Don’t Leave Your Italian Property Transaction To Chance …
When buying or selling a property at home, most people wouldn’t dream of doing so without the assistance of a qualified and independent lawyer. Yet in Italy, many buyers and sellers, particularly foreigners, decide not to instruct a lawyer and instead rely on an estate agent to advise them about their Italian property transaction.
Many foreign property buyers find their way to our law practice after encountering serious problems during or after their property transaction. Sadly, some have lost everything.
The reality is that buying an Italian property is an investment. You may not be familiar with the Italian language. Add to this unfamiliar legal, tax and administrative systems and procedures and you are looking at a very complex situation.
Essentially, the need for an experienced, independent lawyer is far greater for your Italian property transaction than when buying property at home.
Italian real estate agents are not qualified to provide legal advice
In many instances, an estate agency will offer to handle all the paperwork for a buyer. With registered and reputable agencies, the intentions are genuine and the conveyancing may well complete satisfactorily. However, estate agents are not trained lawyers. Many have no professional liability or indemnity insurance to cover you in case your property transaction goes wrong or if they miss something crucial.
Real estate agents act on a vendor’s behalf in an Italian property transaction
Also bear in mind that an estate agent is not independent. In fact, they have a potential conflict of interests in offering you advice. Remember that the estate agent is acting for the vendor.
The agent’s primary goal is to sell the property on the seller’s behalf in order to earn their commission. If the sale doesn’t go through because somebody spots an irregularity or a legal problem, the estate agent earns nothing. You, on the other hand, may face a potentially costly and time-consuming ordeal to sort out the issue. You may even expose yourself to prosecution.
Appoint a lawyer in your home country?
As an alternative, some clients look to instruct a lawyer in their home country. However, it is unlikely that the lawyer will have local knowledge of Italy. In addition, it is costly to fly a lawyer to Italy several times in order to conduct searches and checks and to attend completion at a notary’s office.
A lawyer overseas will in all likelihood subcontract the work to a local lawyer in Italy. This may be a lawyer who lacks experience and/ or expertise in cross border and Italian property law.
Because everything needs to go through a number of people, there will inevitably be delays with information and documentation. On top of this, both the foreign and local lawyers will expect to get paid, so in essence, you end up paying twice for the same service.
De Tullio Law Firm specialises in Italian and cross border property, inheritance and family legal matters. We are regulated by the Italian Bar Association and a full member of STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners), the leading worldwide professional body for practitioners in the fields of trusts, estates and related issues.
Our knowledgeable, experienced and multilingual team of professionals manage client cases throughout Italy.
Our clients also benefit from De Tullio Law Firm’s Professional Indemnity Insurance. This is in place should something go wrong during an Italian property transaction due to negligence by our firm. Our clients can however rest assured that in more than 55 years of operations, we have never had to make a claim.
Why leave your property transaction to chance? Get in touch with De Tullio Law Firm. We are here to help make sure your Italian property transaction is a safe and smooth experience.
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