• Our associates:
  • Property & Rental
  • Management
  • Project assistance
  • All building works
  • International staff
  • Surveys
  • Translations
  • Conveyancing
  • Mortgage assistance


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.

General Info

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)

Our properties

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:

  • Initial contact: Our first responsibility is to understand and interpret your criteria. We initially do this via email, asking you for a ‘wish list’ of what you are ideally looking for and what sort of budget you can comfortably afford. We will then forward you a selection of properties and ask you for some feedback. We will continue this exchange, perfecting your choices, until you are ready to make a trip out and view.
  • Itinerary: On the basis of the properties you have picked out, we will organise an itinerary. Ideas are often clarified during viewings and parameters can change, so the more time you can dedicate to us the better. It is always a good idea to schedule in a return viewing for any properties you might like. Three or four properties will take a whole morning or afternoon to view. Anything more requires a good day out.
  • During the viewings an open exchange of information is fundamental to us. The more insight you can give us on each individual property, the more we are able to understand your requirements. If necessary, we can re-work the itinerary and arrange viewings of alternative houses which might prove more suitable.
  • Collaboration:We collaborate with a number of other local agencies. If you would also like to see properties listed by another agency, we are happy to make contact with them and organise a viewing. All you need do is provide their details. There would be no extra cost should you choose to purchase one of these properties. We would act as your agent, represent you in the negotiations and undertake, as if it were a property of our own, all the necessary searches.
  • Transparency: As an agency we don’t just highlight the good points of a property. We will also inform you of what we might consider negative aspects. Your pocket is just as important to us as our reputation!
  • Documentation: we will provide you with all the pertinent technical information for any properties you are interested in i.e. floor plans, measurements and land maps and can also calculate for you the purchase costs, annual taxes, notary fees etc…, so that you are fully informed as to what costs you will incur if you choose to buy.
  • Mortgages: If you require a mortgage we can help you find you the best terms and conditions
  • Negotiating/concluding: We will undertake any negotiations on your behalf and by liaising between you, the seller and the notary, will define a timeline, price, conditions, methods of payment and organise every other relevant detail (including the survey) to ensure the whole purchase process proceeds smoothly.
  • Post completion: we will transfer all utilities into your name after the sale and assist you any way we can.
  • Property and Rental Management: Our associated partners provide a complete post sales service and can help you to move in, organise any building works you might want done, find you a caretaker, cleaner, gardener etc… They can also provide a rental management package.