Is this an all time record?

07/27/2009 - 17:14

Just back from Italy after completing on the purchase of our new garden appartamento in Lunigiana.  We are thrilled to bits, the neighbours have been very welcoming, introducing themselves over the hedge and from the balconies, and passing over bowls of freshly picked fuit. In two days we have learned the names of the grandchildren and other family relations, and been shown proudly presented photos.  However, the rogito (completion) process was a bit of a soap opera, it took 7 of us to do the deed - Allan and me, the vendor and his witness, the translator, the estate agent and the notaio himself.  In all it took almost 4 hours, when we had been told to expect, as everything was in order, that we should be in and out of the notaio's office within the hour.  The first hitch was that we had not transferred money through a bank, and the official forms had no way of recognising that we had used Moneycorp, who do not quote a reference number.  Secondly, my middle name had been used as a first name on the forms, and this had to be changed.  Thirdly, the notaio had changed some of the wording on the official document after it had previously been checked by our UK based Italian lawyer, and the changes had to be emailed through to her for a second reading.  After the first three hours the translator began to get aggitated as she'd left her young son with her non-nappy changing Italian husband, and she was concerned "an accident might happen".  The notaio disappeared for a while while the changes were made, and our stylish vendor (wearing green, yellow, white and black trendy trainers and yellow trousers) told us through his English speaking witness about his other houses in Italy and his business interests.  Meanwhile the agent discussed with the young women administrators from the outside office who had popped in to see what was going on, how to tell if a pregnant woman is expecting a girl or a boy.  It would all have been quite fun if we hadn't so much at stake. Eventually it was all sorted out (our agent was very good) and the keys were passed to us in exchange for our cheques.  Is a 4 hour rogito an all time record?


 Congratulations! Certainly longer than ours - a mere 2 hours though it certainly seemed like longer at the time! I remember our big bugbear was regarding a triangle of concrete 5ft x 3ft x whatever. Apparently it was in the plans as ours but there was a debate whether it was ours or a neighbours - I was quite happy to give it up but apparently that wasn't the done thing!Anyway, enough about our travails, long forgotten as they are, enjoy your new property!

I'm sure it felt like it was taking forever, but not a record. The rogito for our place involved the notary and his assistant and a translator working with them, the agent, his business partner/girlfriend and his assistant/translator, the seller, his wife, the farmer who had a contract to farm the land, me and a friend who speaks Italian. All told, eleven people in a stuffy room on a hot September afternoon for, if memory serves, about six hours. This in spite of the fact that the agent, my friend and I had spent a couple hours with the notaio a few days before when we'd gone through the paper work and the notary had assured us that it should all be very straight-forward. On the day, one of the main problems was that the seller lived in Germany and didn't have an Italian bank account any more, while I had a BancaPosta account, cheques from which (at that time anyway) would not be accepted by the Italian banking system if received from a foreign bank. The agent, in spite of him receiving a substantial fee for his services and in spite of being told months before that he should investigate whether there would be problems on the money transfer side due to how the established Italian banks were doing all they could to obstruct BancaPosta, only realised a couple of days before the rogito that there would be difficulties. Therefore, the day started out with me and friend visiting Post Office to talk to the banking manager who, it transpired, had walked across town the previous day to another bank and arranged for me to receive cheques from them rather than BancaPosta. When we got to that bank, we were given a sheaf of cheques rather than just one: 13 for €20,000 and one for €10,000. (I still have no idea why it was done this way.) However, during the rogito, the seller said that he could not accept the cheques for some reason. Debate and discussion went on for so long that eventually I announced that I was very pissed off with how things were going and at the incompetence of the agent and that, unless things were sorted out in half an hour, I would consider my agreement with the seller void on account of his refusing to accept my money and I'd walk out the door. Perhaps things were already heading toward a solution, but my impression was that my threat seemed to galvanise them. Bizarrely, the solution they reached was for me to endorse the back of each of the 14 cheques to make them payable to the agent's business partner/girlfriend. After the sale document was finally signed, she, the agent and the seller and his wife all trooped off to another bank to sort out getting money from her account to the seller's. I really have no idea what that was all about. It may well have involved avoiding paying taxes to either the Italian or German government, but I don't know. After all the papers were signed, the seller had the cheek to ask if he and his wife could spend the night at the house since it was too late in the day for them to head back for Germany. I suspect that most people have stories to tell about the rogito, and some are far worse then mine. In any case, while the memory of that annoying afternoon some three years ago remains, it all seems ancient history now and it's just another story to tell about life in Italy and The Italian Way. Al

