Hi all, should we involve a solicitor/

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03/30/2018 - 03:13

Hi all, should we involve a solicitor/lawyer when buying in Italy? Our estate agents says just the notaio will suffice. I have read conflicting articles, however, which have also recommended a geometra but as we are buying a fully restored property I cannot see what they would do over and above a notaio.if anyone has any experience of buying in Basiliata, it would also be great to hear from you: we are looking near Pisticci where the whole process seems very sleepy!thanks in advance 



Being from the UK we would never dream of not having a solicitor to buy, but here it was simply for our own peace of mind. In the end it was not a total waste of money, but pretty close to it. Saying that it took us 2 years to find a house and in that time we found out most of the legal issues with buying, well the main ones – good luck!

If its a simple purchase there is no need for a lawyer - assuming your agent is properly registered etc.  Most specialist lawyers simply translate  documents, as thy only have access to the same databases as the agent and the notary. .  The notary works for the state, not you - and he is responsible to make sure the sale is legal and all the documentation is correct.  Make sure you get a good translator.  A geometra would do a survey, which the notaio or agent can't., but as in the UK a survey can be a quick gander at the house to make sure it isnt falling down, or a complete structural survey.  You will need the sellers permission for any survey. 

Please, please , please involve your own lawyer and/or geometra.  We bought in Le marche some 13 years ago and were told the same thing.  No need for your own lawyer, no need for a geometra - the notaio will check everything.  However some years later we found that the previous owner had made changes to the property without any planning permission, fraudulently filed a new floor plan so that it looked all OK on the documentation - and we are left with fines, penalties for change of use, and a kitchen we can't call a kitchen as the ceiling  is too low.  We love our Italian home and lifestyle, but buying a property is one of the biggest purchases you make in your life.  Don't take the risk just to save a couple of thousand pounds.

use an english speacking notary  !you can find it , here > www.notariato.it/en/trova-notaiomore about  purchading in italy , here >  http://www.lifeinitaly.it/Inglese/Purchasing_Real_Estate_in_Italy.htm

Good advice from Ugo. Clombardelli's experience sounds awful, but knowing dozens of people that have bought here, it's the only one I've heard with such a problem, although I have read of a few on other forums. I would go with what ever Modi has said as I've not known  anything but good advice coming from that direction. Who is to say a second look at the legal aspects will be anything other than money lost? Our costs for a solicitor (English speaking) was €1500 and despite what I've said above, we do not regret it as she was very helpful in many ways.

More , I had the opportunity to use, for an agreement and two mortgages, to British and American clients, two notaries who are about an hour from Pisticci, both speak English, and are also certified by leading Italian banks - you can find their coordinates, at the following link - Region Puglia >  http://www.lifeinitaly.it/Servizi_Immobiliari/avvocati-e-notai.php

CLombardelli's experience would not happen now.  The laws have changed in recent years and it is not possible to sell a property which is not registered correctly.   Plans must be signed by all parties at the moment of the atto to certify that the house is exactly as reported.  

Hi,It is common that an real estate agent or a broker tells you not to involve a lawyer. It's because if your lawyer finds issues on the property he will inform you about them and you might not purchase and consequently the agent will not get his commission.A notary is surely helpful, but you should get a lawyer before signing any contract or during negotiations. I know form my relatives experience.  They signed an offer without really knowing if the property had particular issues, and than they were obliged to complete the purchase despite big issues arised after the signature of the offer. They contacted a lawyer, and resolved everything thanks to this law firm. If you wish me to ask them what law firm helped them, you can contact me in pM. In any case, I do suggest you to get a lawyer!

It is always possible to insert a clause in the preliminary protecting yourself against particular issues that were not known at the time of the offer.  The vendor promises to sell the property in accordance with all laws - if the property isnt wholly legal, its the sellers problem not the buyer's and he must sort it out before the final act of sale.   It is worth repeating that the amount of paperwork needed for a sale has doubled over the last few years, and a reputable agent has a legal responsibility to his clients. 

I have found the name of the lawyer dealing with real estate in the wholte Italian territory. You find the link below:www.luxury-law.comThey are apparently expert in real estate and have helped my relatives with a property purchase.I hope this is of help.Good luck!

Not necessarily.  A preliminary can be drafted at a notary or by the agent.  If the notary is doing it, and you are not transcribing it as a public act, it remains a private contract, and must contain all the details of the agent, who then must register it at the Agenzia dell'entrate.   You can insert as many clauses as you like - obviously with the consent of the seller.  A translator is more important than a lawyer at that point, assuming you dont speak ITalian. 

Yep correct, we don't speak Italian (yet!). Our agent won't tell us his registration number so I guess either we give up with him (although where we have our heart set on is so remote he seems to be the only agent) or come armed with an independent notary (I haven't found an english speaking one yet) - and/or lawyer...

We bought our property in Molise two years ago. We didn't have an agent as we found the property ourselves and eveything we have heard about the tactics of some agents ever since has made us very glad we didn't. Our friends ended up paying all sort of spurious fees and even ended up handing over cash in envelopes on completion day. At the time we were buying, being super cautious with our hard earned savings, we had decided only an avvocato would do and sought recomendations through this group. LargeLewis very kindly suggested we seek the assistance of Cristina Mattei who is an Italian/ Amercian avvocato based in Pescara. Her fees were very reasonable and her help and support throughout the process has been truely remarkable - she has dealt with scores of emails from a pair of neurotic Englishman buying abroad for the first time in a very quick and professional manner. She helped us negotiate the purcahse price with the vendor, organised a survey with a local geometra, translated all our documents (no additional fees), dealt with the Comune, arranged the preliminary and sales contracts, bankers drafts and attended the notaio's office with us on the purchase day too. Since then she has successfully assisted us in a two year ordeal to have mains electricity connected to the house by ENEL (she drew up the contracts with the vendor to have the work done much more cheaply than we every could as non residents) and is now helping us with a broken mains water supply which comes through a neighour's field. Personally I would not even dream of buying a house in Italy without an Avvocato and could not recomend anyone more highly. Her email address is avvocato_mattei@hotmail.com   Good luck with your purchase!  

Hello - thanks for this. I have just emailed her! We have decided that we really want to buy around Pisticci (beautiful sandy beach/warm/sea/mountains/mild winter) but now think our estate agent is not regulated! I have asked him a couple of times for his registration number and have not heard from him for 2 weeks now so can only presume they are not regulated. Anyway, there seems nothing else available in this area that would suit us - and given the market, I can't see much volume! - but I thought it would be worth contacting her any private sellers if she has contacts in Basilicata.

I would always advice that one should engage a lawyer during the purchasing process.  We did and it was money very well spent. Our agent was great, as was the Notary and the people from whom we pruchased but we did not have any experience of purchasing property in Italy and so having someone advocating only for us and undertanding property law was invaluable.