When approaching real estate, one should keep in mind and understand the fact that cultural differences exist and so, you would have to approach them in a different manner. Real estate in Italy isn’t done the way it is in Anglo-Saxon or Northern Europe countries. If you’re from the US in particular, things are different because in the US, an agent represents the seller and a different one represents the buyer. But, in Italy the same agent represents both the seller and the buyer.
Italy is different from other countries because, while most of the property sales in other countries are handled by estate agents, the sales in Italy are mostly privately done because of agent fees. Nevertheless, if anyone wants to buy properties in Italy, you would need to speak good enough Italian or make use of a translator. Miscommunication is one main reason why many foreign buyers miss out on good properties in Italy. If you don’t have any of these, not to worry. A lot of Italian agents speak English or have staff that speak English well.
A lot of people who are looking for properties in Italy make use of agents from their own country, especially those in the UK. Italian agents aren’t known to be very efficient or competent, and so they prefer foreign agents. The downside of this is that foreign agents are way more expensive than using a local Italian agent.
Agents in Italy have the mentality of not tending closely to the customer’s needs. They don’t seem to ask discovery questions or read the customers. The companies just send emails to buyers on the available property for sale in Italy that is in their price range without knowing if that’s what the buyer is looking for. This is because the mentality that foreigners have money to spend is widely believed. They also do not call back or even reply emails quickly.
Italian agents are commonly local and don’t have real estate listings of properties in other areas apart from theirs. They don’t have national property listings, and because of this, Italian agents protectively keep their listings. Even with this, a lot of them still work with foreign agents if they are working in places with a lot of foreign buyers. In Milan and Rome, there are property exchanges in which people just sell and buy properties by using agents.
In Italy, their real estate agents are regulated by the law, and so they are expected to be qualified, licensed and most possess indemnity insurance. They keep the money between buyers and sellers so that the seller doesn’t cheat the buyer. Every agent must be registered with the Local Chamber of Commerce (Camera di Commercio). They then receive a certificate given to them as proof that they have been registered by the local commune. There are also some associations that they have to be registered to like the Italian Association of Estate Agents and the Federation of Mediators and Agents.
If any agent isn’t registered with one of these bodies and the Local Chamber of Commerce, then such agent is unlicensed and you aren’t advised to purchase property from them. When looking through the agent’s website, you should look out for these.
When it comes to the agent commissions, on every real estate listing, they usually collect between 3 to 8 percent of the amount. This commission is also equally shared between the buyer and the vendor. Some Italian agents have a fixed commission depending on how much the property costs. A property that costs up to €50,000 can attract a commission of up to €2,000. Before going with an agent, it’s advisable to check how much commission you’re expected to pay and if there are extra costs like viewings or checking the property for you. Also, make sure that the money is refundable in case the sale doesn’t work out because some agent fees are paid once the first sales contract is signed.
Property for sale in Italy is always beautiful. They have a lot of different houses; some with new stone or old stone, some with antique designs and some that you can easily renovate. Irrespective of the stress of Italian Real Estate Agents, it always ends up being worth it.