Purchase of a property

The following indications are valid also for the seller, who should apply the same cautions and claim the same guarantees of seriousness and correctness of the operation.

  1. If there is an intermediary
  2. For direct negotiation
  3. The preliminary agreement
  4. When the recording of the preliminary agreement in the land registers is recommended


If there is an intermediary

In case you resort to a real estate intermediary, it is advisable to:

  • After having visited the asset and found it appreciable, demand to know its actual condition, concerning:
    • the ownership of the seller resulting from the land registers and the deeds whereby he has acquired the asset (purchase, donation, inheritance, etc.);
    • the cadastral situation of the asset and its regularity as far as the public authorisations for the construction are concerned, asking for the relevant planimetry and cadastral documentation;
  • at the time of the intermediary’s request of underwriting the purchase proposal, take into account that:
    • such a proposal, once accepted by the seller, represents an actual preliminary agreement, given that it contains all the elements of the contract and the payment modalities;
    • there will be neither further chances of negotiation nor of reconsideration for the purchaser;
    • the proposal binds only the proposer irrevocably towards both the seller and the intermediary;
    • the amount to be given as a deposit should be paid with a check headed directly to the seller and not the intermediary;
    • you should check the form which you are proposed to fill in and undersign, so as to detect any abusive or particularly burdensome clause; indeed, the delivery of a copy of the said form by the intermediary before its signature, in order to allow the signer to check it, may be considered as a sign of professionality of the intermediary itself.

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For direct negotiation

In case of direct negotiation between the seller and the purchaser, it is advisable to resort to an expert – such as the notary – so as to perform the necessary prior verifications before the signature of the preliminary agreement.

Such an advice is also particularly valid for the seller, who may ignore some constraints or particular rules which must be respected before undertaking to sell.



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The preliminary agreement

Performed the needed verifications and agreed with the seller the contract terms, a preliminary agreement may be (and usually is) signed. According to Italian Law, also the preliminary agreement may be recorded in the Land Registers. The recording makes the contract public and protects the purchaser against the prejudicial consequences of prevailing records performed on the estate after the stipulation of the preliminary agreement and before the final contract of sale (such as mortgages, seizures, sequestrations and so on) or of the bankruptcy of the seller himself. In the last case, the law provides for a particular privilege of the purchaser against the other creditors of the seller for the recovery of the paid sums and borne expenses.

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When the recording of the preliminary agreement in the land registers is recommended

The recording of the preliminary agreement in the competent Land Registers is always advisable and in particular in the following cases:

  • When the seller is an entrepreneur;
  • When, between the preliminary and final agreement:
    • a) there are some restructuring works which have to be performed on the estate, or
    • b) concessions, authorisations, amnesties or financings have to be requested;
  • When a long term is agreed on for the stipulation of the final agreement.

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