Your guide to checkout in Germany

You have the necessary small change together and have located the property of your desire? Then all that's left for you to do is to go through the buying process. You don't really know how the whole thing works? Don't worry, we'll enlighten you here. We will guide you step by step through the individual steps of a purchase transaction in Germany and explain to you exactly what to expect.

First stop: Notary

To make a real estate purchase official, it first needs a notary. The latter checks the land register, draws up the contract and, after all parties have agreed, asks the parties to a personal appointment on site. There, the contract is gone through again in detail and any changes and adjustments are made. If there are no more objections, the signature by the buyer and seller and the notarization on the part of the notary takes place.

Small tip: Let your broker accompany you to the notarization. This person has experience with such processes, keeps track of everything and can represent your interests on site.

Now it’s getting serious: land register entry and payment processing

To prevent the owner from selling his property unlawfully to a second interested party, a so-called priority notice of conveyance is recorded in the land register shortly after the signature. This secures the buyer’s claim to the property until the final transfer and can only be registered by the notary and subsequently deleted again. In this case, the land registry is active and charges a fee for the effort. Together with the notary fees, this usually amounts to about 1-2% of the purchase price. In the case of financing, the fact that the property is encumbered with a land charge is also recorded by means of a land charge deed. After the notary has collected all other necessary documents such as waivers of pre-emptive rights or clearance certificates, the buyer is finally requested to pay the purchase price by means of a due date notice.

Our advice for buyers: If possible, do not transfer the amount due directly to the seller, but to a so-called notary escrow account. This protection means that your money ends up in an escrow account held by the notary public and is only paid out to the buyer once they have met all the pre-determined conditions.

And finally, the delivery

Once the receipt of the payment is confirmed, the longed-for moment finally approaches. The parties meet together with the broker for the handover. The real estate expert records the procedure in a protocol. After meter readings have been documented and the key has been handed over, the buyer can finally call himself the owner.

Please note: When buying real estate, the so-called real estate transfer tax is still due. Depending on the federal state, this amounts to between 3.5 and 6.5%.

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