1. THE BUYING PROCESS
2. TAXES AND FEES
3. GENERAL INFORMATION (extracted from official FIAIP website)
1. THE BUYING PROCESS
E-mail your request and register to SIS Property and Tourism and a friendly member of our staff will contact you.
1.2 The search begins
Once we understand your needs we will access all properties that match your criteria. By e-mail you will receive
information, floor plans and pictures of the properties, which will help you to find the property of your dreams
in this corner of heaven. In order to secure a property, we recommend an early viewing.
Viewings can be conducted by appointment all the year round, 7 days a week. We can also arrange your accommodation
in Salento, southern part of Puglia and your business trip could become a relaxing break.
1.4 Making an Offer
(Proposta d'Acquisto, Offer to Buy)
Once you have found a suitable property, we will make an offer to the seller on your behalf,
both verbally and in writing. The seller can accept it in full, or refuse it within the agreed time-limit
(usually 15 days). If the vendor accepts your "Proposta d'Aquisto" you will be requested to pay a sum of
money as deposit called "Caparra Confirmatoria". The amount of the Caparra Confirmatoria varies from agency
to agency and it is relative to the cost of the property you wish to buy (usually 10%).
For buyers using only the Offer to Buy (Proposta d'Acquisto) it also important to remember that this become
a preliminary contract when it is formally accepted in writing by the vendor and it must have the clauses of the
preliminary contract. By now the property price is fixed and cannot change any more.
Offer to Buy/Preliminary Contract Registration
One important change, brought by the new Italian financial law 2007, is the registration of buying contracts.
The Offer to Buy (proposta d'acquisto) or preliminary contract (preliminare di compravendita) now have to be
registered within 20 days from the stated date on the preliminary contract or the stated date of the acceptance
of the offer to buy.
The charges for the registration are:
- Euros 14,62, Stamp duty for each copy, usually 3.
- Euros 168,00, Registration fees.
- 0,5 % on the sum paid as deposit, this percentage will be refund and deducted upon the signing of final deed
in front of the notary.
1.5 The Preliminary Contract or Promise of Sale
(Compromesso o Promessa di Vendita)
This stage is the most important of the buying process and you should pay attention because at this moment
both buyer and seller acquire legal rights vis a vis one another. It is very important to know all the qualities
and faults of the property regarding building plans, permissions and land regulations, for this reason the
"Compromesso" must include the following sentences:
- "Il venditore dichiara che l'immobile è in regola con la normativa edilizia ed urbanistica vigente"
(The vendor declares that the property conforms to the town planning and estate requirements);
- "Il venditore dichiara che l'immobile di proprietà esclusiva è libero da vincoli, trascrizioni
e iscrizioni ipotecarie" (The vendor declares that the property, esclusively owned, is free from any penalty
with regard to town planning, cadastre and mortgages).
- Technically, this is a private contract in which seller and buyer decide all the terms for the Notarial Deed:
price, payment plan, precise identification of the property, planning and building licences, whenever required
application for "Condono" (amnesty for infringement of local building regulations), and finally, date of the
final contract (Rogito, Notarial Deed).
1.6 The Final Contract or Notarial Deed
(Rogito o Atto Notarile)
This is the final stage of the sale/purchase. The contract is signed by you and the seller and residual
monies should now be transferred. Proof of such payment is then incorporated into the title deeds of the property.
It is extremely important that the notarial deed is in keeping with all agreements made in the compromesso or in
the offer to buy. The person buying the property may attend in person, but, if it is impossible, a "Power of Attorney"
is required (procura) which enables another person (for instance a member of our staff) to attend and sign on their
behalf. The procura must be in Italian form and signed in front of Notary. A "Power of Attorney" may also be useful
if the buyer is not fluent in Italian. Moreover, in order to enable the Notary to complete all the formalities of the
Italian Laws, you are required to have a tax identification number (Codice Fiscale - Tax Code) from the local tax office
even if you are not full time or tax resident and an Italian Bank account.
After signing the contract and receiving all the monies the seller passes the keys of the property to the buyer.
In this phase you have the guarantee of being assisted by a impartial professional: the Italian Notary Public, who is
an independent public official and in Italy the only professional entitled to transfer legal title to property.
