Do I need a lawyer when buying a home in Italy, or not? That’s the dilemma for many and one of the most frequently asked questions by overseas house hunters in the bel paese.
As a matter of fact, in some countries, such as UK, the transaction is made between lawyers. But in Italy, is such a figure required? The answer is that − although not necessary since the buying process is already quite safe − it is highly recommended to hire the services of a property lawyer as quite often the legal process could turn into a financial and bureaucratic nightmare if you’re not familiar with the Italian law system.
That’s why, according to our experience, many are more comfortable getting advice from a lawyer who would take care only of their interests as a buyers. If you purchase a property with the help of a real estate agents, remember that in many cases they could have agreements with trusted lawyers that can assist you.
But how could a lawyer help you? We have asked Alessandro Clemente − solicitor specialized in property law and founder at Clemente Law Firm − who provided us with the main 5 reasons why usually people ask for his assistance to ensure a smooth transaction.
1. A lawyer is an independent professional who protects only you as a buyer
He represents only the very best interest of the buyer not being in any conflict of interest (no business connection) with the seller, developer or real estate agent. On the contrary the estate agent represents both parties in the home buying process. Also the notary is an impartial figure playing a neutral role.
2. A lawyer can carry on the Legal Due Diligence on your behalf
He can carry out all the searches and legal checks in order to verify that there are no obstacles to the transfer of the ownership right safely.
3. He is highly specialised and will advice about the Italian buying process
He has a specific in-depth understanding and experience with the Italian property law and real estate industry, so it will help you maximize the contractual terms and conditions of the negotiation.
In fact, in Italy there are three stages of the buying process − Proposta d’acquisto (Reservation offer), Contratto preliminare di vendita (Preliminary contract) and Rogito (Deed of sale) − and they all involve signing legally binding paperwork. If you are not familiar with the Italian legal system he can help you avoid nasty surprises.
4. He can help you overcome the language barriers
Especially in case you are not fluent in Italian and the lawyer also speaks English, it will be easier to understand every step of the process.
5. He can arrange a Power of Attorney
In case you need it, with the help of a solicitor all essential documentation can be signed on your behalf also if you are unable to come to Italy.
[Written in collaboration with the Italian solicitor Alessandro Clemente from Clemente Law Firm]