5 Ways to Avoid ‘Why Didn’t You Just Buy That Price’ Scams in Italy

If you’re buying a home in Italy, the question of price may be moot. Some Italians seem to have driven up prices in an effort to turn a profit.

Here’s what I was told by Lauren Ferrarieri, a real estate agent from London who bought a plot of land in the Piedmont region for $820,000 in the early 2000s.

When Ferrarieri bought the property, the highest selling price in the town of Milan was roughly $2 million.

After being on the market for a few years, Ferrarieri’s three-bedroom home sold for an estimated $5.4 million. According to sources in Britain’s Channel 4 News, the buyer wants it back.

An obvious question was: “Why didn’t you just buy the house for that price?” Ferrarieri replied: “You know how Italians are. When they have a problem, they just make a better one.”

So, what advice would someone like Ferrarieri have for someone on the hunt for a reasonable home in Italy?

This fall, Terri Fitzgerald, the founder of The Fitzgerald Team of real estate agents and just-published author of The Fitzgerald Package, will host an online seminar for those who want to buy or sell a home in Italy. She offers these advice on what they can expect:

1. Inquire by e-mail — with standard terms. The province of Florence has been tackling listing through telephone for years because of this “add a caption” system. But now, Franco Baria, a real estate agent with Villa Maramotti, is experimenting with calling houses directly and talking them through. This will take some of the guesswork out of finding a property.

2. Buy the commission. According to Francesco Monteiro, the CEO of Casa di Prosecco in Modena, Italy, finding the commission via e-mail is still cumbersome. You could negotiate for the fees yourself. All places recommend buying the commission.

3. Remember that, no matter where you buy, you have the protection of Italian law. Buyers are required to present a national identity card before closing on a property.

“We always say buying a house in Italy is the equivalent of property tax for Americans. You have to pay for that protection — an additional 7 percent of value,” Baria said.

4. Seek a property in an original part of the country. In Zano for example, there are very few to none homes built after the ’60s. Properties are regularly removed in order to re-pave roads and improve the roadscape. All these renovations result in outdated houses.

Related: This Italian Village Has Become a Heritage Site

5. Book an appointment. Group homes for sale might be more interesting. Usually, one or two agents will list a certain amount of homes, so it doesn’t feel like too much work.

Related: Even though It’s Fancy, Florence Has A Golden Bubble

Leave a Comment