Estate Agents in Italy

Finding a good estate agent to help you with your property purchase in Italy could help to reduce the time and hassle it takes to find your perfect property. However this is often easier said than done!

Most Italian agents only deal with properties in their local area and don’t have details of properties in other regions. It can therefore be helpful to get in touch with a local estate agent who knows the area well and the properties that are for sale.

Many estate agents in Italy do not advertise through online portals so it can be difficult for foreign buyers to see many of the properties on the market without the help of an estate agent in the area. Some Italian agents in areas popular with foreign buyers do work with overseas agents who help to market the properties to foreign buyers.

Although the estate agent profession in Italy is regulated, there are many that act without the required licences. Estate agents in Italy also vary significantly in their enthusiasm and professionalism and most do not speak English. Although there are some very good estate agents in Italy, it is important to make sure you exercise some caution when choosing an Italian estate agent.

It is common for foreigners in many countries, particularly the UK, to use an agent in their own country who works with one or more Italian agents, or a British agent (for example) in Italy. Many foreign property buyers in Italy find this easier and prefer to deal with someone who speaks English and is used to dealing with foreigners and their particular requirements.

Whoever you buy through, make sure that you know the local market value of property in the area to make sure you are not paying over the odds.

For details of a recommended English-speaking Italian estate agent, contact Total Buying Abroad on 01244 478 911 or email us at info@totalbuyingabroad.com.

What should you look for in a good estate agent in Italy?

Your Italian Estate Agent should:

  • Have experience and knowledge of the local Italian property market and the local area.
  • Make an effort to understand your particular property requirements and help you to understand what your budget will realistically achieve. They should provide you with details of Italian properties that actually meet your criteria and not just properties they are trying to push.
  • Respond quickly to your enquiries in a professional manner.
  • Be organised and have a file with details and documentation relating to the Italian properties they are selling. Good agents should also have information about the local rates, utilities and community changes where relevant. Your lawyer will have to check all of these documents independently but if the estate agent is organised, it will help you get the information you need and will assist the process if you decide to proceed with a property.
  • Not try to convince you that you do not need a lawyer or push you towards their own in house or recommended lawyer. They should encourage you to find and instruct you own independent lawyer.
  • Not try to put you under any pressure during the process.
  • Be honest about issues such as rental potential of the Italian property and any restrictions there may be on altering the property.

What is the role of an estate agent in Italy?

Estate agents in Italy advertise and market and properties that are for sale and connect buyers looking for properties in Italy to those looking to sell theirs.

Many estate agents will help you to find a property that matches your search criteria, even if they do not have a suitable property on their own listings. Some agents will contact other agents on your behalf to try to find suitable properties on the market for you.

Estate Agents also help you to negotiate the purchase price for the property. Remember however that Estate Agent’s fee is usually connected to the amount the property is sold for so it is in their interest for the purchase price to be as high as possible!

If the area is unfamiliar to you or you don’t have transport, Italian estate agents will usually take you to the property themselves or arrange to spend some time showing your around a few of the properties they have for sale.

In terms of the buying process itself however, once an offer has been accepted on a property in Italy, your Italian property lawyer should take over from the estate agent from that point.

We can not stress enough the importance of instructing your own independent Italian lawyer to assist you with the purchase of a Italian property. It is common for Estate agents in Italy to try to push buyers towards using their “in-house” or “recommended lawyers” to deal with the property purchase in Italy or even try to persuade buyers not to instruct a lawyer at all!

Whilst getting the estate agent to “hand over to their recommended lawyer” can seem attractive to unwitting buyers, a lawyer working closely with an estate agent clearly has a conflict of interests. Whether you are buying a resale property (i.e. one that has already been lived in) or a new build property, decline any offer for the estate agent to recommend a lawyer and source your own lawyer who is independent and not connected to the estate agent or developer. That way you will have peace of mind that your Italian lawyer’s aim will be solely to protect your interests and not just to ensure the sale goes through so that estate agents get their commission.

For information about how to find an independent English-speaking Italian lawyer call Total Buying Abroad on 01244 478911 or email us at info@totalbuyingabroad.com

How much are estate agents fees in Italy and who pays them?

Italian estate agents will usually earn a commission of between 3 and 10 per cent if they successfully arrange a sale between a buyer and seller. Estate agents commission is usually subject to a minimum fee.

The commission is usually split between the buyer and the seller. It will usually be added to the advertised sale price so it is a good idea to check whether or not this has already been included in the price if this is not clear. You should also check when these fees will be payable. Fees are usually paid on completion but can sometimes be due when the initial purchase contract is signed. If this is the case you should check whether the fees will be refunded if the sale does not go through.

It can be helpful to check whether the agent charges extra for services such as additional viewings and after sales services such as arranging for the connection of utilities etc.

However good the Italian estate agent may be, always remember that they only get paid on the sale of the property, which means that their ultimate aim is to sell the property so they may not always have your best interests at heart.

Foreign agents working with Italian agents usually share the standard commission, so buyers usually pay no more by using a foreign agent. This is not always the case and so it may be wise to check to ensure you are not paying double commission.

Are Estate Agents in Italy Regulated?

The estate agent profession in Italy is regulated by law and estate agents must be professionally qualified and licensed, and hold indemnity insurance.

Estate agents must be registered with the local chamber of commerce (camera di commercio) and have a certificate issued by the local comune as proof of registration.

You should ask the person/company you are dealing with to offer their registration details to you. This will include a Partita Iva number and a R.E.A number which is registered at the local chamber of commerce.

An agent should also be registered with the Italian association of estate agents AICI, federation of mediators and agents (FIMAA) or federation of professional estate agents (FIAIP).

Getting a recommendation for a good reputable estate agent can help you to navigate your way through the Italian property market and save your valuable time.

No matter how good your estate agent appears to be, you should always consult with a good independent Italian lawyer before paying over any deposit or signing any contracts in order to protect your interests and your investment.

For further information or details of a recommended estate agent in Italy, contact Total Buying Abroad on 01244 478911 or at info@totalbuyingabroad.com