Apartment Search

Dawn Image
05/21/2010 - 11:50

We have just returned from Florence having spent a very productive few days meeting with agents and looking at apartments. We looked at 4 but none of them were suitable and we have waited long enough so do not want to buy the first place we see.From what people were saying to us there are a lot of properties on the market and so people will be a lot more willing to negotiate on price, we learnt a lot and established quite a few contacts and we will be returning again in a few weeks to continue our search.It was really good to go inside apartments and see exactly firsthand what we can have for our money and where, we have also pinned down the exact area of Florence and so hopefully all the agents we met with will have properties for us to vist in this area and for our budget.We now need to start talking to lawyers so if anyone has any recommendations it would be appreciated. Hopefully we can start our new lives in Italy very soon.


Hi, Dawn.  Glad to hear it went so well.  I'm a long way from Florence so can't help with lawyers but wanted to say I hope you start your happy new lives here soon.

I thought it might be helpful just to tell you what happened when we bought our apartment in Orvieto. Having viewed the flat, we returned home (much to the estate agents' disappointment who thought we would make an offer there and then) and about 2 weeks later made our offer which was below the asking price. We were asked to fax this through so that the offer was on paper. It was subsequently accepted by fax. We already had a codice fiscale and bank account, so we just had to make arrangements through the bank for the deposit to be made to confirm the offer. Everything else was done by the estate agent (it is normal in Italy for the agent to act for both parties). We simply turned up at their office three and a half months later with the rest of the purchase price, they took us to the notaio where we met the vendor and the translator and half an hour later the apartment was ours, so in summary the agent you purchase from ought to be able to make all the arrangements you need.

It is not only normal for an estate agent to act for both parties but a legal requirement.  A legally operating and registered estate agent must be independent and work impartially for both parties without ties of dependence, collaberation or representation.  Unfortunately most of the abusivi - illegal agents - do not have this requirement and just want to sell property - the moral being - use a legal estate agent.... :)