Buy a Property in Italy - Legal Advice for Foreigners

Purchasing a Property in Italy

Updated on Wednesday 01st February 2023

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purchasing a property in italy
Before you buy a house in Italy it is best to verify the property, with the legal support of our Italian lawyers who can offer real estate due diligence procedures which will secure the success of the purchase. The procedure itself is rather complex, and it is highly recommended to receive professional assistance on the legislation in the field and the steps one must follow when buying a property in Italy.
 Quick Facts  
Can foreigners buy properties in Italy? (YES/NO)


Types of properties you can purchase in Italy

- houses,

- commercial and residential properties,

- land plots

Institution in charge of property registration

Italian Land Registry
Real estate due diligence offered by our property lawyers in Italy

We can verify the property you want to purchase to see if there are any legal problems.

Documents for buying a property in Italy

- sale-purchase agreement,

- title deed,

- cadastral documents,

- building permits,

- energy certificate

How can our Italian property lawyers help you with property purchase ?

- verification of documents,

- drafting contracts,

- representation in front of notary

Expert advice for price property in Italy (YES/NO)


Verification of properties with local institutions or municipalities (YES/NO) Yes
Inspection trip before property purchase (YES/NO)


Pre-sale agreement for real estate in Italy (YES/NO) Yes
Representation in case of litigation before the acquisition of a property (YES/NO)


Legal advice for commercial property purchase (YES/NO)


Support for payment transfer of property in Italy (YES/NO)


Property purchase for citizenship in Italy

Golden Visa for Italy

We offer free case evaluation

Yes, provided by our property lawyers in Italy.


Buying real estate in Italy

In both residential and commercial real estate purchases there are several steps to be followed. The first one is finding the suitable property and having it inspected. It is also advisable to have the Italian property evaluated in order to see if the price is correct. Among the aspects that need to be taken into consideration when buying a property in Italy are:
  • the property is not subject to any encumbrances or third party rights;
  • the property is registered with the Land Register;
  • all planning permits are in place as well as and other necessary documents;
  • the property is suitable for certain activities, in the case of commercial real estate purchases.


Once the buyer has decided on a certain property, a contract will be drafted and a deposit must also be paid before the purchase is completed. If you need assistance with the sale-purchase agreement you can request the services of our Italian real estate lawyers. You can also discover the video presentation we have prepared for this topic:


Buy a home in Italy – Market trends 

It should be noted that the preferences of the persons who want to buy a home in Italy relate to the detached properties that also provide an outdoor space, as presented by the Bank of Italy.  
Below, our Italian real estate lawyers have gathered some of the highlights of the property market in this country, referring to the current prices at which properties are sold in various Italian cities and regions, the top foreign nationals interested in purchasing properties here and other relevant matters: 
  • in the Italian Housing Market Survey, carried out by the National Bank between 31 August – 20 September 2020, 1,403 real estate agents reported a decline in the prices of Italian properties;
  • in September 2020, in Rome, the highest price per square meter was in the city’s center (Centro Storico), where a square meter was valued at EUR 7,474; 
  • the lowest price available when buying a property in Italy in the city of Rome was in Appio Latino, where a property was valued at EUR 3,927 per square meter;
  • the top foreign nationals interested in purchasing a property were represented by Germans, British and Dutch citizens, who made numerous enquiries starting with 18th of May 2020, when property viewings were allowed in Italy, amid the Covid-19 restrictions.


What are the basic documents for buying a property in Italy? 

Those who want to purchase an Italian property have to take into consideration numerous aspects. Besides the entities involved in the transaction (the buyer, the seller, the notary and the Italian real estate lawyers), one has to verify if the price of the property is established in accordance with the real value of the property, but also the taxes one must pay during the transaction, as well as those that must be paid on a yearly basis by the owner of an Italian property
Our property lawyer in Italy can help you with legal advice on all these aspects and can present the restrictions that can appear when buying a property here, based on the nationality of the foreigner (EU nationals benefit from an easy access to purchasing a property here). 
The procedure itself requires the participation of a notary public, where the seller has to present the following documents: the ownership title of the house, the floor plan of the house, the cadastral document, the energy certificate, the building permits (necessary for properties that were built after 1967) and the identification documents of both the seller and the buyer.  Information on this topic you can also discover in the following infographic:
How to buy a house in Italy

Who can buy land in Italy?

