Research the market
In order to know the Italian property prices you should research the market thoroughly before purchasing a real estate. To get the idea of prices in different Italian regions, it is recommended to look through English-language property magazines. Usually the prices advertised abroad are identical to those advertised in Italy.
Always negotiate the price in Italy
When buying a property in Italy you should always negotiate the price even if you think it’s a bargain. Also don’t be afraid of a high asking price as most sellers are willing to negotiate. Many properties sell for a lot less than their original asking prices.
Sellers generally presume that buyers will bargain and rarely expect to receive the asking price, although some vendors ask an unrealistic price and won’t step back. In popular areas like Italian Riviera and Tuscany, asking prices may be unrealistically high particularly to snare the unsuspecting and ignorant foreign buyer. It may be worthwhile obtaining an independent valuation to determine a property’s ‘real’ value.
If you’re using an agent, you should ask him what to offer, although he may not tell you. If you make an offer that’s too low you can always raise it, but it’s usually impossible to lower an offer once it has been accepted. On the other hand, if you make a very low offer, an owner may feel insulted and refuse to do business with you. If an offer is rejected, it may be worth waiting a week or two before making a higher offer, depending on the market and how keen you are to buy a particular property.
How to bargain?
If you make a low offer, it’s wise to indicate to the owner a few points of weakness that merit a reduction in price. If a property has been realistically priced, you shouldn’t expect to obtain more than a 5 or 10 per cent reduction, although cash buyers in some areas may be able to negotiate a considerable reduction for a quick sale, depending on the state of the local property market and the urgency of the sale. An offer should be made in writing, as it’s likely to be taken more seriously than a verbal offer. Always be prepared to walk away from a deal rather than pay too high a price.
Find out what is included exactly
Before deciding on the price, make sure you know exactly what’s included, as Italians may strip a house or apartment bare when selling and remove the kitchen sink, toilets, light fittings and even light switches. If applicable, have fixtures and fittings listed in the contract. It’s also wise to take photographs if a property contains original architectural details such as stone fireplaces, door and window lintels, and garden statuary, which may be removed or replaced by copies.