ILN: BUYING AND SELLING REAL ESTATE - AN INTERNATIONAL GUIDE

[BUYING AND SELLING REAL ESTATE IN ITALY] 144

KEY FACTS OF REAL ESTATE ACQUISITIONS UNDER ITALIAN LAW

I. INTRODUCTION This brief guide has the goal to provide legal explanation on the main aspects of the real estate transactions in Italy. II. REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS ACCORDING TO ITALIAN LAW Land There are different types of land that can be purchased, such as agricultural or building lands. Although these are always and, in any case, real estate sales, rules and taxation may vary according to the classification of the land. For agricultural lands, it is possible to build under certain conditions; the agricultural land can be transformed into building land at the discretion of the Municipality. Residential properties The most common forms of residential property purchase and sale concerns independent units or property inside a condominium. Residential properties are known to be a low risk and medium yield investment option. It is possible to buy a property to refurbish and sell, or to rent. Commercial properties The purchase of a commercial property essentially recalls what has been indicated above for residential properties, although obviously not for residential use. Commercial properties are a medium to high yield investment option and are associated with longer leases (6 + 6 – year period or 9 + 9 – year period).

III.

METHODS OF SALE AND PURCHASE

III A) Private sale A real estate may be sold and purchased through a sales agent or by private sale directly between a seller and a purchaser. 1. Assistant of a Real Estate Agent (“REA”) REAs are usually appointed for the research of a residential and commercial property in Italy. REAs charge a commission that usually varies from 3% to 6% of the purchase price. REAs accompany to visit/s the real estate and provide the preliminary basic information, including legal information and the main conditions established by the seller to complete the sale. If the real estate meets the purchaser’s approval, purchaser is requested to sign a binding unilateral offer to purchase (“Unilateral Offer”). This is usually a form produced by the REA, containing the purchaser’s offer to buy the real estate for the price requested by the seller. In the majority of the cases the Unilateral Offer is issued together with the deposit in the REA’s hands of a bank check representing a percentage of the sale price, that will be utilized as part of the payment of the purchase price. The bank check, depending on the case, may be cashed by the seller when accepting the Unilateral Offer or in one of the following steps of the deal. It is important to underline that the Unilateral Offer is binding for the purchaser only, until the seller declares in writing to accept it. One of the most delicate issues relating to the Unilateral Offer is that the standard form

ILN Real Estate Group – Buying and Selling Real Estate Series

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