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  • Writer's pictureLuigi Bagorda

Preliminary agreement, everything you need to know

Updated: Nov 24, 2023

Preliminary agreement , function and obligations.

The preliminary sales contract, commonly called compromise, is one of the useful documents during the process of buying / selling a property.

This is a non-mandatory document.

The buyer and seller can decide to proceed directly with the signing of the notarial deed with which there is the actual transfer of ownership of the property from one person to another.

In any case, it is important to underline the advantages of this document:


The preliminary purchase or sale contract or compromise is a fundamental document in order to establish agreements between seller and buyer on the following aspects:

  • selling price

  • date of the deed

  • terms of payment

  • delivery date of the property

  • to all other agreements that may be defined during the negotiation.

Normally, penalty clauses are also included in the compromise in case one of the two parties does not live up to what was agreed.

In this way, both those who are buying and those who are selling a property are protected from the other in the event of sudden changes or incorrect behaviour.

Legal obligations

Once the document has been drawn up and signed, registration is mandatory.

Registration is carried out by electronically submitting the contract to the Revenue Agency with the payment of the registration tax.

This must happen within twenty days of signing or within thirty days if the contract is drawn up with the intervention of a notary in the form of an authenticated private deed or public deed.

Failure to register constitutes tax evasion which may possibly give rise to investigations.

In any case, it should be underlined that failure to register does not lead to the non-existence of the deed which remains fully effective and binding for the parties.

Another thing is the transcription which is not mandatory and has the important function of determining who among two or more buyers of the same good should be protected.


The parties define in the preliminary sales contract who will bear the registration costs.

To proceed with this tax compliance, you must make the payment via form F24 of the fixed amount of €200, a tax stamp of €16 to be applied to every four sides of the deed, or every 100 lines.

If sums are paid as a confirmation deposit, the proportional registration tax of 0.50% will be applied.

For sums paid as a deposit on the price, relating to operations not subject to VAT (seller/private entities), the application of the registration tax at the rate of 3%.

However, if these are operations subject to VAT (seller(s) companies), the payment of a fixed registration tax of €200 is due.

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