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Frequent Asked Questions

I am thinking of buying a property why should I use Geocasanet?
Why should I buy/rent a property in your area?

What is the property market situation?
Shall I buy a property ready to move in or to be restored?

How long does it take for the whole buying process to be done?
What about estate agencies commissions?
What about Illegal, “dodgy” estate agencies in the area?

I am thinking of buying a property why should I use Geocasanet?

- Because we are a Registered Estate Agency, and have been active in this area of Tuscany for 15 years.
- We understand Italian property laws, planning and local building regulations.
- We have the knowledge and understanding of both locals and different cultural mentalities, being ourselves and the professionals we collaborate with from the area and having travelled and lived abroad for a few years we are able to understand the needs and worries of when you are a buyer from abroad.
- We make an appointment to show you properties in the area, making sure you are dedicated the time needed for the viewing. We, usually make two appointments per day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, sometimes, only one appointment when more time is required.
- Before organising our appointment, we would have spent time talking to you to understand what exactly you are looking for. We would have agreed a list of properties you want to see making sure that the time you spend with us is productive and worth your trip.
-  We can advise on travel and accommodation in our area.
- We do not charge any fee for the property viewing, but still we do dedicate the time needed and the assistance requested.
- All the properties listed on our website, please see our “Properties for sale” page, have been personally inspected by us. We are able to give you an honest opinion and accurate information on all the aspects of the property with the exception of the legal and fiscal position, as a survey is needed to have these correctly analysed. Please see  “Process of buying a property in Italy”, in our "Legal Notes" page.
- We will assist you throughout the process from the property viewing up to final contract. But we do not disappear afterwards. We are happy to provide all the support and assistance needed after the Contract completion.
- We will assist you to obtain an Italian Fiscal Code, bank account opening, and a mortgage if needed. You can obtain a mortgage with an Italian bank even if you live and reside abroad.
- We are able to provide assistance if you need to partially/completely restore your property using our locals contacts which are all legally registered and professionals as they have many years of experience in their different sectors. Please see  “Building restoration & management” in our "Services" page.
- We are able to provide a range of services on your property, if you live abroad and want somebody to take care of it, or you do not want to worry about your holiday house when you are in your home country. Please see  “Property Management” in our "Services" page.
- We have helped people from all over the world to find their “Italian home”. Please see here some "Testimonials" from our existing clients.

Why should I buy/rent a property in your area?

Because it is very accessible. It is about 1 hour driving from Pisa airport, and from Pisa you can easily reach  the area by car and by train. Please see our page "How to get here".
It is about 50 minutes driving to the sea side Versilia coast and to Abetone ski resort.
The whole area is very well connected, the roads are very well maintained and there are trains and bus services.
This part of Tuscany is still very unspoilt and rural and the good news is that we, the locals, want to keep it this way!
The food is still very genuine, our local products such as wine, olive oil, cheese, porcini mushrooms, chestnuts (to name some) are exported in Italy and internationally and they can be easily found in our local grocery shops.
And at last but not the least, we have sunshine almost all the year round and it is warm/hot for 7/8 months per year.

What is the property market situation?

In this area you can still find very good value properties, compared to the fashionable “Chiantishire” or Versilia coast, but they are not as cheap as they use to be and prices keep rising.
If you come across properties advertised to be very inexpensive, ask as much information as you can.
Probably they are in small villages on the hills where it takes some drive to get there, or they need to be restored completely.
We are being honest, as we do not want to waste your time and ours!

Shall I buy a property ready to move in or to be restored?

It depends on what you are looking for of course and on your budget.
There are beautiful properties, in modern or rustic style where you just need to walk in with your luggage, or properties that need to be restored, partially or totally!
In any case, we always advice our “potential clients” before starting our viewing trip, to keep their mind opened. Because of our experience we can confirm that a lot of our clients ended up buying a property completely different from what they were looking for just because they walked in and fell in love with it!
If you buy a property to restore, you can turn it into what you exactly want according to your individual and personal taste and the works can be organised step by step according to your availability of funds.
We can arrange for you any kind of building work, from small to big restoration projects through the professionals we collaborate with. Please note that they are all experienced, legal, registered companies and individuals that have established business in the area. Please see “Building restoration & maintenance” in our "Services" page.

