In Italy only fully licensed real estate agents can work in the real estate business. The license can be obtained after a 12 month formation course held by the local Chamber of Commerce. At the end of the course, two exams are to be taken there and only after passing these exams, will it be possible to apply for a license.

Passing real estate exam to get license

The license will only be granted to those with no criminal record and to those with an insurance to cover all work related to problems that might occur. For example, if a client were to fall whilst visiting a property, the insurance of the fully registered realtor might well cover the damages.

It is also very important to have full trust in a registered realtor for another reason: When there is a formal written offer and the buyer sends a deposit to the real estate agency or to the owner of the house, the realtor has to register the contract at the local tax office.

Registration is required by Italian law. Without it, buyers and sellers could incur in a fine and in the worst case, the buyer could lose his/her deposit and also the property. A purchase offer or a preliminary agreement not registered at the local tax office, is not an official document. It is just a piece of paper without any legal value.

The registration makes the contract official and public; Through this document the government knows that the property is going to be sold to the buyer and therefore the owner of the house will not be able to sell the property to anyone else, even if he were to receive a better offer. This is obviously a safeguard for the buyer. Only regularly registered real estate agents can guarantee the registration of a contract.

Federazione Italiana Mediatori Agenti d'Affari

Italian law is very strict on this matter and only registered realtors can show properties to potential buyers. A foreign buyer looking for property in Italy, might come across people who introduce themselves as licensed realtors but who are not actually registered at the Chamber of Commerce and therefore are not insured. This could be very risky. This type of “false” realtor usually deals with foreign buyers as, in many cases, foreigners are not familiar with the Italian law and are not aware that realtors need to have both a license and an insurance.

Today on the internet, there are numerous websites of real estate agencies selling properties in Italy, many of which are written only in English. Some of them are fake real estate agencies or fake realtors.

An Italian real estate agency’s website should show:

If you are dealing with realtors who do not show their license, do not hesitate to ask them for credentials…. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Real estate license italy