Guidebook Residential Property

Homeownership in 10 Steps

1. Making up Your Mind
There are so many things to consider if you are planning to buy a condominium. Where is the flat supposed to be located? How large should it be? How many bedrooms should it have? It is equally important, of course, to do the math, and to decide which price you can actually afford. Our contact persons will gladly advise you in these issues.
2. Searching
Before taking a closer look at an apartment, you should ensure you have an overview of relevant listings, and compare them. There are many different real estate portals that list condominiums available for sale. Our own website also features a portal with many property listings in metro regions all over Germany.
3. Consulting
Once you have found a condominium listing you are interested in, talk to the seller or estate agent, and request more details. For the d.i.i. contact person in your region of choice, click here.
4. Viewing
The consulting interview should, of course, be followed by a viewing of the condominium.
5. Reserving
In some cases, sellers will offer a written reservation for the chosen condominium after you have made up your mind and principally come to terms with the seller. A reservation will give you the time you need to obtain financing. While the reservation may be subject to a small fee, the fee will be refunded to you after the signing of the sale and purchase agreement.
6. Financing
As soon as you have decided to buy a specific apartment, you may go to your bank or another finance partner to take out a real estate loan. That interest on mortgage loans has drastically declined is a fact that works in the condominium buyer’s favour: According to the Bundesbank, the average effective interest rate for housing loan with a fixed-interest period of more than ten years was 1.35 percent in early 2020 – down from 4.49 percent ten years ago.
7. Notarising the Deed
With the financing in place, buyer and seller can start drafting the sale and purchase agreement. Normally, this process will start with a preliminary meeting at the notary’s, after which the notary will send the draft sale and purchase agreement to the parties before it is finally signed during a second appointment. The notary acts as neutral expert and will be available during the conclusion of the agreement to clarify questions, e.g. whether or not a desired amendment is legally possible and, if so, what the options are for integrating them in the agreement.
8. Paying the Purchase Price
When the sale and purchase agreement is signed, the buyer will receive the demand for payment of the purchase price. You will also get mail from the inland revenue office, notifying you of the real estate transfer tax due.
9. Transferring Possession
Payment of the purchase price will generally prompt the transfer of possession of the residential property. The seller will hand over the condominium keys – and it’s time to move into your very own home!
10. Registering Your Title
It can take quite a while before your title to the property as incoming owner is entered in the land register. But you won’t have to worry about it because the notary will have caused a priority notice to be entered in the land register on your behalf after the deed is signed.

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