The Notary is normally chosen by the buyer, they have the duty of drafting the Rogito, finalizing the sale, ensuring
that title passes legally between the parties, and registering the property in the Land and Property Register.
Congratulations, you are now the legal owner of your new home!
2. TAXES AND FEES
2.1 Fiscal Code
The Fiscal Code identifies a citizen in all their dealings with Public Authorities and Administrations.
You have to contact your local Revenue office and exhibit an identity document to obtain this code.
Foreigners require a valid passport or residence permit. Infants require only a birth certificate or parent
The only acceptable Fiscal Code is the one issued by the Revenue office.
No one else is authorized to produce software programs for the computation of Fiscal Codes or to print cards.
2.2 Property Transfer Taxes
In Italy the taxes chargeable to the buyer are calculated on the basis of the official value of the property,
which is given by the Revenue Service of Italian Government and is registered in the Property or Land Registry.
This official value, called "Rendita Catastale", normally does not follow the real property market and, for
this reason, the properties in the most of cases have a very low official value.
In Italy the buyer is required to pay:
and when the seller is not a private owner but a company
The amount of tax depends on the property and the kind of purchase: if the house is a "Main Home" (prima casa)
or a "Second Home" (seconda casa) in Italy, and, if the purchase is from a private owner or from a company.
- Imposta di Registro (Registration Tax)
- Imposta Catastale (Cadastral Tax)
- Imposta Ipotecaria (Mortgage Tax)
2.3 Purchase from Private Person
| a. Main Home in Italy || (3% + 336,00) |
| Imposta di Registro (Registration Tax) || 3% |
| Imposta Ipotecaria (Mortgage Tax) || 168,00 |
| Imposta Catastale (Cadastral Tax) || 168,00 |
| b. Second Home in Italy || (10%) |
| Imposta di Registro (Register Tax)|| 7% |
| Imposta Ipotecaria (Mortgage Tax)|| 2% |
| Imposta Catastale (Cadastral Tax)|| 1% |
2.4 Purchase from Company
| a. Main Home in Italy || (4% + 504,00) |
| I.V.A. (V.A.T.) || 4% |
| Imposta di Registro (Registration Tax) || 168,00 |
| Imposta Ipotecaria (Mortgage Tax) || 168,00 |
| Imposta Catastale (Cadastral Tax) || 168,00 |
| b. Second Home in Italy || |
| I.V.A. (V.A.T.)* || 10% or 20% |
| Imposta di Registro (Register Tax)|| 168,00 |
| Imposta Ipotecaria (Mortgage Tax)|| 168,00 |
| Imposta Catastale (Cadastral Tax)|| 168,00 |
*20% I.V.A. (VAT) If it is a luxury property.
2.5 Notary Fees
Notary Fees usually varies from 1% to 2% and depend on the value of the property.
They would be about 1.500 for a 100.000 property.
2.6 Estate Agency Commissions
SIS Property and Tourism, agreed to Italian general rules, has fixed its commission rates in:
a) for selling - buying property
- 3% plus VAT from both the buyer and the seller of the agreed purchase price upon the acceptance
of the Offer to Buy, with a minimum charge of 2.000,00 plus VAT.
b) for holiday accommodation
- 10% plus VAT, high season
- 20% plus VAT, low season
2.7 Property Running Taxes
Generally speaking, in Italy local taxes cost less than in UK. They are approximately between 0.3% - 0.8%
per annum of the official value of property (Rendita Catastale). Mainly, the local taxes are:
a) ICI (Imposta Comunale Immobili - Council Tax)
b) Tasse Comunali (Local Taxes)
(a) ICI - This is the main property tax and its amount is calculated by reference to the "Rendita Catastale".
(b) Tasse Comunali - These taxes are in relation to the services provided by the council in the area (rubbish
collection, cleaning of the streets and etc).
3. GENERAL INFORMATION (extracted from official FIAIP website)
3.1 Practitioner Code of Ethics
The Real Estate Agent is an independent contractor who, thanks to his own abilities and means, works as an
intermediary in the purchasing, selling, and renting of real estate as well as in the transferring or buying
out of firms, offering services pertaining to it and receiving a fair compensation for his work.
The Real Estate Agent in his work will act in accordance with those ethical principles that allow him to
perform his task in a morally correct manner by avoiding all those activities that, although not illegal, violate
the above mentioned principles.