The right of buying land or buying a property in Italy is available for most of the categories of foreigners, which are divided based on the nationality. Italy does not impose restrictions on owning a property as a foreigner, but the manner in which one can purchase properties here can vary based on the nationality of the foreigner. 
For example, persons who are citizens of the European Union (EU) or of the European Economic Area (EEA) can buy a home in Italy following the same procedures addressed to Italian citizens. The same right is granted to persons who are stateless or to those who are refugees, but the possibility of purchasing a property can take place only if these categories of persons have lived in Italy for at least three years. Our property lawyer in Italy can offer more information on the process addressed to this category of possible buyers.  
For other categories of citizens, Italy allows the right to buy a home if there is an international treaty which agreed on a reciprocity condition between the Italian institutions and the institutions of the other country. This means that if a foreigner who is not a EU or a EEA citizen wants to buy a home in Italy, he or she will be able to do so as long as an international treaty stipulates that an Italian citizen is allowed to purchase a property in the country where the foreigner is a national. 
In the case in which there isn’t a reciprocity condition, then the foreigner will not be able to buy a house in Italy, as the Italian notaries are not entitled to draft and sign property contracts with persons who are from non-reciprocity countries. There are certain exemptions from this rule and you can address to our Italian real estate lawyers for in-depth information regarding this matter.  

Steps to complete the purchase of an Italian property

The last steps to complete the purchase of a property in Italy are: signing the title deed, registering the property with the Italian Land Registry with the buyer as a new owner and applying for a tax code. The title deed must be signed by both seller and buyer before a public notary in Italy.
Once the document is signed, the new owner will register the property with the Land Register and pay all the required fees related to the procedure. The buyer must also obtain an Italian tax code in order to be able to pay the taxes related to owning a property in this country.

What to consider when buying a property in Italy

Purchasing a house might seem a simple transaction for some, however, there are a few tips to consider before any acquisition. It is recommended to see the property before purchase and solicit information about the documents of the house. It is best to meet the seller in person and see if he/she is the real owner of the property. Then, with the help of our Italian real estate lawyers, you can decide on the purchase. Here are other interesting aspects that you should consider if you want to buy a property in Italy:
  • If you want to use the services of a real estate agency, make sure they have an official website and correct information about the properties displayed.
  • If you decided on a specific property, hire the services of a property lawyer in Italy who can help you with the required verifications, such as real estate due diligence.
  • You can also ask for price verifications to see if the property selected has the right value.
  • Besides the property price, you need to pay attention to the taxes that must be paid at the time of transaction. This is another aspect for which you can receive legal advice from our experts.
  • A pre-sale agreement is required for property acquisition in Italy, alongside a small amount to be paid. These aspects are part of a property transaction in Italy.

How to buy a house in Italy as a foreigner

Foreigners who want to buy a property in Italy must consider the formalities required in this process. With the help of our property lawyer in Italy, one can easily purchase a home, as our expert can manage all the aspects from a legal point of view. Below are some steps to keep in mind if you want to buy a house in Italy:
  1. Choosing a house - The first natural step is to look for a house in Italy, and here you can benefit from specialist help. There are various platforms with which you can view the properties available for sale, and a real estate agent can be of use to you.
  2. Property inspection - Real estate due diligence is the process by which you can find out a lot of information about the house you have chosen. Legal problems can also be discovered, if they exist. You can thus get an idea about the respective property before purchasing it, by contacting our property lawyer in Italy.
  3. Drafting the contract – An important step is the preparation of the sale-purchase contract. It must include the entire history of the respective property, the name of the owner, as well as the amount proposed for sale. In this stage, you have the chance to negotiate the price of the house in question.
  4. Making a deposit - Once the amount has been determined, you proceed to pay a sum of money from the total price of the house. This guarantees that the property will pass in your name and that it will be removed from the sale on this occasion. Our lawyers can help you buy a house in Italy by managing the formalities from a legal point of view.
  5. Signing the title deed - The sale-purchase contract is signed by the seller and the comparator in front of the public notary. Before signing, this document will be checked once more.
  6. Registering the property - After signing the sale-purchase contract of the house in Italy, registration with the Italian Land Registry follows. This step is important, and the new owner receives a tax code to pay the relevant fees imposed.
  7. Owning the house in Italy - Paying the taxes for the newly owned property is the last step in this process. Foreigners can delegate a property lawyer in Italy, with a power of attorney for such a purchase, without being obliged to travel to this country.
Therefore, if you want to buy a house in Italy as a foreigner, it is recommended to take into account the legal aspects as well as the formalities related to this type of purchase. Moreover, our Italian real estate lawyers are at your disposal with specialized legal services.

