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How to buy property in Germany. Contracts, deal, payments, registration, fees, taxes, re-sale


The process of buying a property in Germany is quite straightforward. Most properties are sold through agents and the agent will negotiate the deal between the buyer and the seller. Once the price and terms of the sale have been agreed, a notary is instructed to carry out checks on the property to ensure there are no liabilities or charges against it and to prepare contracts. If the property is being purchased using a mortgage, the mortgage company may well have other requirements such as carrying out surveys or searches.

At the signing of the contract, all parties must be present and able to identify themselves by use of passports or other official identity documents. The notary will also require that the terms of the contract are understood, therefore a non-German speaker will be required to employ the services of an official translator.
When the purchase is complete, the title deeds are lodged at the land registry.

Fees & Charges

As with any property purchase, there's more than the price of the house to budget for when you're buying in Germany. You'll need to think about legal fees, taxes and administration costs. And these can vary from region to region, and depend on the type of property you're buying.

We advise you to allow for an extra 15% on top of the purchase price to cover things like:

Purchase Tax (Grunderwerbsteuer) 3.5% of the buying price
Notary fees. These are about 1.2% 1.5% of the buying price
Agent fee 5% plus the VAT
Registration fees, these add up to about 0.8% - 1.2%

We've provided these figures to give you an idea of the things you'll need to budget for.

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