The Real Estate Agent, in acting in accordance with the rules governing this profession, must avoid any
misunderstanding, so that the interest of the parties may be served.
The Real Estate Agent must respect confidentiality during the performance of his duties.
The Real Estate Agent must continue to improve his training by participating in seminars, meetings, and lectures,
so that his performance may be such as it is fitting for a professional.
These rules are binding for all those who work as real estate agents and are registered the Italian Professional
Real Estate Agents Association regulations (Federazione ltaliana Agenti lmrnobiliari Professionali - F.l.A.l.P.)
Therefore, the rules of conduct for real estate agents are divided in three sections: Relations with the Public,
Relations with Clients, and Relations with Colleagues.
Relations with the Public
Art. 1 The Professional Real Estate Agent must know the real estate market and its development as well as the
laws and regulations that govern his own activity.
Art. 2 The Real Estate Agent must gather for any of his assignments all useful information in order to
accomplish his task.
Art. 3 The Real Estate Agent must always use his own name.
Art. 4 The Real Estate Agent, when requested by those who entrust him with a task, may not mention their
names until the time when the assignment has been concluded.
Art. 5 The Real Estate Agent must act solely on the basis of an assignment entrusted to him in writing and
with a clearly defined agreement specifying the type of service, the amount of the commission and the reimbursement
of fees, if applicable.
Art. 6 Compensation must be agreed upon in advance and the amount must be specified in a legal document signed
by the parties. Otherwise the customs and regulations of the C.C.I.A.A.* will be applied.
Art. 7 The Real Estate agent must not intermingle his own assets with the money received by a third party.
Relations with Clients
Art. 8 The assignment, even if irrevocable, must be limited in time, leaving open the possibility of renewal
to the parties involved.
Art. 9 It is advisable that "the Real Estate Agent request exclusive rights to avoid entering in conflict
with other Real Estate Agents".
Art. 10 Once an appraisal of the property or the company has been made, and the essential conditions of the
assignment with the selling, renting, or transferring party have been established -- should there be more than one
person interested in closing the transaction -- the Real Estate Agent must inform the above mentioned party of the
best offer or the first offer meeting the requirements.
Art. 11 After the essential conditions of the contract have been established and agreed upon by the party
interested in the sale, rental, or buyout of the company, the Real Estate Agent may not propose to a third party the
conclusion of the contract under the same or different conditions until a positive or negative conclusion of the
transaction has been reached.
Art. 12 If the Real Estate Agent intends to conclude in person the transaction assigned to him, he must
instruct the Client to adhere to the terms established and, in case he intends to sell or rent a property, he must
inform of this situation any third party that may be interested.
Art. 13 The Real Estate Agent entrusted with the task of managing property must agree with the client in
advance on the amount of the compensation to be given to him and may not accept any amount of money by a third party
at any title.
Art. 14 The Real Estate Agent must accept the task of giving an estimate only within the limits of his own
knowledge and experience. Should these limits be exceeded, he must rely on the cooperation of a professional chosen
in agreement with the Client.
Art. 15 The Real Estate Agent must examine the assignment entrusted to him and inform the Client of all the
difficulties of the transaction.
Relations with colleagues
Art. 16 The Real Estate Agent must behave in an ethical manner with his colleagues and avoid seeking his own
advantage to the detriment of his colleagues.
Art. 17 The Real Estate Agent must refrain from passing judgment on the work of colleagues and, should he find
out that a certain transaction has been entrusted to another agent, he must refuse to take over the assignment until the
colleague's mandate has expired.
Art. 18 The Real Estate Agent must refuse the cooperation of persons working for a colleague, unless expressly
authorized to do so by the colleague himself.
Art. 19 The Real Estate Agent may not accept an assignment by a client he has met through a colleague, unless
expressly authorized to do so. In this case, except otherwise agreed, the commission for the job that has been performed
must be divided between the two agents in accordance with the work each has invested into the task, and this must result
from a previous written agreement.
Art. 20 In any case, when several agents have contributed to the conclusion of a transaction, the commission
must be divided between them in accordance with agreements previously made. Otherwise, local customs and regulations
will be applied.
