The fees a property buyer pay vary substantially by country, from nothing in several, to up to 10% in France. In Italy, the standard is a fee of 3% although some agents do charge 4%. So quite often we are asked by clients to justify our 3% fee.
Once you have found your perfect property with our assistance, the reality is that if you are to buy smoothly and easily in Italy there is a considerable amount of work to be done between finding the right property and completing. This is a function of a country with ten times as many laws as you might find in Britain, Germany or France, so there are numerous bureaucratic details to be covered. We can happily explain if you are interested.
Having reviewed a number of recently concluded purchases for international clients we have concluded that the very different way Ultissimo operates often results in savings greater to clients than the 3% fee conventionally charged in Italy. Consider the following…
Negotiating best terms. We invariably know the sellers well and have a very different approach to negotiating to ensure that we get the best possible price. Hard negotiation on prices rarely produces the best result – an Italian sells a property with an element of emotion and pride, and is readily insulted by a coldly presented, lowball offer. Finding thoughtful ways around a difference in views repeatedly provides a deal better than others will achieve.
Legal cost savings. We recommend our clients to a lawyer who has repeatedly proved his worth. He can step into negotiations if things get difficult and has a refreshingly organised and pragmatic approach to getting deals through to completion. Best of all is that with the repeated flow of work from Ultissimo we obtain discounted rates for our clients.
Effective foreign exchange rates. Many would naturally ask their bank to exchange their funds into Euros. We recommend to clients that they use our FX dealer in London. Not only is the entire process exceptionally simple and fast, but the improvement in rates is considerable. One client saved the whole of our fee by using this approach rather than the rates his own US bank had quoted.
Kitchen discounts. Many clients will require a new kitchen in their Italian home. Can you imagine how much time you might spend finding and then visiting several shops to obtain competing quotations and how difficult this may be if your Italian is limited? Add to this the likelihood that a kitchen supplier gives no discount on their full retail prices (or can even add to them for the unsuspecting foreigner) and you can see the benefit of using Ultissimo to identify the most appropriate supplier and then gaining a discount that you would never achieve yourself. We obtain around 25% off the shop prices, typically a saving of €2,000-€5,000 for you. In addition if you are having bathrooms upgraded, lights fitted and other work the savings will be significant.
Mortgage rates. For clients requiring a mortgage we have negotiated special terms with a local bank, available only to Ultissimo clients. Not only will they lend up to 70% of your purchase price (the normal limit is 60%), but they will cut the rate by 0.25%. Over a term of 15 or 20 years this one item alone adds up to a substantial saving – often more than the 3% buyer’s fee.
No backhanders or ‘commissions’. We do not pocket a commission for introducing a client to our FX broker – instead they give you the very best rate. There is no introduction fee paid to us by our lawyer, no mortgage commission or kickback from suppliers. This is most unusual – and simply a reflection of our refreshingly open and transparent approach in providing a truly professional service to our clients.
Complete support. Italian agents almost always charge their whole 3% buyer fee at the preliminary agreement stage, or at an even earlier ‘proposal’ stage. In practice all buyers need a substantial amount of work done and advice provided throughout the period beyond, through to completion and then afterwards (for example getting utility bills transferred into their name – not as straightforward as it sounds!) We charge half of our fee at preliminary agreement and half upon completion of your purchase. It is hugely reassuring to our clients to be certain that we are committed through to the end, and just one of many reasons why we have an enviable track record of succeeding in getting 100% of clients who have agreed a verbal offer through to eventual completion. The internet will tell you how common failure is. Ultissimo’s clients are in a position where our services are professional and provide real value.