Invest Sicily Property

Etna in Sicily

Buying Property

FAQ for Buying Property in Sicily

Stone house on Enna

If you are considering Sicily as a location for making an investment in a piece of land, a property or any other type of real estate, then there are i am sure, many initial questions you will have. I have attempted to answer some of the most commonly asked questions below. They will be added to from time to time so make sure to check back!

Can I make good rental income

Many people who contact with us with the view to buying a villa, apartment, house or villette often us ask if there is the chance to generate a good yield from using their property as a form of vacation rental accommodation. The answer is that this is certainly possible although it does depend a lot on the location in which you buy. Similarly, the yields you coudl expect really would depend on the property types and location. We can better advise you on this subject during viewings.

How do I arrange a viewing for property?

We will spend time talking with you before your trip to determine the best sort of real estate or property for you to see, so you make the best use of your time in the area. Before you leave we will agree with you the properties that you will see and make a firm appointment as to the time and place of meeting our agent. Once you have one or more properties you want to view we can advise on travel and accommodation in the area and arrange an appointment with a local agent.

Office block

Can you help me selling my property?

Yes. We can list your property on this website with photographs and full property description and you can choose whether you want to be contacted directly or through ourselves. We do charge a small fee of GBP £25 to add one property per month and this accounts for our admin fee to create the new webpage and to edit the page. You can contact us to add your property.

What additional costs will I have to face?

You will need to pay for the services of the notaio (see above), for a geometra (surveyor) to run the legal checks and searches listed above and required by the notaio, and pay purchase tax to the Italian government. In practise all of these will generally add somewhere between 9% and 13% to the sale price – of which the great majority is the tax.

Do I need to sign a Compromesso

In Italy the process is quite different from that which you will be used to in the UK, Germany or another country. In Italian there is what is known as a ‘compromesso’. A compromesso translates as a ‘comprimise’ and this solves one of the biggest problem us British buyers who buy in the Uk experience in the form of gazzumping. The comprimise idea means that both the buyer and seller are tied into an agreement and this I personally think is an excellent idea because it gives confidence to both parties, so that you ca proceed with the purchase or sale. Buying property and getting surveys and paperword done is expensive and time consuming enough, without a buyer or seller backing out at the last minute. In Italy, if the other person does back out at the last minute, you have what amounts to insurance against against this, in the form of the compromesso agreement. If the other person backs out then you will normally be able to keep the money laid down for the fees (check with your solicitor for the latest information). The key with a compromesso is to ensure that only proceed to this stage if you are 100% serious about either buying or selling the property in question. You can find some more interesting information on the compromesso here.

New property in Tremestieri.

Do I need to use an Italian solicitor?

You should give serious consideration into ensuring that you have a lawyer or solicitor who have a native level of Italian language ability to ensure that nothing is missed in the small print. If you do not use an Italian based solicitor, do be sure that they are very familiar with the Italian and local regional laws and that they can clearly understand all documents in Italian..

When I purchase a property, which taxes will I have to pay?

It depends on the kind of purchase. Taxes can range approximately between 4% and 10% . On request we provide tax consultancy advice.

What about deposits?

The question I often get asked is will the deposit that I will pay to ensure the property, be given back to me, if the vendor was to refuse my proposal? Yes. If the buyer who gave the deposit backs-out, the vendor can withdraw keeping the deposit. If instead, the person who received the deposit backs-out, the other part can withdraw and demand the double the deposit (see art. 1385 of the Italian Civil Code). See the information above regards compromesso.

Is there a rule that sets the value for the deposit?

Also, does it have to correspond to an exact percentage of the total amount, or it is up to the participants to decide? There is not a rule, although the Chamber of Commerce of each city sets a minimum percentage. Usually the percentage can be higher or lower, according to the agreements between vendor and buyer.

Is there a Capital gain tax in Italy?

No, there is not. Instead there is an annual tax called ICI. The amount of ICI is decided by each city council and it depends on the location of the property and on its square metres. It may change from year to year, according to the decision of the city council.

Are there any other property taxes?

There is a tax on rubbish disposal, which is decided by the city council of each city and it depends on the square metres of the house. It doesn’t matter how many people live there.

How long does the process take?

If we provide consultancy on the above mentioned matters, we can generally move from offer to completed sale in around 3-4 weeks if both parties are ready and if the final check on the paperwork shows up no last-minute problems and a notaio is available to produce the sale documents and to witness the sale.

Is it easy for a foreigner to get a mortgage in Italy?

For information about mortgages in Italy, check this link: http://www.bancaperlacasa.it/ubcasa/jsp/foreign_buyers/index.jsp. It links to a bank called Unicredit, Banca per la casa (Bank for the home) and it was formerly the Abbey National branch in Italy. They have a branch in Catania, Sicily.

How much are the agency fees?

2-3 % on the price of the property for the buyer, 2-5% for the seller.

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