Art. 21 The Real Estate Agent must take care not to hang his own advertising signs in the building where
another agent has his practice, unless the text of the sign clearly indicates that the transaction is not the same.
In any case, the hanging of signs must always be authorized by the client.
Art. 22 In establishing the amount of the compensation due to him, the Real Rotate Agent may not go below
those levels established by local customs and regulations. Art. 23 The ethical conduct which governs the relations
between colleagues must also be applied to the Association within which the Real Estate Agent works, both on the
national and on the local levels.
Art. 24 Should there be discrepancies of opinion or conflicts between Real Estate Agents, they must be
subject to the judgment of a Moderator, in accordance with the regulations established in the Constitution.
Exception will be made for those cases pertaining to the jurisdiction of the Colleqio dei Probiviri.
3.2 Entrance/Licensing Requirements
The professional role of the estate agent is to take instructions, to sell properties and carry out the associated
necessary operations in order to close a deal. The Act of 3 February 1989 specifies that in order to obtain
registration as an estate agent, it is necessary to have obtained a high school diploma with a commercial
specialization or a degree in a commercial or legal specialization. Alternatively, those wishing to register
must pass an examination which assesses the candidate's aptitude and professional skill relating to the
specialized area of agency within which they wish to work. Access to the examination is open to those who have
worked for at least two years in firms carrying out agency activities, or who have attended special preparatory courses.
This preparatory course must have a duration of at least 80 hours (this may be increased by the relevant Regions),
and candidates must attend at least 70% of the required hours.
- The examination
There are additional requirements for registration. These include the requirement that those wishing to register
must be of Italian citizenship or citizenship of one of the EU member countries, or be foreigners who are resident in
the Italian Republic. They must also enjoy civil rights, and be resident in the district of the Chamber of Commerce,
Industry, Trade and Agriculture in which they intend to register, and must not have been prohibited from applying for
registration for any reason. Those wishing to register should seek further information from the relevant regional offices.
Registration qualifies agents to carry out their activities anywhere in the Republic and to carry out any other
complementary or necessary activity to close the business.
Those wishing to take the examinations will need to be proficient in different areas of agency work, including
legal aspects of estate agency and valuation. Preparatory courses leading to the examinations are organized through
the Regions by public or private training bodies who must be authorized to carry out the training.
These are advertised in newspapers and through the Chamber of Commerce, and usually take place in the evenings
to enable those who work to attend more easily.
After passing the examination the candidate can make an application, on payment of stamp duty, to the Chamber
of Commerce, Industry, Trade and Agriculture within the Province in which they reside (or in which they have elected
residence if they are a citizen of the EU), indicating the section or sections of the Roll in which they wish to be
To be able to operate autonomously as proprietor or partner etc. the registered estate agent must register their
firm in the Company Register and must fulfill all the obligatory tax and welfare formalities. If a firm carries out
agency activities, it must be entered in the Roll of Business Agents. In this case, the requirements for registration
must be held by lawyers or by the legal representative of the firm itself or by the person in charge of this branch
of activity in the firm.
3.3 Land Registration System
It is the buyer's responsibility to ascertain the legitimacy of the property with regard to town planning,
cadastre and mortgages. The town-planning aspect is particularly important; see reference to Law 47/85, which
deals with illegal construction. The estate agent is entrusted with this responsibility, and must ascertain
whether there are the necessary building licenses or permits etc.
The cadastral assessment concerns the revenue aspect, i.e. the regularity of the real-estate units with
regard to census for fiscal purposes. It is necessary to check the Registrar of deeds in order to verify the
actual ownership of the estate object of sale, to check the registrations (services, burdens, etc.) and to
assess the existence of mortgages or other encumbrances (cautionary attachments, etc.).
The estate agent is also obliged to inform the parties about any circumstances concerning the security
of the deal (art. 1759 Codice Civile).
3.4 Other Industry Professional
The Italian estate agent will work closely with a local "Geometra", a draftsman/surveyor, who generally does
many jobs for them on the bureaucratic and administrative side of real estate, floor plans, measurements, surveys,
"Condono" formalities, mortgage and title searches etc.
In view of the complexities of Italian bureaucracy, many small offices have arisen which are dedicated to
collecting certificates, documents, making searches etc, so their use can also be of invaluable help to the agent.
