negotiate it! (1%, 2%, or more) plus VAT is payable when the compromesso is signed. - remember that estate agents in Italy represent both the buyer and the seller and aim to negotiate to reach a settlement favourable to both parties.

The final contract or 'l'atto notarile' is usually signed 1 - 3 months later (the date having been set in the compromesso). It is signed by both parties, the balance is paid and the property is officially transferred.
The buyer and the seller are required to be present at the notary's office for the signing of the notary deed. If the buyer or seller cannot be present it's possible  to organise power of attorney.  It's possible to sign compromesso or final contract or both on your behalf, without the need for you to come to Italy. The purchase taxes and notary fees due are payable when you sign the final contract.

As well as paying the balance for the property, the buyer must also pay purchase tax (that depend on if the house is your first residential home in Italy, if you apply for residency in the local area, if you already owns property in Italy or does not wish to apply for residency). If you are buying from a company rather than a private individual then non residents pay 10% VAT. If you are a resident (or intend becoming a resident in the next 18 months) then the VAT rate payable is 4%.

Other cost: the buyers pay the notary fees when the final contract is signed (approx 1-2% of the value of the property); technical assistance, surveyor's report and eventually  interpreter translator; IMU Annual Taxes an annual local council tax determined by the size and quality of the property.

Read more about Buy/rent properties in Tuscany 


Read more about our villa in Tuscany or read about flat in Tuscany


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