The procedure for buying a property in Germany
If you have decided to buy a property in Gemany, as an investor you should take into consideration several factors and go through these ten stages. Basically, in comparison with other European countries, the procedure of buying a property in Germany is quite fast and transparent.
STEP 1 Property selection
During the first stage the company monitors the market and a selection of property units is made according to the investor’s preferences, regarding terms and conditions and characteristics of property being sought.
STEP 2 Arranging a visit
The next step involves arranging a visit to Germany in order to view the properties. This will include an arrival meeting and a property viewing itinerary.
STEP 3 Drawing up the contract
When you have decided on the property you would like to buy and the agency has made an offer to the seller, the Notar has to draw up the contract. A contract will show: the detail of the property, names and addresses of the parties, agreed purchase price, terms and conditions of payment, and stipulations on what happens if either party fails to follow the terms of the agreement. The solicitor is responsible for the legal work and contract obligations, and checks that no liabilities exist.
STEP 4 Proof of existing funds
Usually, the buyer has to present an irrevocable acceptance of loan financing by a bank or prove their funds, if the buyer wants to purchase the property through cash a deposit. The seller usually agrees to a priority notice in the land register. This also is a protection of the buyer’s interests from selling the property to another buyer.
STEP 5 Signing the contract
The money is transferred to the seller only when the land registry entry is complete. The real estate agent’s or broker’s commission is also paid at this stage, and so are the notary and registration fees. The purchase tax or stamp duty needs to be paid within four weeks after the contract was signed.
STEP 6 Land title register
The Notar makes the application in the so-called Grundbuch – the land title register. The land register can be found at the district courthouse, and is the central document for a property. A change in ownership occurs only when an entry has been made in this land register, previous mortgages have been cleared, and the tax office has certified that the seller has no property taxes outstanding.
It takes an average of 95 days to complete all the four procedures needed to register a property in Germany.
STEP 7 Becoming an owner
In 95 days you become the owner of your new property.
Taxes and maintenance check list