The agent will have a favourite Public Notary to bring his clients for the signing of the deed, with whom
a rapport of trust and understanding will be developed. This will ensure that the completion goes smoothly and
without holdups. Builders can be an invaluable source of exclusive listings, if the agent can show they are
capable of handling the promotion of large properties. Architects and interior designers are also correlated
to estate agency work.
The professional estate agent will not usually need the services of a lawyer to draw up the preliminary sales
contract, as their knowledge and experience will ensure they are proficient in this important task. A lawyers help
may be sought for more complicated contracts.
3.5 The Role of Professional Bodies
There are three relevant professional bodies for estate agencies in Italy, which are known as category organizations.
These are: F.I.A.I.P. (independent), F.I.M.A.A. (Confcommercio) and A.N.A.M.A. (Confesercenti) and membership is evenly
distributed throughout the country.
Their regulatory role is mainly one of representation in the Provincial Commission constituted in every Chamber
of Commerce. This Commission is responsible for registration in the roll and for keeping the roll itself. It comprises
a member of the chamber executive, and representatives from agriculture, industry and trade as well as five
representatives from business intermediation agents who are nominated by the most representative organizations
of the category at national level.
Amongst its other duties, this Commission is responsible for reporting those who carry out unauthorized activities
to the judicial authorities. In particular, when someone has been fined three times for unauthorized activities,
the Provincial Commission will make a criminal report.
Another feature of the legal role of the category organizations is the presence of two of its representatives
in the Examination Commissions that assess the aptitude and professional capacity of applicants wishing to register.
The category organization will also provide tax, legal and organizational support services to its members.
They are responsible for seeking to improve the regulations which govern the estate agency profession, and for
ensuring input where necessary to ensure that the interests of the profession are taken into account. In return,
members comply with the relevant Code of Practice.
The category organizations are committed to safeguarding the estate agency profession, and to increase the professional
profile of estate agencies.
The F.I.A.I.P. is sensitive to the growth of the previously mentioned 'new' professions and includes property
consultants in its membership. This is a professional aspect which is encouraged, particularly through university courses.
The professional bodies have a crucial role in safeguarding professions within the property sector and for the ethical
and professional growth of those who carry out these activities.
- Future plans for training in the profession
Fundamental attention is given by professional organizations to implementing all forms of training to encourage
professional growth and the potential of members in carrying out their work. The F.I.A.I.P. has established its own
internal training body (FORMED), which works in close collaboration with the Association's executive in developing
every possible training requirement on behalf of their associates, employees and collaborators.
Training activities are normally scheduled annually, whilst some are offered on a permanent basis and run at the
request of interested parties. FORMED offers the training courses necessary for the examinations leading to registration
as an estate agent. Seminars and study evenings are organized, which act as refresher courses for those already employed
within the profession, and these are often organized in collaboration with regional and provincial colleges and
universities. The courses include, for example, marketing, communications, and computer training to improve the
organization of estate agencies and its associated activities.
FORMED has also recently developed, in conjunction with the Universities, a real estate science degree which will
introduce a new, higher level professional figure who will have the knowledge and authority to act as a consultant in
the areas of real estate and buildings.
3.6 Practitioner Services
The role of the estate agent in Italy has evolved from the mediator in commerce and has ever since been considered
to be the person who brings together two or more parties for the conclusion of a transaction. In Italy the estate
agent is truly 'the middle man', acting for both parties. For this reason he is required to be impartial and
consequently receives a commission from both parties, both buyer and seller. This is regulated by the Italian
Civil Code, art. 1754.
With the law that was passed on the 3rd February 1989, number 39, agents are further entrusted to carry out
all the related activities, either complementary or necessary to the conclusion of the transaction. They are obliged
to be registered with the local Chamber of Commerce. This law also provided sections for the registration of property
professionals and for technical consultants for the Tribunals, giving them recognition for their work for the Public
This law finally considers the mediator as a person providing a professional service, who now acquires a major
and respectable role in Italian society. With the publication of the Ministerial Decree of February 12th 1994,
number 589/93, law 39 finally became definitive. Furthermore, through the educational efforts of the associations
for the professional advancement of their members and a sensitising towards the observation of a code of ethics,
the consumer public was offered even more guarantees on real estate matters.
