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Can Foreigners Buy Property In Germany?

By Jamie Richardson | June 3, 2022

Lots of people want to buy property in Berlin or any other city in Germany, but as a foreigner, you might be unsure of the process and whether or not you are even eligible. Do not worry! This guide will tell you everything you need to know about purchasing property as a foreigner in Germany.

probate property

Are Foreigners Restricted From Buying Property in Germany?

The first thing you should know is that there are no restrictions on foreigners buying property in Germany. You are treated the same as a German citizen when it comes to buying property. The process is relatively straightforward and there are a few things you need to know before getting started.

Find a Reputable Realtor

The first step is finding a reputable realtor who specializes in foreign buyers. They will be able to help you with the paperwork and answer any questions you have about the process. Look for someone who has the experience and is knowledgeable about the German property market.

To find a realtor, you can start by asking friends or family if they know anyone. You can also search online or on the yellow pages. Once you have found a few realtors, you can interview them to see who the best fit is for you.

Get Your Finances in Order

Before you start looking at properties, you need to make sure your finances are in order. This means getting pre-approved for a mortgage and having a down payment saved up. You will also need to show proof of income and have your tax returns ready.

Find the Right Property

Now it is time to start looking for the right property. Keep in mind your budget and what you are looking for in a property. Once you find a few properties that you are interested in, your realtor will help you with the next steps.

Make an Offer

Once you have found the perfect property, it is time to make an offer. If your offer is accepted, then congrats! You are one step closer to owning your own piece of Germany.

Sign a Contract

The next step is to sign a contract. This is where you will officially become the owner of the property. Ensure you read over the contract carefully and have your lawyer look at it before you sign anything.

In Germany, a contract typically includes the following:

·         Contractual parties:  These are the people who are involved in the contract. Remember, if the seller is married, both spouses must sign the contract. This is to protect the rights of the spouse who is not involved in the sale.

·         The object of the contract:  This is what you are buying. This could be land, a house, an apartment, etc. The object must be described as precisely as possible to avoid any confusion later on. For instance, if the house you are buying has furniture, electronics, or appliances included, this should be stated in the contract.

·         The purchase price:  This is how much you are paying for the property. It is important to note that the purchase price may not necessarily be the same as the appraised value of the property. The purchase price is what you and the seller have agreed upon. Partial payments are also common in Germany and should be stated in the contract.

·         The date of transfer of ownership:  This is when the property will officially become yours. The date of transfer is typically about two to three weeks after the contract has been signed.

·         Encumbrances, public encumbrances:  This refers to any restrictions or debts on the property that must be paid off before the property can be transferred to you. For instance, if there is a mortgage on the property, this will need to be paid off in full before you can take ownership.

·         Defects: This refers to any problems with the property that you are aware of before signing the contract. For instance, if there is a leak in the roof, this should be stated in the contract.

·         Miscellaneous:  This is anything else that should be included in the contract. This could be things like, who is responsible for paying the property taxes, utility bills, etc.

Once the contract has been signed, you will need to make a deposit of usually around twenty percent of the purchase price. This deposit is to show that you are serious about buying the property, and it will be applied to the purchase price.

The Final Step: Closing

Closing is the final step in buying a property in Germany. This is when you will pay the remaining balance of the purchase price and officially become the owner of the property. Your realtor and lawyer will be there to help you with this process and answer any questions you may have.

By law, all real estate contracts in Germany must be notarized. A notary is a public official who is responsible for witnessing the signing of contracts. The notary will also make sure that both parties understand the terms of the contract and that there are no errors.

Once the contract has been signed and notarized, you are the new owner of property in Germany! Congratulations!

Jamie is a 5-year freelance writer who enjoys real estate. He is currently a Realty Biz News Contributor.
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