Buying the property – the notary appointment

As soon as you have agreed with the seller on a purchase price, a notary appointment has to be arranged, because real estate purchases in Germany are only effective when they have been notarized by a notary and the transfer of ownership has been recorded in the land register.

What happens before the notary appointment

First of all, a notary has to be appointed. Actually, the buyer should choose the notary, because in the end he must also pay the costs of the notary. In practice, however, it is usually different.

Especially when a broker is involved, the broker might decide with which notary is used, but he also takes over the entire preparation of the notary appointment. 

Basically, it does not matter to the buyer which notary the purchase contract is notarised with, since a real estate purchase contract is a standard contract and the costs are almost the same for all notaries. In addition, the notary is obliged to be neutral.

Before the notary is commissioned, you should have agreed with the seller on the essential contract components. Essentially these are the following points: 

  • Purchase price
  • condition of the real estate
  • date of delivery and payment of the purchase price and
  • which items are to be sold additionally to the real estate.

In order to draw up the draft purchase agreement, the notary needs the personal details of the buyer and seller. He also needs the details of the property. Usually he gets these from the seller.

Before the actual notary appointment takes place, the notary sends the draft purchase contract to the contracting parties. Ideally, the draft is available 2 weeks before the notarization appointment.

This serves to protect both the seller and the buyer. The legislator wants to protect both parties from hasty decisions. In order to guarantee this protection, the legislator has prescribed the strongest formal requirement that exists in Germany: Notarial certification.

Sufficient time to examine the contract and ensure that all important points are included.


What happens during the notary’s appointment

At the beginning of the appointment, the notary makes sure that the right people are sitting at the table. As a rule, the buyer and seller must prove their identity with an ID card. The notary then reads out the contents of the contract and explains the essential legal terms. In addition, he answers questions and, if desired, makes changes.

Once all the points have been clarified, the contract is signed by the buyer and the seller. The notary also signs the contract.


What happens after the notary appointment

After the notary appointment, the notary implements the purchase contract. The notary makes sure that all the requirements are met that are necessary to provide you with an unencumbered property and the seller the purchase price.

In addition, he arranges for the entry of a priority notice of conveyance and, if applicable, a land charge in the land register. The priority notice of conveyance ensures that the seller cannot sell the property a second time.

In addition, the notary informs the tax office, which leads to the fact that the buyer is requested to pay the land transfer tax. Speaking of costs. The notary costs are classically part of the additional purchase costs that the buyer has to bear.

In total, the buyer receives several invoices from the notary and the land registry office amounting to approximately 2% of the purchase price. The largest invoices come directly after the notary appointment. The other invoices – mainly from the court where the purchase is registered – follows then within approx. 6 weeks afterwards.

Don’t worry if there are several invoices coming from the court but they are invoicing each change in the land register separately. These are:

  • the priority notice of conveyance
  • the mortgage order for your bank
  • the deletion of the mortgage order from the seller
  • the deletion of the seller as owner
  • the final change of the ownership to you.

As soon as all conditions are fulfilled, the notary asks the buyer to pay the purchase price. Now everything usually goes quite fast. The property is handed over and the purchase price is paid.

A few weeks later, the buyer is entered in the land register as the owner. However, only if he has paid the land transfer tax.

We can help you finding notaries and facilitating the purchase process.  

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