Cortona is indubitably a unique place. Aside from its captivating charm, it has something intangible that tugs at the heart strings, time and time again, of many a visitor. More often than not, this is the first step towards buying a property.
At Cortona International, we consider ourselves very fortunate to both live and work in this magical town, and empathise with our clients’ dreams of owning their own home in the area. The services we offer are aimed at being as helpful as possible to an international clientele who doesn’t necessarily speak Italian and who is unlikely to know the ‘ins and outs’ of the purchase process.
We love our work and attempt to impart this spirit when helping people to find and buy a property. We will always ‘go the extra mile’ to safeguard our clients’ interests.
Buying a property in Italy, whether it be as a second or permanent home, is a simple enough procedure and rigorously overseen by a notary; a revered figure and specialised in property sales. The role of Italian notaries is very different to that of notaries in other parts of Europe and the US. To find out more about their role and responsibilities you can use this link http://www.notariato.it/en which will take you to the English version of their website.
In today’s Italy, before completion can take place most notaries will request a written and signed report from an authorised geometra (surveyor) attesting to a property’s complete compliance with regard to current building and planning regulations. To understand how the purchase process unfolds, here is our own guide ( purchasing a property)
Cortona International checks all of its properties in advance of their marketing. This does not mean a property is necessarily compliant, but it does mean we know its status and can inform you as to what needs to be done by the owner before completion can take place and the time lines in which it will be done.
This is still standard procedure in Italy, where historically speaking, compliancy to town building and planning regulations was not something strictly adhered to. Most issues of irregularity can be resolved by the owner applying for a ‘sanatoria’, but many owners are loath to do this until they have a firm buyer.
If you have fallen in love with a property that is not fully compliant, we will establish – together with the presiding notary and your geometra – the best way to go forward: this would usually mean a preliminary contract with a reimbursable deposit (and specified costs) which is dependent upon the owner obtaining the ‘sanatoria’ within a specified time limit. (see purchasing a property in Italy )
Choosing an estate agency
On line property portals provide buyers with the opportunity of collating a great deal of useful information. With the quantity of properties available for sale in Tuscany alone, it is easy to compare similar sized properties and assess what is good value for money. However, going ‘solo’ and trolling through endless property particulars is a huge undertaking, as is the organising of an itinerary (which may work on paper, but in reality could well be a geographic nightmare!) and the setting up of appointments with any number of agents who you may have difficulty communicating with.
Going ‘solo’ might also mean should your criteria change while ‘on the road’, a great deal of your time will be wasted viewing houses already mentally discarded. At best, it could mean finding the right house; at worst it could mean you’ll be too exhausted to recognise it, let alone fall in love with it!! From our own experience, the rise of the property portals has meant brief and frustrating meetings with many a distraught and exhausted client who has spent the best part of a day, chasing appointments from one distant location to another, as opposed to viewing houses
At Cortona International we encourage our clients to dedicate as much time as possible to each individual agency they are viewing with. Often the reality of certain locations can be very different to what one initially had in mind and as such one’s criteria can often change. The more time you can spend with each agency the more time you allow them the flexibility of showing you other properties that are not on the itinerary, but which might well suit your ‘evolving’ requisites.
We collaborate with many agencies in the area and can liaise with them on your behalf to organise viewings and provide you with one complete itinerary. This is at no extra cost to you: we would simply split the commission between us if you were to decide to buy.
Cortona International’s 10 steps to buying: