Call us on: +44 207 294 7970 (personal clients) or +44 20 7294 7972 (business clients)

1. Find and research a property

Know your budget and arrange “in principle” financing. Contact Times Currency Services to discuss securing your foreign exchange rates.

Don’t miss out on your dream property due to currency fluctuations. A currency exchange specialist can help you fix an exchange rate.

2. Place a proposta irrevocabile d’acquisto (reservation offer or proposal of purchase)

Ensure that you know what’s included in the sale. Negotiate the best deal through the estate agent, remember, they’re working for you.

3. Get legal and tax advice before purchase

Ask your estate agent to introduce you to a notaio (notary), they will be able to inform and advise you of all aspects of your property purchase and any inheritance tax queries that you may have.

4. Pay a Deposit

Deposit becomes partial payment if both parties go ahead. For settling your balance, talk to Times Currency Services about a forward contract to avoid currency fluctuations and risk paying more for the property.

5. Sign the Compromesso (preliminary purchase contract)

Find a geometra (surveyor) who will need to perform technical due diligence with the estate agent/notaio. Property is taken off the market for period of 7-15 days.

6. Signing of contracto preliminare di vendita formalises agreement between you and the vendor

Pay about 10% deposit (could be up to 30%) (caparra confirmatoria). If you back out at this stage then you will forfeit the deposit paid. If the vendor backs out at this stage they will be committed to paying you double the deposit paid.

7. Arrange funds for the purchase

Contact Times Currency Services to convert your sterling (or other currency) into euro at a guaranteed best exchange rate and for all funds to be made available in the overseas bank account nominated by you (e.g. your notaio’s account).

8. Notaio to draft and witness the signing of the atto di vendita (deed of sale)

Balance paid to vendor and keys handed to new owners. The notaio collects taxes on transaction.

9. Receiving your deed of sale copy

This may take between 3 weeks-3 months. A translated version version can be provided to ensure that you’re fully informed and completely understand your purchase.

Note: Foreign nationals and Italians alike pay 10% Purchase Tax (on second homes), stamp duty and notary fees.

10. Set up mortgage and general upkeep payments

Remember you may need to transfer funds across for mortgage or general maintenance costs. You can set up a regular transfer plan with Times Currency Services to secure your rates and minimise currency risks.


  • Get a good translation of all documents, so you can make informed decisions.
  • Fix your costs by contacting a currency exchange specialist to look after all of your foreign exchange needs.


This document is for information and educational purposes only. Investing in property carries a certain amount of risk which you should research before purchasing any property. If you are unsure about the risks or procedures involved please seek independent advice.

The research contained herein has been generated by employees of World First UK Ltd, and is a true reflection of their views and opinions. We do not act as advisor or in a fiduciary capacity.