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What to check before buying a house in Italy?

Here we are!

You think you have found the right house and you can’t wait to buy it. In reality, you already imagine where to place your wardrobe and you already see yourself in the dining room with your friends and relatives for an aperitif. 

I know what it feels like when you find the right property (even if it is an investment), the euphoria rises and you risk neglect. Before proceeding, understand what you absolutely must check before buying a house.

Don’t let your guard down! Italian real estate is a complicated world, read below and deal with it in the right way


  1. What to ask when you go to see a house for sale
  2. Inquiries to be made and documents to check before buying a house
  3. What to check when buying a used home

What to ask when you go to see a house for sale in Italy

When considering buying a home, there are a few essential things to ask the real estate agent or landlord:

  • Does the property comply with both the land registry and urban planning? In Italy, there are frequent building abuses or situations of discrepancy in the state of affairs with respect to the plans present in the land registry or in the municipality. This should not scare you, often these are solvable situations, but it is right that you know them and evaluate them with your consultant.
  • Are there any extraordinary condominium works that will be approved shortly? It may happen that, shortly after your purchase, the condominium assembly decides to renovate the roof or the facade. This is good because it enhances the building, but spending several thousand euros immediately after buying your apartment could affect your family budget.
  • Are there any injurious inscriptions or transcripts on the house? I understand that they are complicated terms, it is a matter of finding out if there are mortgages (voluntary mortgage, legal or judicial ) or other burdens that may affect your purchase. This is often a complicated step to carry out independently, you must be aware of it and ask for clarification, but I recommend that you rely on your consultant to understand the documentation.
  • Plants and other certifications: also ask if the systems are compliant (it is not mandatory to buy and sell a house, but it is extra security) and if they have the energy performance certificate (APE) with the relative energy class (yes, mandatory).
  • Useful information for negotiation. I always recommend asking questions (preferably open questions) to understand the needs and situation of the seller, it will come in handy during the negotiation phase. How long have you been trying to sell? Why does he want to sell? By when would you like to close the operation? This is all extremely important information!

Obviously, the answers we receive to these questions must be supported by adequate documentation, let’s see which documents you need to check.

Inquiries to be made and documents to be checked before buying a house

To verify the information we have collected, we need to check the documentation. This step is called document analysis (due diligence in English) and can be done before making a binding proposal, but also afterwards if we have inserted the appropriate safeguard clause. If you have a question about this step click here .

Here are the essential documents:

  • Deed of origin: this is the deed (deed, declaration of succession, transfer decree, usucapione …) by which the seller acquired ownership of the property. It is a very important document that certifies, in addition to the correct ownership, also the urban planning practices made over time and any conditions that could hinder the purchase.
  • Last planning practice presented: you must ensure that the house as it appears corresponds to the plan in the municipality.
  • Planimetry and cadastral survey: even with the cadastre, you will have to check the conformity of the state of affairs with the plan and check the data reported in the survey.
  • APE (Energy Performance Certificate): mandatory in a sale, by law.
  • Allotment of condominium expenses: check how much you will spend exactly at the condominium level.
  • Minutes of the last condominium assemblies: They will allow you to find out if the condominium assembly is talking about any work to be done in the future.
  • Mortgage certificate: Essential document allows you to be clear if the property is burdened with mortgages or other burdens that could be dangerous.

The cadastral plan is a fundamental document in documentary control

What to check when buying a used home

A used house, compared to a recently built one, could present some more risk, regarding the state of conservation of the systems and structures.

For example, we must be careful to observe the presence of infiltrations, mold or humidity in the walls.

In particularly ancient buildings, I also recommend checking the stability of structures such as floors, roofs and load-bearing walls.

It is also good practice to check the state of maintenance of the systems (electricity, water, heating).

It is also a good idea to check the maintenance status of the systems (electricity, water, heating).

The safest strategy is to make an inspection to get a quote for any renovations, you can ask for it for free by clicking here.

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