Germany Property Buyers’ Guide

A relatively straightforward procedure, property purchase in Germany involves a series of formalities in order to run smoothly. Below is a general guide on how best to purchase property in Germany.


Are foreigners allowed to buy in Germany?

Yes, there are no restrictions on foreigners buying property in Germany and property can be purchased by the individual or through a company or other appropriate partnership model (fractional ownership for example).

Agents

Sites like ours must feel like we always say this, but in Germany employing an estate agent really is the best way forward, because the market is different to most and the individual city markets are even more different again. For example, homeownership is low in Germany, but those who do buy will often search for up to 2 years before finding the right home, because in Germany a home tends to be bought for life, not constantly upgrading like in the UK and US for example. So, if you envisage selling to locals as part of your exit strategy you will want to choose a property in one of the most sought after areas, and these aren't always where you'd expect, especially in Berlin.

Propertyshowrooms.com take the time to consider your particular requirements carefully, providing you with options to suit your needs. We can also recommend all related professional services that will help you make a safe and reliable purchase in Germany. Many of our available properties for sale in Germany are situated within off-plan developments as they offer the greatest value for money and room for returns on investment.

Title and Other Legal Aspects

In Germany the title search is conducted by a notary. A notary is much like a solicitor in terms of the jobs they perform, but in the German buying process the notary is impartial to the buyer and seller. The notary carries out title and land registry checks and also checks over the purchase contract to ensure it is fair to both parties.

Buying Process

The German buying process is very straightforward, but there is no cooling off period after signing the initial contract so you should definitely hire your own solicitor. Once you have found a property and agreed a price, the respective solicitors draw up contracts stipulating all property details such as the agreed price, completion date, payment conditions and stipulations regarding either party withdrawing from the purchase. If either party isn't fluent in German the contracts will need to be translated.

After signing the contract you bring in the notary who ensures the sale is legal and the contracts fair and act as a neutral intermediary between both parties.

In order to complete on the sale, both parties need to be present to sign the final contract before the notary. You will need to produce a valid passport at this time, and it is advisable to have a translator present to ensure that you are aware of the entire transaction. Once the contract has been signed the deal is complete, and the notary will list the change of ownership with the land registry.

Lawyers

As with all overseas real estate purchases, it is advisable to contract a good local lawyer specialising in property transactions in order make the sale problem-free. Lawyers normally charge between 1.5 and 3% of the property price.

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