Additional purchase costs in Germany

In contrast to most of the other countries, the additional purchase costs a buyer has to pay are quite high. That might be the reason why Germans buy property only once in their lifetime. 

These costs can sum up to an additional 16% – depending on the federal state you buy. 

You need to consider this when you calculate your budget to buy property.

Up to 7.14% (6%+VAT) of purchase price has to be paid by the buyer as Real Estate Agent Fee. This is not a set fee and can be negotiated or waved (e.g. at banks if you take them for your mortgage).

When buying property in Germany you have to pay Property Transfer Tax. Depending on Federal State this can be between 3.5 and 6.5% of the purchase price.

In Germany, all contracts for change of property ownership have to be notarized by a notary public and registered in the local land register at the courts.

These fees are also depending on the purchase price and are around 2%. 

If you just buy land and build the house on it separately, you only have to pay these additional purchase costs on the land. But if you buy an existing house or apartment, then you have to pay it on the whole sum. 

Nevertheless, there are ways to reduce these additional costs. Examples are:

  • You can negotiate with the real estate agent that they reduce their commission.
  • If the bank promoted the property as real estate agent, they might wave all or majority of the commission if you have the loan with them.
  • You can reduce the Property Transfer Tax if you declare chattels/movables you buy with the property (e.g. kitchen, garden shed, furniture) with an EURO value in the purchase contract. With this, the tax to be paid is reduced by this amount.
Important to know: 
You cannot get a loan from the bank for these additional purchase costs. You always have to pay this from your available capital (there are only very limited exceptions if the bank rates you with a very good creditworthiness). 

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