What you need to take into account when buying a property in Italy

Although the process of purchasing a property in Italy may seem quite simple, there are cases in which, without specialized assistance it cannot be completed. It is better to be informed about what you have to do so that all the formalities are free of complexities. Here are some tips in this regard:
  • It is recommended to choose a licensed real estate agent, to ensure that you benefit from the desired services.
  • In terms of documents, a property lawyer in Italy can be of use to you. He/she can do the necessary checks, including real estate due diligence. This procedure is essential before purchasing a property in Italy.
  • You must consider checking the price of a property, to reflect the existing value on the market. Otherwise, you can change your mind and choose something else.
  • The registration of the purchased property with the Land Registry is mandatory, and the new owners have the obligation to pay the related taxes.

FAQ about property purchase in Italy

1. Who can buy a house in Italy?
There are no restrictions for foreigners who want to buy properties in Italy. However, the Italian authorities have the power of making some verifications of criminal records and other aspects. 
2. What types of documents are necessary for property purchase in Italy?
Besides the ownership title of the property, the cadastral document, the energy certificate, the plan of the property, building permits and the identification documents are necessary for a sale and purchase transaction of a house. One of our Italian lawyers can offer the required support.
3. Is it necessary to have a pre-sale agreement before the final transaction of a property?
Yes, once the buyer agrees on the price of the property and wants to make the acquisition, a pre-sale agreement must be drafted. Also, a specific amount from the property price must be deposited in a bank account.
4. Is a real estate due diligence necessary before a property purchase in Italy?
Yes, most commercial real estate properties require due diligence and specific verifications that can be managed by one of our lawyers in Italy. This kind of procedure is also recommended for natural persons who want to buy a property in Italy and need to know if there are any problems.
5. Is the property price verified before the transaction?
Yes, it is quite recommended to verify the price of a property before purchasing it. This way the future buyer can be sure that the value of the house aligns with the prices on the market. This is another aspect that can be handled from a legal point of view by our attorneys in Italy.
6. Where does the property transaction takes place?
All the property documents will be presented in front of the public notary. He or she will verify the papers and accept them before the final transaction. We remind you that you can be represented from a legal point of view by our Italian lawyers.
7. What are the main steps for buying a property in Italy as a foreigner?
If you have a specific budget and already arranged for a property purchase, hire a lawyer for real estate due diligence, contract verifications, and representation. Once the documents are ready and the taxes paid, the property can be yours.
8. Can an Italian lawyer help me find the right property to buy in Italy?
You can request the legal advice of our Italian lawyers if you want to buy a property in Italy. This way you have the guarantee that the property you choose does not have legal problems or is subject to hidden issues. A complete evaluation will be offered.
9. What are the best cities for buying a property in Italy?
Rome, Milan, Naples, Tuscany, Cagliari, and Sicily are only a few of the cities and regions of Italy where foreigners can buy excellent properties at affordable prices. If you need legal advice for buying a property in Italy, feel free to get in touch with our experts.
10. How is the property registration made in Italy?
All properties must be registered with the Italian Land Registry. This means that if you purchased a house in Italy you need to register with this institution.
If you need information about how to buy a property in Italy, do not hesitate to contact our Italian real estate lawyers. We can also offer you legal advice if you want to divorce in Italy