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Why you Should Transcribe the Preliminary Agreement

Preliminary Agreement Italy

After months of searching for your dream home in Italy, you found the perfect property and following a few negotiations with the seller, your offer was accepted–congrats! You’re well on your way to living Italy’s la dolce vita and it’s just a matter of time before you close on your new home. Before you pop the prosecco though, you’ll want an iron-clad agreement to prevent unanticipated issues from arising. 

What is a Preliminary Agreement?

The preliminary agreement is an important and useful legal mechanism you should use when buying a home in Italy.  The preliminary agreement, or “compromesso” in Italian, is a contract you sign at the real estate agency detailing the purchase price of the property and the terms and conditions of the sale. It is technically binding for both parties, but in reality, it is only partially binding. 

In other words, the seller can back out even if they have to give you double your deposit back! This is in accordance with legal stipulations in the contract. It could take years, however, for you to receive your deposit back, and be very costly since you would have to hire a solicitor to obtain the payment if the seller doesn’t honor the agreement. In fact, the owner can still sell the house at a higher price to someone else, which might cover the double deposit he ought to pay you if he backs out. 

How to Transcribe the Preliminary Agreement

I strongly suggest my clients to have a notary public in Italy transcribe the preliminary agreement for a small fee. This legal protection for buyers ensures the seller cannot back out, and the house shows as “sold” to any other buyer that the seller may wish to sell to at a higher price. For roughly €1,500, the notary will go to the land registry office and present the so-called transcription note or “nota di trascrizione” in Italian, making the preliminary agreement enforceable against third parties. 

Importance of Transcribing the Preliminary Agreement

Without a transcribed preliminary agreement, the seller hypothetically could scam several buyers and sell the same house to each one of them. In such a case, the real owner is not the one who pays first, nor the one who takes possession of the property first, it is in fact the one who transcribes the Deed of Sale first. To protect your deposit and your right to purchase the property, it is important to have a responsible real estate agent request the transcription of the preliminary agreement from the notary.

Should you need assistance buying a home, Spadafora Realty not only provides clients with the widest selection of real estate listings in the country, we also draft all documents necessary to carrying out your property purchase in the safest and most secure way possible. Don’t hesitate to contact us.

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