Well Al, looks like we got off lightly.  Fortunately, we got out of the notaio's office just in time to go to the supermarket which shuts at 8pm (we started our appointment at 3.30pm) to buy a bottle to celebrate as soon as we gained entrance to the appartamento.  (And yes, we remembered to bring a  bottle-opener & plastic glasses from England).  Cheers!

Having participated in various rogito's as a translator/interpreter in Marche and Abruzzo,I can tell  that  4 hours is quite normal....and it gets worse the more sellers are involved.The last one was the funniest one, because the buyer was an old lady, and as she had to pay geometra, translator, estate agent etc. she just handed out her checkbook to the various people who wrote out their own check by themselves.They could have saved a lot of money paying in cash, if they'd known...So my advice is always to be patient.RgdsSabs

Hello There,4hrs isn't a record that was our coffee break for our rogito.All day that's how long ours took. ALL DAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY.....Mainly part to an incompetent estate agent, for all those in Le Marche shes drives a big car and you know had all those operations to reduce her busty size.An incompetent lawyer, the estate agents friend.And the geometra, the estate agents brother.Its what you could call a right stitch up.Mind you we got what we wanted in the end!

Congratulations on the purchase. You can now remember the signing of the "rogito" as just another anecdote. Yes, usually it takes a while although we missed on all the "fun" as we gave a power of attorney to our agent. But then, the signing of the power of attorney was quite an experience, even if we do manage quite well in Italian.....

Rather than using a translator, we used an English speaking Lawyer.  One of her favourite phrases to us begins with: "In Italy there is a law...".  As we were buying our piece of agricultural land, the discussion came up that our land might be bought back from us by any neighbour whose main activity is agriculture.  So the meeting was adjourned for a week, so our Lawyer could check out the circumstances.  But the most amazing thing was that we were sitting in a room and our lawyer, the notaio, the vendor and the estate agent calmly discussing what price to put on the contract for tax-saving purposes.  €1000 was finally agreed on to be a reasonable price, but we handed over €11000.  We weren't even asked if we wanted to defraud the tax authorities!

Its still quite traditional for the seller to take everyone involved out to dinner afterwards. Its a nice touch and not something that would happen in the UK. We were very restrained at the time because we thought that the restaurant bill could be down to us and there were about a dozen people present at not a cheap restaurant. Naturally, though, the notaio did not hold back.

Once our contract was signed by all parties, the vendor was out of the door with his witness and the agent, the translator hung back because nobody had told us this was the time to pay her the cash sum, and the notaio told us as he departed ahead of us, we could stay all night in his office if we wanted to (joke?).  We were left to find our own way down the stairs to the street, and we emerged somewhat baffled that the proceedings had ended so suddenly without explanation after 4 hours of what seemed to us, Bedlam..

Because our notary had to go to a funeral we ended up having to sign our papers on Good Friday - legal stuff took all morning and then we all (apart from the notary) set off for three quarter's of hour drive following our vendor's geometra for lunch not really knowing where we were going.  The vendor, his geometra. our lawyer, his translator, us, our two children, then the vendor's wife tuned up with their son.  We had an amazing lunch - all fish and about 6 courses - fond memories of our two children (then 9 &7 watching Ready Steady Cook in Italian!)Chris