These educational initiatives of the associations are not only aimed at new estate agents, but also at further
educating the established members, for a more coherent understanding of the exercise of their profession.
The consumer public expects from estate agents certainty in the transaction, brevity of its duration, quality of the
information provided and suggestions of financial solutions to their needs.
The estate agent must therefore know the civil law regarding real estate, the relative fiscal dispositions, the
urbanization laws and regulations, valuations, understand the Cadaster and all those norms directly or indirectly
concerning real property.
The estate agent must keep up with the times and be continuously adjourned with new laws and regulations to
fulfill his role as a professional. He is now no longer the "mediatore" but in fact is regarded by Italian Law as
a professional and officially referred to as "agente immobiliare", an estate agent and no longer as "mediatore".
The modem estate agent must be aware of current marketing methods for promoting the properties entrusted to
him and will find indispensable the use of computers and Internet. Accordingly, they will have appropriate office
assistant programs and be able to access the data banks for inserting the properties listed with them, in order to
reach the greatest number of potential consumers. We shall now examine the rights and duties of the estate agent.
- REVEALING THE FACTS
The Civil Code requires the mediator to communicate to the parties all those circumstances of which they are
aware that relate to the valuation, to the certainty of the transaction or that which can influence its conclusion.
However the professional will not limit himself to those facts, but will make searches and investigations that will
give a very clear and thorough picture of the situation.
Even if it is the norm for notaries to make a title and mortgage search before the signature of the notary deed,
it is advisable for the estate agent to make their own search soon after having paid off, that has not however been
cancelled from Registry. He should therefore proceed to its definitive cancellation, in order to avoid complications
at the signature of the notary deed and so ensure that the purchaser is provided with a completely clean title.
There are many facets to estate agents work, based on examination of all the documentation, certificates, licenses,
floor plans, mortgages and services. Peculiar to Italy is the "Condono" legislation, whereby the State "condones"
the urban sins of its citizens, who have constructed, enlarged or modified buildings, without having obtained the
necessary approval from the local Council. By admitting one's guilt and paying a fine, all is forgiven.
Properties that do not conform to the original building license, having been subsequently modified without permission,
cannot be sold by the notary, as such deeds would be null and void. Hence the necessity to properly control the "Condono"
For agricultural land, one must know that neighbouring farmers have a first option to buy and for building land the agent
must ascertain the actual construction capacity of that parcel of land, by checking the urbanization law regulations and
verifying the existence of construction plans and their approval by the relevant authorities. These last examples
demonstrate the need for specialization in the different fields of real estate, but for the purpose of this study,
we will concentrate only on the residential housing market.
- COVERED SQUARE METRES
It is customary to insert in the preliminary contract the "metri quadri coperti" of the home being sold and these
must be carefully measured. If an error in excess occurs, exceeding 20%, then the purchaser must be reimbursed for the
corresponding price overpaid. In Italy the covered square meters include the thickness of the walls, whereas common
walls with the neighbours are calculated at 50%. (The square meters of an apartment in France on the contrary, is
always quoted as net of all walls.)
When a reference is made to "metri quadri commerciali" (commercial square meters), this is the total of the
surface area of the apartment, plus one third of the area of the balconies and open terraces, plus half of covered
terraces and verandas, plus half of cellar areas and garages. In different areas of Italy there are some minor
variations on these calculations, depending on local usages, but the association FIAIP has advocated the use of
a universal system for all of its members.
- KNOWLEDGE OF THE PROPERTY
It is essential that the estate agent gets to know the property very well, even before signing up the listing
agreement, as it is this knowledge that permits him to calculate its value. The agent must request a copy of the
title deed, as effective ownership is one of the very first things to ascertain. Without this, the signature of
a preliminary contract by an untitled person could be very risky for the unwary purchaser.
- KNOWLEDGE OF THE PARTIES
The agent must be certain that the person that is giving them the listing has proper title to do so, which will
result from a title search. In the case of companies, the person signing the listing must also be authorized, either
by the company articles of association or by a special power of attorney.
Regarding a particular type of sale, which is again coming into common use, of an elderly owner's home,
whereby the property is sold at a figure lower than the normal market value and the owner retains the use and
enjoyment of the property during his lifetime, the estate agent must be well aware of all the necessary elements.
