What is the difference between furnished, unfurnished and partially furnished property?
By law, as stated in civil code article 1477, a property:
…must be handed over to the buyer in the state it was found at the time of the sale. Unless otherwise agreed by the parties [buyer and seller], the thing [property] must be delivered together with the accessories, pertinent things and fruits from the day of sale.
Often contracts will have a rote clause specifying that the seller is under the obligation to hand the property over free of people and things, which means the property will not be occupied by people nor contain personal effects and furniture. Some owners will take a very literal interpretation of free of things, ignoring the together with accessories part, and strip a home of everything, including fixtures and internal doors. Others will leave behind furniture and other objects without any commercial value, putting the onus on the buyer to pay to have the unwanted stuff hauled away.
The general recommendation is to clarify during negotiations what will be included beyond the bare walls and what won't. The common understanding needs to be explicitly documented in detail in writing. It would probably make sense to state that all fixtures present at the time of the viewing should remain except where specifically noted otherwise (personal photos mounted on the walls, etc). All installed systems (e.g. heating, cooling) should stay. If there are portable fans, air conditioning units, heaters, they will probably disappear unless the parties agree otherwise. Photos should be taken and shared between the parties to reinforce what has been written. A buyer can further protect themselves by making a walk-through shortly before the definitive payment… or at least saying they are going to be doing so as a preemptive warning to the seller that the buyer means business!
Historically sellers have taken their kitchen cabinet units with them as normally they are made of free-standing modular units and wall modules hung on hooks. A seller may want to leave the kitchen cabinets behind; again this point should be discussed and documented.
In the definitive deed transfer agreement drafted by the notaio, it can be documented what decisions have been made. A value will need to be assigned (not easy) and the furnishings will be subject to a 3% tax. In practice this is not commonly done. If the items actually have a cost for the buyer who has to haul them away, it should be noted the items have no commercial value (and the buyer should keep photos or other documentation to this effect should they ever be audited).
❖ ❖ ❖
The above is offered as general guidance without warranty; changes may have occurred since it was written. Do consult with appropriate qualified professionals regarding your specific situation before making any real estate purchase.
Sean Michael Carlos grew up in Rhode Island, USA. He studied in the US, UK and Germany before settling in Italy where he has lived for over twenty-five years, in three different regions.
Sean is a licensed real estate agent in Italy with over 10 years experience in the sector and would love to hear from you if you are looking to buy or sell property in Italy.
Professional assistance available
Are you looking to buy, sell or rent property in Italy? If you require an estate agent to support you, one who can help you bridge the culture, language and knowledge gap, do feel free to contact me with your requirements.
We recommend using a tablet (best) or computer (notebook, desktop) to view the virtual tours. A mobile phone screen is too small to optimally view the scenes and to take advantage of all the tour features such as floor plan navigation. If you have only a mobile phone, we recommend viewing virtual tours horizontally, not vertically, in full screen mode.
Interactive virtual tours functionality (Click / tap to open/close 360° help)
A full screen button appears in the upper right. The same button will exit full screen mode .
Navigation among scenes
A floor plan appears on the right for each scene. Each scene which is on the current floor plan is indicated on the floor plan with a circle; the current scene is highlighted with a different color circle. Clicking / tapping on a circle will change the view to that scene. The floor plan may be closed or displayed by clicking on the floor plan icon. The floor plan is closed by default if the screen is really small (e.g. phones held vertically). When a property has multiple floor plans numbers appear above the current floor plan; tapping or clicking a number changes the view to the first scene on that floor plan.
The complete list of scenes is available in a drop down list on the left. The current scene is highlighted. The list can be opened or closed , tapping / clicking on its icon.
Link hot spots connect one room / space to another. Hover over with a mouse to see the target space name.
Navigation within a scene
Using a table or phone it is possible to enable a virtual reality mode where the scene moves as the user moves their tablet or phone. This is enabled by default on small devices (phones). On a tablet it may be necessary to tap this "phone" icon. When enabled a "finger" icon appears. Tap to enable movement by swiping.
Scenes will automatically rotate if the virtual reality mode isn't active; the rotation may be switched off using the pause icon.
Arrows permit the user to pan the scene up, down, left and/or right.
Zoom in / out
Plus and minus buttons allow zoom in and zoom out.
Location: the geographical map
A map of the area can be opened by clicking / tapping on the pin icon. The map has a layers icon in the upper right which allows the user to switch between aerial and street views.