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Posted by Andrea Curti on January 29, 2024

What are the financial obligations involved in selling a house?

Selling a house requires incurring certain expenses. It may seem obvious, but many people believe that there aren’t any costs involved for the selling party.

“How much does it cost to sell a house?” is in fact the question most frequently asked by our clients, and in this article we will shed some light on the subject.

Selling a home, as already mentioned, brings with it a series of costs, some of which are mandatory and some of which are optional.

Optional Costs and Mandatory Fees

Among the optional (and upfront) costs are some expenses that are extremely helpful in facilitating the sale of a home:

▪ Costs for beautification of the property and thus increase its value

▪ Expenses for promotional materials used to advertise the property (ie photos, videos, etc). If you use a real estate agency, these costs will be shouldered by the agency.

▪ Fees for verification of the proper registration, urban planning conformity, and use of the property.

▪ Fee for the energy performance certificate (attestato di prestazione energetica or APE) which is required by law in the deed of sale.
This certificate is issued by a certifying body after the completion of an inspection by a qualified technician and payment of the fee.
The certificate is valid for 10 years, so it may not be necessary to request a new one.

There is normally no obligation for the selling party to pay taxes
on the sale of the property. Exceptions include inheritance taxes and if the transaction creates a capital gain.

If the seller is a company with the sale being subject to VAT, the registration, cadastral, and mortgage taxes are all fixed at €200.
However, VAT will be calculated on the sale price at 10% (4% if used as primary residence) or 22% (for luxury properties).

When the sale has been entrusted to a real estate agency, the agreed commission must also be paid.

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Taxes on Property Received through Inheritance

The sale of property received through inheritance means inheritance taxes must be paid.
The amount of these taxes depends on the degree of the relationship to the deceased and may be subject to a minimum amount.
Cadastral and mortgage taxes are due upon inheritance.

Taxes on Primary and Second Homes

If selling your primary residence that you have owned for more than 5 years, no taxes should be due. For second homes the amount will vary based on who the buyer is.

Real Estate Agency Commissions: How Much?

Agency commissions can vary depending on a variety of factors, such as the location and value of the property. Normally, the agent establishes a percentage based on the sale price. Relying on experienced professionals often leads to a quicker sale and higher sale price.

Who pays the Notary Fees in a Sale?

One of the most common questions is “Who is responsible for the notary fees in the sale oof a property?”
In accordance with Article 1475 of the Italian Civil Code, legal and notary fees are the responsibility of the buyer.
That being said, different terms can be established between the parties when entering into a contractual agreement.

Tax Exemptions and Taxes on the Sale of Real Estate

If you sell your home more than five years after buying it, you generally do not have to worry about taxes on any capital gains.
There are, however, exceptions, and you may have to pay income tax or other taxes in certain circumstances.

Another Very Common Question

Some of the most common questions are related to tax returns.
For example, “Does the sale of property need to be declared on Form 730?”. No, it does not.
Of course there are exceptions, and as mentioned above, you may have to pay IRPEF or other taxes under certain circumstances.

Each sale has its own specifics, so we always strongly recommend that you engage professionals who can guide you and, most importantly, save you money on where possible on the sale of your home.

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