1. Just like when looking for a rental property, it’s best to search on multiple websites and engage with many different estate agents/private sellers to find exactly what you’re looking for.
2. Remember that estate agents and sellers typically prefer speaking over the phone to communicating over email. You will get faster responses and more cooperation if you call.
3. Don’t be afraid of private sales (that don’t go through estate agents or realtors): they are still popular in Italy, and you might find some excellent bargains.
4. It’s a good idea to arrange for a ‘geometra’, architect, or engineer to do an official survey of the property (especially if you are buying remotely). This ensures that there aren’t discrepancies between the actual property and the cadastral surveys.
5. When you’ve found your new home, be aware that it may take some time for you to be able to move in. It can happen that properties are not completely ready to be sold, because the relevant documentation still needs to be sorted out or because the process to get approval for extensions or alterations hasn’t started yet. Unfortunately, sorting all this out may take weeks, or even months (!), so be aware of that and do not panic if it happens.
6. It is advisable to add a clause to your ‘offer to buy’ that specifies that your offer is subject to the property complying to the cadastral surveys and all the local regulations. This way, if something doesn’t go according to plan, you are entitled to have your money back.