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Buying property in Germany – full guide

The location and kind of property have a significant impact on its price in Germany. There are no restrictions on outsiders purchasing land in Germany, whether they are from EU or non-EU countries. The system of getting a home loan from a German bank is regularly straightforward for the people who live and work in Germany. In any case, foreign non-resident buyers could require a far more prominent upfront installment.

Buying property in Germany


Before making a property purchase in Germany, it’s crucial to be mindful of several expenses that typically constitute around 10% or potentially even more of the total purchase price.

Property transfer tax

The main extra cost while purchasing a home in Germany is the property move charge, which generally goes from 3.5% to 6.5% of the price tag. The specific rate shifts by the state you are in. You must pay this tax within four weeks after the property acquisition is finalized. Once paid, the German land registration can record the change of ownership.

Notary and land registration

In the home-buying process in Germany, the notary is crucial. Fees are legally mandated and vary according to the property’s value. It’s advisable to allocate approximately 1.5% to 2% of the property’s purchase price, which includes the cost of registering the property with the land registry.

Fees charged by real estate agents

According to a rule passed in 2020, German homebuyers often divide the estate agency costs with the seller. Estate agent fees can vary significantly depending on the state, the property’s value, and the contract terms. These fees can range up to 6% + VAT, amounting to a maximum of 7.14%, or they may be split between the buyer and the seller, totaling 3.57%.

Purchasing real estate in Germany

The majority of properties in Germany are listed by estate agencies. To search for homes from various regional agencies, start with online property websites. Typically, agents represent sellers, but you can hire one to help you find a home, providing valuable local market insights and a competitive edge. Ensure your agent is affiliated with a reputable organization like the IVD. ‘For Sale’ signs are uncommon; check weekend newspapers for real estate listings when house hunting.

Offering a price

You’ll submit an offer to the estate agent after you’ve found a property. You will be required to pay a reservation fee (between 0.5% and 1% of the property’s cost) if your offer is accepted. The property will be removed from the market after you pay this. You have two to four weeks during the reservation period to complete your mortgage. The reservation money can be forfeited if you choose not to purchase the property. Before you sign the contract to purchase the house, you should arrange an independent property study to look for any construction issues. 

Completing the mortgage

The moment has come to settle on your mortgage’s details, such as how long your rate will be fixed. You may either do this directly with your preferred bank or via an impartial mortgage broker. Regardless, you’ll require documentation from the seller detailing property specifics and your identity verification, along with proof of your financial means. Once you’ve submitted your application, you should allow the mortgage lender up to 10 days to complete it. This may go more swiftly, but there may be delays if the lender has to get additional details or do a property value.

Signing the agreements

To move the legal aspects of the transaction forward, you and the seller will decide on a notary. The final purchase agreement will be drafted by the notary. You have 14 days to reconsider your decision before signing the contract once you receive it. You and the seller will meet in person at the notary’s office after this time. If you don’t communicate in German, it’s fundamental to have an interpreter go with you to this gathering. Both parties are permitted to make changes or raise questions while the notary reads the contract. Once everything is agreed upon, the notary will send a priority notice to the land registration indicating your desire to have ownership of the property transferred to your name.

Sending money and covering fees

Some of the above-mentioned costs must be paid after the transaction has been notarized. The notary’s fee will probably come after the estate agent’s charge. The notary will establish a date for you to transfer the whole purchase price to the seller a few weeks later (precise timing varies). The down payment funds will be sent by you, and the remaining funds will be transferred by the mortgage lender. Then you will get the property’s keys.

Final preparations

Once you acquire the keys to your property and move in, you won’t own the property until the land registration transfer is finished, which might take a few weeks. You should have gotten your transfer tax invoice by now, and you have four weeks to pay it.

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