The Italian Notary
The Italian notary (notaio) is a representative of the government who has a broad legal authority and plays an official, unbiased role in Italian conveyance. They conduct formal document checks and confirm the identities of those selling and those purchasing property. They also control the power and entitlements of those taking part in the transactions. All contracts in regards to the property transfer must be signed in front of the notary.
It is the duty of the notary to calculate the taxes applicable to the transaction, collect them from purchaser and seller upon completion of sale and pay them on behalf of both parties.
It is after the signature of the final contract that the notary files the property title with the local land registry, making the transaction officially public.
The notary is not for the benefit of either party, but a public official that validates the transfer of ownership of the property and ensures that your new home is in good standing. It is important to note that the notary is not working on behalf of either the seller or purchaser, but as an Italian official is an unbiased, neutral party in the process.