How to buy a property in Italy

Buying property in Italy

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  • Italy-wide support
  • Complete handling and support during the entire purchase
The law firm Gasser Springer Perathoner Eder & Oliva offers comprehensive support for the purchase and sale of real estate, the calculation of the municipal real estate tax and the processing of real estate transactions, whereby, of course, the aim is always to optimize the effects under tax law and civil law.

In addition, the law firm offers a variety of other services, such as the preparation of rental and lease agreements and the ongoing management of tax matters relating to real estate in Italy.

Buying property in Italy - made easy.

Holiday home in Tuscany, chalet in the Dolomites or apartment on Lake Garda? Buying a property in Italy is a lifelong dream for many. We make sure that the purchase doesn't turn into a nightmare. Our specialized consultants take care of the processing of the property purchase, clarify the legal questions and take care of the processing of the purchase as well as all other tax obligations that arise for you after the acquisition.

Below is some general information about buying a property in Italy.

Registration in the land register

In the northern provinces of Italy there is the land registry system. In the other Italian regions, however, there is no land register. In these regions, the relevant data can be seen from the real estate registers, in which the purchase contracts and other contracts that give rise to encumbrances (e.g. mortgages) are stored. These registers are publicly accessible. In addition, each property must be registered in the cadastre, which is also publicly accessible. This is where the relevant data for taxation appear.

The preliminary purchase agreement

It is common practice in Italy that the purchase takes place in two steps: in the first moment, a preliminary purchase agreement is signed and a deposit is paid. Both parties are thus bound. If the party promising purchase withdraws from the preliminary purchase agreement, it loses the deposit. If, on the other hand, the party promising the sale withdraws from the preliminary contract, it must repay the double deposit. The preliminary purchase contract can be stored in the property registers to protect the party who promises to buy and can therefore also be enforced against third parties. However, there is also the option of doing without the preliminary purchase contract and concluding the definitive purchase contract right away.

The purchase agreement

The purchase contract for a property must be signed in front of a notary. However, it is not necessary that the parties appear in person; they can also be represented by an authorized representative. The notary fee is higher in Italy than in Austria or Germany. Since the notary fee is no longer set by the state, it is advisable to get several cost estimates. The purchase price is usually to be paid directly when the contract is concluded.


Citizens from Germany, Austria or Liechtenstein can purchase unlimited real estate in Italy. For citizens from Switzerland, however, restrictions are provided. It should also be noted that in some regions (e.g. South Tyrol) some of the properties can only be inhabited by residents.

Taxation of the purchase

When purchasing a new apartment directly from the developer, VAT is usually due in addition to the purchase price. This is four percent for first homes and ten percent of the purchase price for second homes. A VAT rate of 22% applies to luxury apartments. Garage, parking spaces, basement, etc. generally follow the VAT rate of the apartment to which they are assigned.

On the other hand, there is usually no VAT when purchasing old buildings or when buying from private individuals. Instead, a proportional registry tax is payable on the cadastral value of the property. This is usually significantly lower than the market value. When purchasing a first home, the register tax is 2% of the cadastral value, for additional apartments and luxury apartments 9% of the cadastral value.

Income taxes

Income tax may also be owed for owners of several properties or of rented properties. In these cases, filing an annual tax return is mandatory. As a rule, you cannot create this yourself, but must be submitted via a tax advisor.

Municipal real estate tax IMU / GIS

The owner of a property is periodically obliged to pay community property taxes (GIS in South Tyrol, IMU in the rest of Italy) and any other service fees that some communities collect. The corresponding costs vary greatly depending on the municipality.


What we do

Our services are aimed at being able to handle your entire property purchase project competently and completely from a single source:
  • Examination of the legal situation of your property, both in connection with urban planning and encumbrances
  • Calculation of the applicable transfer fees and advice on this
  • Support in the negotiation phase
  • Preparation of bilingual preliminary purchase agreements
  • Obtaining cost estimates for notary fees
  • Preparation of bilingual sales contracts
  • If desired, we can attend the notary appointment as an authorized representative on your behalf and on behalf of you
  • Handling of all tax obligations after the purchase
  • Advice on tax law
  • Creation and registration of rental agreements