The majority of properties in Sicily are owned outright, that is to say that no mortgage usually exists on them. Chains such as in England do not exist either, therefore exchanges of contracts can be made within as little as a few days of agreement being reached (including land searches). In most circumstances though, we are able to arrange for the first contract to be signed the same day as viewing. Obviously though, it can depend on individual circumstances but completions are rapid and far speedier than in other countries.
Whilst outright sale is preferred, it is quite normal also for the buyer to put down a sizeable part of the sale price (around half) and to pay the balance a month or two later, whatever is agreed with the owner at the time. The new owner may move in, connect all services and live there during the half-payment period. Should either party wish to drop out of the agreement they have then to pay to the injured party. That is to say that if, for example, you purchased a property and paid half deposit, if the owner pulls out, he has to pay you twice the amount of the deposit you have given. Likewise though, should you be unable to complete you will loose your deposit.
Legal fees are difficult to quote accurately as each case is different, several factors affect the calculation such as; location, size, age of property and government valuation of it. An approximate estimate can be obtained before hand, after calculations have been made by the notary on all searches for the transfer of the ownership so to insure that all is in order for you to proceed.
Property taxes are collected by the notary on behalf of the Italian government and this is a one off payment. As a rough guide, property taxes are normally around 4% of the property rateable value, if you obtain residency status or around 11% if non-resident. You may though opt to pay the lower residency rate and then have 18 months in which to apply for and gain residency. If residency is not obtained, you will have to pay back the difference of tax with interest and fines. For land purchase there is an approx 15% goverment purchase tax on the sale price regardless of residancy or not.
Our commission and service fees
Sicily Property Brokers commission fees are 5% on the first 50,000.00 euros of the sale price and 3% on the thereafter sale price value. This includes all negotiations with owners, initial dealings with solicitor and notary up to the final contract signing, opening bank accounts and gaining for you an Italian National Insurance number (required to purchase and to open bank accounts). Sicily Property Management Brokers service charges are payable by the purchaser for translations, engineers or geometra's dealings,estimates from tradesman, organizing and managing the works after the purchase.
To be able to purchase a property here you will need, initially, an Italian national insurance number and a bank account.This we can arrange through the solicitor prior to signing and is included in our Sicily Property Brokers commission fees.
USA and other non-European Economic Community residents (EEC) when purchasing
Our solicitor informs us that all ex-community citizens worldwide may purchase property in Sicily without hinderance.
The buyer does not have to be present, Sicily PropertyBrokers may act on their behalf and complete the first part contract in the buyer's abscence. For the second part contract,which is the signing of the deeds, Sicily Property Brokers may continue to act on the buyer's behalf but it is necessary for the client to sign a power of attorney to our solicitor. This certifies that our solicitor can act for the buyer and to complete the sale fully.