3.7 Relationship of Buyer/Seller to Practitioner
- SOLE AGENCY In the past many estate agencies worked on a simple non exclusive listing agreement, often unwritten.
However with the development of a greater professionalism over the last 20 years, largely through the good work of the
associations, the estate agents now generally use the exclusive listing agreement, the Sole Agency.
This does not preclude them from receiving a commission from the purchaser, as the law requires them to maintain
impartiality, even if the , agent receives written instructions from the seller. Usually however the percentage paid
by the seller is higher that that paid by the purchaser.
- MULTIPLE AGENCY still exists though it is always less used.
- MANDATO ONEROSO This is the closest we get to the Anglo-Saxon system, whereby the estate agent acts
as the agent of only one party. The agent therefore acts in that party's interest only and cannot therefore
receive a commission from the purchaser. Normally this is the case when listings from builders of whole apartment
complexes under construction are received. The length of listings agreements will vary greatly; usually an apartment
in the city will have two or three month duration; more difficult properties will have longer ones, from six to nine
The Civil Code provides for the reimbursement of extraordinary expenses to the estate agent, but normally this
is agreed beforehand by the parties.
- TYPES OF SALE Unlike their counterparts in the Anglo-Saxon countries, Italian estate agents do not use
auctions for the sale of properties. This is usually reserved only for bankruptcy cases, where it is the tribunal that
directs an auction. The sale by tender is also used by the Tribunal, requiring tenders to be presented in closed envelopes.
Estate Agents may represent purchasers in these cases.
As mentioned in an earlier chapter, Italy is very much a tourist country and it is not surprising that many
estate agents work exclusively in this field. They will manage properties for absentee owners, arrange short holiday
rentals, often legally representing the owner in the signing of rental contracts and their regulations, collect monies,
give a full service to the client including the rental, cleaning and repairs of the property and equipment, and providing
a full account to the owner at the end of the season. Estate agents in the cities will refer clients to these agents,
both for rentals and for sales. The association FlAIP has a special section catering for the particular needs of its
members dealing in the tourist sector.
Article 1755 of the Civil Code states the right to a commission if the transaction is concluded with intervention
on the part of the mediator and this must be paid by both parties. The law of 1989 limits this right to only those
mediators registered with the Chamber of Commerce; the motivation was to exclude free-lance persons from profiting
from an occasional dabbling in estate agency.
The parties, buyer and seller, are free to agree the amount of commission to be paid to the agent, but in case
of uncertainty, the Tribunal will make recourse to the local practice where the mediation took place in settling
litigation on the matter. In fact there is no set commission in Italy, but it varies greatly from place to place.
The Antitrust law has recently forbidden the use of general commission price lists, as these tend to limit competition
and the bargaining power of clients.
The right to the commission arises at the moment of the conclusion of the transaction, from the proposal to buy,
to the preliminary contract and to the final notary deed sale, it was important to determine at which moment the agent
effectively has a right to the commission. Several judicial decisions have finally stated that the transaction is
concluded at the moment of the signing of the preliminary contract/offer to buy, because at that moment both buyer
and seller acquire legal rights vis a vis one another. Therefore the estate agent may ask for his fees to be paid
at the signing of the preliminary contract/offer to buy and not necessarily wait for the signing of the notary deed.
However the serious professional will not consider his work terminated at the signing of the preliminary
contract/offer to buy, but will follow his clients right up to the notary deed, when the transfer of property
actually takes place. He will wait until this moment to invoice, especially when only a small down payment has been
paid at the signing of the preliminary contract/offer to buy.
ESTATE AGENCY COMMISSIONS
The estate agent is entitled to commission as payment for their services. The rate of commission varies according
to the area and the price of the property and the specific terms agreed, but it is usually around 6%, although larger
agencies can charge up to 10%. In most transactions, this is usually paid in equal shares by the buyer and seller.
In holiday resorts, where agents keep their offices open all the year round, but negotiate sales only during short
busy periods, the commission rates are generally a point or two higher. In urban rentals of apartments and offices,
one month's rent is paid to the agent by both parties for their service. In holiday rentals, where a cost intensive
service is given to clients, the estate agent's commission varies from 10 up to 25% depending on the number
of services offered.
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