How to find the perfect property to buy in Italy

There are many property gems to be found throughout Italy, from Tuscan townhouses to Venetian villas, but finding your dream Italian property isn’t always easy as a foreign buyer. The Italian estate agent system, combined with the language barrier can make the process feel daunting but it doesn’t have to be.

Many foreign buyers in Italy choose to use an Italian property finding service rather than use estate agents in Italy as not only can it take the stress away but surprisingly it can be more cost-effective too. In Italy, estate agents fees are usually split between the seller and buyer and can cost anywhere between one and three per cent of the purchase price plus IVA (VAT) each.

When using an Italian property finder, these fees can usually be avoided as estate agents are not involved in the process. While there is a cost attached to using a property finding service it is often far cheaper than paying estate agents fees, especially when investing in high value properties.

Due to the high fees charged by Italian estate agents, many sellers in Italy often choose to sell their properties privately. In rural areas in particular, sometimes a very makeshift in vendita (for sale) sign is the only clue that an Italian property is on the market, but this is often where the real gems and bargains can be snapped up. This might seem obscure and perhaps even a little risky to those who aren’t au fait with the Italian property market but it’s not uncommon in Italy. In fact, it’s not unknown for property finders in Italy to approach home-owners whose properties aren’t even on the market to find out whether they can be persuaded to sell.

Property finders also often have access to a far greater range of properties compared to estate agents, as they are not limited to working with specific sellers and colleagues.

Having a property finder based in Italy who is working to a detailed brief of what you’re looking for and being on the ground searching in your chosen location can also save a lot of time and money on expensive viewings trips. If you’re on a tight time schedule during a trip the last thing you want to do is waste time, and lets face it the relaxed Italian culture isn’t renowned for being speedy and efficient. You don’t want to wait around days for a reply to a call or email. What’s more, many home-owners in Italy prefer to be present during property viewings too, so it can be difficult to arrange last-minute viewings.

It’s also worth noting that like many European countries, August is peak holiday season in Italy and the country pretty much comes to a standstill, so if you’re trying to arrange viewings or progress with a property sale it’s best to avoid this month.

The language barrier can be problematic too. Although many Italian estate agents will speak some English, their language skills often aren’t good enough to converse on the finer details, which can lead to confusion in the best instance and costly mistakes in the worst-case scenarios. Property finders in Italy are uniquely positioned to understand the needs of foreign buyers and know what questions to ask. For instance, it’s not uncommon in Italy for homeowners to take their kitchen and white goods with them, so if you’re buying a property based on your dream kitchen it’s better to get your Italian-speaking property finder to check if the house comes with the kitchen first!

If you’re interested in using a bespoke Italian property finding service to find your dream property in Italy contact us on 01244 478911 or email info@totalbuyingabroad.com and our friendly team will be happy to put you in touch with someone in your chosen destination in Italy.

We can also help you find English-speaking Italian lawyers, Italian mortgage specialists, currency specialists and more to assist with your property purchase in Italy.

Article published: March 27, 2019