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Buyer’s Guide to Purchasing German Property

Buying German property is a straight-forward procedure that has minimum risk and exceptional security of title. However the process is different and alien to most foreign buyers so for convenience we have prepared this familiarization guide. The first part of this guide consists of a general overview of the German real estate conveyancing system. The second part offers in-depth explanation and information. If you have any further queries then please contact us: enquiries@sneddonlock.com

A Brief Overview:

We have streamlined the process of conveyancing for British and foreign buyers. Once we receive all details including passport from the buyer, a contract is created. This contract can be taken to your local notary, who will authenticate you, stamp the document and essentially notarise the document. This document can then be sent to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, they will legalise the document so that it can then be presented to the notary in Germany by our hugely experienced legal professional.

The notary in Germany will then go ahead and begin the process of transfer. This process takes 1-3 Months, and can take more, however rest assured this is totally normal, after all this is Germany and things dont happen instantly.

The property manager is charged to work with the Civil Law Notary to ensure that as the contract stages as summarised above are reached.

Process Overview:

Quick Checklist:

  • Buyer provides personal details (Full name, address and date-of-birth) as should be recorded with the Land Register’s office.
  • Upon completion of the above a Notary appointment will be made and a draft of the sales contract will be distributed.
  • General Cost Estimate on Conveyance Costs:

    • 3.5 % - 6.5% of purchase price for German property transfer tax (Stamp Duty). “Grunderwerbssteuer”.
    • Approx 1.5% of purchase price for the notary’s fees. (The notary’s fees are governed by statute.)
    • Various disbursement fees for the land registry and search certificates from local authorities. These certificates vary from around 5 Euros to approximately 70 Euros. No more than 4 certificates are usually required.
    • 1400 Euros to represent the buyer in signing the deed of purchase in Germany, draft agreements and make the visit to the notary.

    After the processing into the land registry, a priority land register notice will be sent, you will receive a copy

    Once the property enters the land register, the transaction is at this point complete and the Buyer will receive a printout of the Land Register extract which shows the legal transfer of the property has been effected.

    Note the following:

    • The property cannot be used or resided in by the buyer until ownership entry is complete in the land registry. We have been asked before if it would be possible for the buyer to take immediate possession, but this is not and never has been possible without other instruments being put into place first, insurance being a concern amongst other things.