payment for property

Alba Image
09/28/2010 - 10:52

Hello, can anyone help with the mechanics of payment for a property.  We have contacted the Notaio with the options of payment but are not sure if we make the payment to a third party ie the notaio or to the vendor. Thnaks Alba. 



In reply to by TheItalianLife

  Many thanks, it is as we thought, we had an italian lawyer do all the work for us up to this point and with the help of this forum thought we could deal with the Notaio but even though we email him in Italian he replies in English (his english being a bit like the policemans french in Hello Hello) and it is really difficult to understand what he mean. Thanks again Alba.

Hi Alba,If you dont fully understand your Notary,you will have to during your meeting.The Notary reads through all the documents to everyone present and it is a legal requirment that you have fully understood before you sign.During our signing the Notary had also the same documents in english for us to follow, this is the one and only time you can query any of what is said,we also had our english speaking Geometra present if we needed any further explanation.Maybe you speak Italian then you are ok.

The sum payable to the vendor should be drawn on a bankers draft (assegno circolare) from an Italian bank, non transferable and all tehe cheque details are written into the act.  The notaios fees and taxes can be paid by personal cheque or bankers draft.  

In reply to by Ram

Hi there again.  There is an option on translation:  generally the principle in law is that in order for a contract to be binding the parties must be "able to sign".  A part of this is to understand the contract. The Notary therefore needs to be satisfied that the signatories can understand the act.  The act has to be in Italian and if a translation is used (as a translation not as the actual act) a qualified translator has to swear that it is a fair translation. The alternative that has been used in our sales to non Italian speakers is a little simpler.  The buyer appoints an Italian speaking person (we know a bilingual lawyer who does this) and gives them a one time, single purpose power of attorney (POA) which in Italian is called a "Delega".  The translator certifies the POA and then the lawyer then carries out the purchase for them using the POA. This is simpler and cheaper but you MUST MUST trust the person you are giving the Delega to.   In addition to these people you need a non interested bilingual witness.  You would need to check with your Notary if the Geometra is classed as an interested party. Fabrizio

Our notaio did the translation in english for us as he went along - he lived in London for 3 years and made sure we understood everything that was going on - we didn't have to pay anything extra for him to do this - our italian lawyer recommended him for this reason as did some friends who regularly use him whenever they need a notaio.   And as others have already mentioned you pay everything in front of the notaio at the rogito (final signing) - we did bankers draft for the vendor and ordinary cheque for the notaio. Our notaio had a team of assistants who were fantastic at communicating with us - they emailed us in english and were really helpful - all the nitty gritty stuff they dealt with - we asked the exact questions that you did - the notaio assistants even helped us complete the writing of our first ever italian cheque as it's very different from the UK ones...........

Many thanks for all your replies, we have been in contact with the Notaio and we will pay with a bankers draft, he will provide us with translation.  Our Italian is ok but not good enough hopefully this time next year it will have improved.  We have also heard from Barclays Italia branch in Florence so we have an appointment with them when we come over to complete the final deed of sale so, next on to the wills..!!  Alba.

I don't usually disagree with Ram, but the payment from buyer to seller (depending on previous agreement with the notaio) must be denominated in Euro, but DOES NOT have to be paid in Euro, and does not have to be paid through an Italian account. The notaio will need to have proof that a sum of money corresponding to the declared sale price has been transferred from the buyers account to the seller (this is antiriciclaggio aka moneylaundering international stuff), but  the transaction can be done in dollars or yen, (and nobody is going to be that particular about 'today's' exchange rate).

Fillide is technically right, but alot of notaios will not accept non euro/non Italian transactions.  Any payment not made through an Italian bank or in euros must have the full agreement of the vendor - and it is often the case that the cheque must be paid in and cleared before the act is signed, as with a bonifico.  A vendor here in Sicily would simply refuse to accept a cheque drawn on a foreign bank, not only do they have to pay their bank to clear it, but they wouldnt believe the bank existed.  With the amount of false cheques in circulation, it is much safer to use an Italian traceable bank, at least in the south.   By paying in advance, the risk is with the buyer - you are paying for the property, and if the owner doesnt turn up and sign the act of sale, you have just given him a very large present...  It would be very unusual, but there is a slight risk involved. A procura - power of attorney - is not a delega.  They are two separate things, and it is often much easier and quicker to sign a procura immediately followed by the act, the translation costs are much lower for a one page procura than a 6 page act, and if there is a mortgage involved which can have a 42 page act, a procura is indispensable. 

In reply to by Ram

Certainly both the buyer and the seller, along with the notaio, would have to be in agreement to transact in a currency other than Euro, and I completely agree that most Italian vendors wouldn't entertain the idea! I just threw it in for information, because sometimes American or British people are buying an Italian property which is owned by a fellow countryman, and there are savings to be made on currency exchange costs etc. if they can settle the deal in their home currency and country.