Notaries also have the duty to calculate the taxes applicable to the transaction, to collect them from the parties on completion (closing) and timely pay them on behalf of the parties.
After completion (closing) signing, the notary files the property title with the local Land Registry (Register of Deeds, or “Conservatoria”). After such filing, the transaction is officially public.
Once the taxes have been paid and the title deed has been filed with the Conservatoria, the notary keeps the original agreement of sale on his books and makes available certified copies for the parties and to any other subject who might have an interest.
Common practice holds that the notary is chosen and paid by the buyer. An important point to remember is that the notary act as an Italian officer fulfilling an official role and does not work on behalf of the buyer or the seller, but serves as a neutral party.
Many times, especially in international transactions, because of language barrier and busy schedules, the parties meet the notary for the first time at final signing where a fit-all agreement of sale is presented to the parties.
This often does not allow the buyer to complete the transaction in the most effective way, under an estate planning point of view, or might leave the seller exposed to liability for years past the sale.
It is strongly advisable that the parties discuss all transaction legal aspects with the notary, or an independent lawyer, for proper advice, before signing the final sale agreement or, for even better results, before signing a purchase offer.