Buying a house safely? Here are the main steps!

Buying a house is an extremely delicate thing: an investment that requires considerable sacrifices and, above all, not a little forethought.

Usually those who buy are not aware of what risks they are running nor do they know what checks are necessary before taking the big step.

The purpose of our vademecum is to retrace with you the main phases of the real estate sale, taking into consideration the most important aspects to avoid that you can run into nasty surprises once the purchase is concluded.

  1. Real estate agency or private negotiation?

Relying on a real estate agency is commonly understood as a synonym for safety.

In fact, in place of private negotiations, entirely left to the autonomy of individuals, people are often willing to pay agency commissions, in the belief that the presence of a third party is sufficient to ensure any form of preventive control over the property.

It should be noted, however, that the law does not impose on notaries, nor on figures such as real estate agents, any responsibility for the actual technical and administrative regularity of the property.

Moreover, traditional real estate agencies have recently been joined by on-line portals which, by putting private individuals interested in buying and selling a property in contact, earn income by providing fixed commissions, but do not, in fact, ensure that degree of completeness. documents necessary for the purchase of a property to take place safely.

If relying on a notary or a real estate agent does not guarantee the appropriate checks on the property being sold, imagine yourself conducting a business on the web, without the supervision of a professional!

  1. A first investigation of the property…

Before even proceeding with the offer, it is good to investigate the property of interest.

It is commonplace to believe that it is sufficient to find the seller’s deed of purchase and the cadastral plan, essential documents for a property to be transferred, but certainly not sufficient for the transfer to take place without risk.

On the contrary, there are numerous aspects to take into consideration.

For this reason, whether the negotiation takes place through an agency or between private individuals, it is important that you obtain a whole series of documents to make sure, for example, that no mortgages are registered on the property, that it has been built and legitimately modified and, therefore, it is free from abuse, that it is in hygienic-sanitary conditions such as to be able to be inhabited or, again, that it is able to withstand seismic phenomena.

Think of the importance of the twenty-year notarial report, which, reconstructing the mortgage and cadastral history of the property over the last twenty years, asserts that the ownership of the same is actually of the seller; from the original building permit or permit and from the qualifications issued over time, proving the town-planning-building legitimacy of the property; any amnesties issued and any amnesty applications that may be pending, certifying the successful amnesty or request for amnesty of interventions carried out illegally; from the certificate of viability, proving the appropriate safety, health and energy saving conditions of the property and, again, from the static testing, certifying the regularity of the property from a structural point of view.

  1. The purchase proposal

For the above reasons, you should proceed to formulate the purchase proposal only once all the necessary documentation has been found and checked.

The purchase proposal is the unilateral act by which you undertake to purchase that particular property at that particular price. Until it is accepted, your proposal will not bind the seller in any way, free, therefore, to evaluate others as well.

You will formulate the purchase proposal in writing, accompanied by a check made out to the seller and valid as a down payment, for an amount generally between 5% and 10% of the proposed price.

Within a given term, established by you in the proposal, the seller is required to notify you, always in writing, of the acceptance or rejection of the former.

Know that, if you regret it, you may still be in time to revoke your proposal. In fact, as required by art. 1328 of the Italian Civil Code, the proposal can be revoked “until the contract is concluded”.

More precisely, the contract is concluded when the acceptance of the proposal by the seller comes to the attention of the proposing buyer: until that moment it can be revoked. Therefore, if the seller has accepted, but you are not yet aware of this acceptance, you would still have time to revoke your proposal.

The case is different, provided for by art. 1329 of the Civil Code, in which you are obliged “to keep the proposal firm for a certain time”: in this case, your proposal would be irrevocable and, therefore, the revocation would be ineffective.

For your greater protection, in the proposal, you could provide that a due diligence is carried out on the property (i.e. a legal, urban planning, building, cadastral, structural and plant engineering investigation aimed at verifying compliance with technical and administrative regulations ) whose positive or negative outcome is subject to the stipulation of the definitive sales contract.

You could also provide that, in the event that urban planning-building irregularities emerge from the due diligence, the deadline for the stipulation of the final sale contract will be extended, so that the seller heals the defects or discrepancies found on the property.

In fact, if the seller does not do so within the period assigned by you, you will have the right, alternatively, to terminate the contract, pursuant to art. 1453 of the Civil Code, receiving from the seller double the amount paid as an advance, in addition to compensation for damage, or to take action against him for the specific execution of the contract, provided for by art. 2932 of the Italian Civil Code, possibly activating an “appraisal action”. Also known as “price reduction action”, the latter would allow you to obtain the reduction or partial refund of the price of the property, due to the defects that make the latter unsuitable for its intended use or that decrease it significantly the value.

As anticipated, the proposal phase is extremely delicate, as the acceptance of the same by the seller binds the proposer to purchase the property at the proposed and agreed price.