How long does it take for the whole buying process to be done?

It really depends, as every property is different, so its history. It usually takes between two and three months. It might take longer, if a mortgage needs to be arranged or cadastral /building documents need to be updated (just an example) This is generally the timing involved
DO NOT trust those who say that can arrange the whole process in less than one month. Oh, yes, it could be done, but how? Are you sure you are protecting yourself and your interests? Do you really want to buy a property abroad in such a rush? Or you would prefer everything to be verified properly? You are buying a property, not a dress that could be easily changed if it does not fit properly!
It is true, there is not legal requirement to have a Purchase Proposal signed and countersigned, nor a Preliminary Contract. If you sign directly the Final Contract and it is going to take about a month to be arranged, what guarantee you have that the property you are buying will not be sold to a third party that offers more than you have? Or if the owner changes his mind for any reason, what can you do about that? Nothing at all. You would have only wasted your time and peace of mind!
The Purchase Proposal is a binding document, the Preliminary Contract is a binding Contract, both of them offer guarantees to both parties.
Do not rush yourself in buying a property, even if you have fallen in love with it and want it desperately, take your time, follow the normal procedure (Process to buy a property in Italy,"Legal Notes" page ) and you will be safer. And as it is said in England, better to be safe, than sorry!

What about estate agencies commissions?

Usually, Italian estate agencies, charge a percentage which is variable and normally starts from a minimum of 2% onwards.
In the last years a lot of “not Italian” companies have started selling properties in the area to their fellow-countryman/woman, because let’s be honest, they have understood that if successful, this could be a profitable business.
The only experience they have had with the Italian property market is limited to the purchase of their own property and most of the times, they are NOT Registered Estate Agents because in their home country they do not need to have any license to practise, therefore they can just start the activity without having any knowledge or experience at all.
Some of them, have entered the local markets charging a very low or flat fee (much lower than the fees generally applied by the local estate agents) and they can operate this way because probably, they have other jobs back home, whereas in Italy, we cannot have any other job otherwise our licence is revoked indefinitely.
We, registered, honest Estate Agencies are sometimes accused of inflating the property prices, in order to get a higher commission, whereas, if you buy a property through them, you do not incur in such a risk because of their flat fee policy. Do not forget that Italian Estate Agencies work for both vendor and buyer, it is not in our interest to keep the price high, but our aim is to come to an agreement between the parties.
We all know that every job takes time and a lot of effort, and transparently we say we want to be paid for doing our, legally and professionally!

What about illegal, “dodgy” estate agencies in the area?

Talking to our clients and people in general, we have understood that at the moment international buyers are a bit worried as it has become known (and it was about time!) that there are a few estate agencies in this area that are illegal!
In the last years, as in this part of Tuscany properties are still affordable compared to the more fashionable “Chiantishire” and the market with buyers from abroad is constantly growing, a lot of people, locals and not, and we repeat a lot, have improvised themselves as estate agents, to simply make easy money. So, they are not qualified to practise the profession, but even worse, some are absolutely deceitful. We have come across few people and sadly most of the times not Italians, that have had very bad experiences, have been deceived and have lost a lot of money because they have come across these “dodgy” estate agents.
What to do then? Always ask for the Estate Agent License (Patentino) that it is issued by the local Chamber of Commerce (Camera di Commercio) where there are the details of the person and the registration n° with the Estate Agents Register. This is the document that allows the person to practise the profession and it has to be shown if requested.
Furthermore, when you are at the stage of buying the property, always follow the steps as indicated in  “Process to buy a property in Italy”, "Legal Notes"page, in order to protect yourself and your interests.