An in-depth knowledge of the property’s documentary kit allows you, therefore, to evaluate its actual value and to propose an appropriate price.

Also know that, as required by art. 1328 of the Italian Civil Code, acceptance can also be revoked by the seller, provided that the revocation of the same comes to the attention of the proposing buyer even before acceptance.

In any case, acceptance of the proposal by the seller is a sine qua non for proceeding to the next steps.

  1. Due diligence: better to rely on professionals!

As anticipated, even before signing the preliminary sale agreement, it is essential to rely on professionals to carry out due diligence on the property of interest.

The due diligence activity, in fact, in addition to significantly shortening the timing of the sale, allows the buyer to know the property thoroughly and to conduct the business safely.

We remind you that REDD performs due diligence on real estate documentation, through the application of artificial intelligence, saving its customers time and, above all, unpleasant surprises!

  1. The preliminary sale (or compromise)

Only after a thorough analysis of the property, should you proceed with the stipulation of the preliminary sale agreement, also known as a compromise.

This is the agreement by which the promising seller undertakes to sell the property to the promissory buyer, undertaking to enter into a future contract, known as the final sale contract, with which the transfer of ownership will take place.

The preliminary sale transforms the down payment, paid by you at the time of the purchase proposal, into a confirmatory deposit: a real guarantee of the obligations assumed by you with the subscription, valid as an advance of the balance that you will have to pay upon signing the deed of sale.

Like the deed of sale, the preliminary contract must also be transcribed. Considering the function of the preliminary contract, the transcription of it is valid as a real “reservation” of the purchase of the property, which prevents the seller from alienating it to third parties, registering mortgages, establishing passive easements or other rights prejudicial to the promissory buyer .

  1. The taking out of the loan. Which documents

Only after the compromise, if necessary, you can proceed to take out a mortgage.

To this end, as an aspiring borrower, you will need to provide the credit institution with a series of information and documents necessary, on the one hand, to verify that your income capacities are suitable for repaying the capital disbursed and, on the other, to evaluate the value of the property which, in the event of disbursement, will become the subject of a mortgage.

These documents are: identity document, tax code and family status, income documents (copy of the latest payslips or pension slips, Model 730 or Single Certification for employees, copy of the registration with the Chamber of Commerce for workers autonomous, etc.), documents of the property (in particular, purchase proposal and preliminary sales contract) and additional documents, from time to time considered, by the individual credit institution, necessary to acquire more information.

6.1 The preliminary opinion of the credit institution

Following the presentation of the loan application, some credit institutions usually express a preliminary opinion on the feasibility of the loan, the positive outcome of which depends, for example, on the applicant’s income, the value of the property and the possible presence of further guarantees such as the surety.

6.2 The preliminary phase

Upon receipt of the documentation and issued any preliminary opinion, the credit institution initiates the actual assessment of the loan application, which generally takes between fifteen and sixty days.

In the first place, the verification focuses on the applicant’s income capacities, which must be sufficient to guarantee the payment of the installments (the amount of which is generally calculated on a third of the monthly salary); secondly, the object of verification is the value of the property, which, at the expense of the aspiring borrower, is assessed by an expert, specifically appointed by the credit institution.

Once again, the importance of a complete documentary set re-emerges: the presence of any building abuses, restrictions placed on the property and rights claimed on the same by third parties become fundamental elements for the preparation of the technical-appraisal report.

Where, then, the price agreed in the compromise is lower than the value identified by the expert, the latter will become a parameter for defining the amount to be disbursed with the loan.

6.2.1 The declaration of the notary

The investigation phase then continues with the drafting, by a notary specifically identified by the aspiring borrower, of the twenty-year notary’s report.

It is a document of the utmost importance, which contains the mortgage and cadastral history of the property subject to interest in the last twenty years: all changes of ownership, cadastral changes, as well as the liens on and possibly extinguished on the property.

Together with the technical appraisal, the twenty-year notarial report is necessary for the credit institution in order to assess the feasibility or otherwise of the loan.

  1. The deed of sale (deed) and the taking out of the loan

Once the preliminary phase has been successfully completed, the credit institution will notify you of the mortgage resolution.

In most cases, the loan agreement is signed at the same time as the deed of sale, while the loan is generally disbursed after the notary formalities required to register a mortgage on the property.

The deed of sale, also known as deed, is the contract by which the seller transfers the property of the property to the promissory buyer, upon payment of the agreed price.

It is drawn up in public form to guarantee the identity of the parties, the legality of the deed and the truthfulness of what is contained therein. Furthermore, within twenty days of the signing, the notary is obliged to transcribe the deed in the Real Estate Registers, in order to prevent third parties from making claims on the property.

It must be reiterated once again: a complete set of documents allows not only the buyer, but also the credit institution and the seller to conclude a deal without significant time expenditure and, above all, in safety.

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