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Germany conveyancing equivalent

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Hello, everyone!

 

I’ve been living in Hamburg for the past few years and now I’m relocating to Berlin. I live with my partner and we’ve been renting a place, but since we’ll now pretty much settled in Germany, we’d like to buy a home. For some background, I’m British and my husband is American. He has a job in Germany and I work for a UK company remotely. We’re slightly worried about how the Brexit negotiations will pan out, so we’re looking to get ourselves more established in preparation.

 

Just wondering how the process works in Germany and if it’s at all similar to the UK? We have a flat in Birmingham that we are waiting to sell, so we’re in a sort of limbo as we need the money from that as a buffer. Can anyone tell me average timescales for buying a house? I’m pretty well-versed in the UK equivalent, so we just want to know how the process compares to Germany. We’ve worked with a conveyancing solicitor in Manchester who told us that it is their understanding that sales take place before a civil law notary, rather than between two conveyancing solicitors. Is this someone assigned to the sale, or can one party have a preference? And how long does this process typically take, as when we bought a place in the UK it took ages due to a boundary dispute?

 

If anyone has any experience of buying a home in Germany, I’d really appreciate your assistance!

 

Danke!

Rebecca

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Buying a property is probably about the only thing that's easier in Germany than in the UK. If you are a cash buyer it's almost as easy as buying a loaf of bread at the bakery--the notary does all the work and you just sit at home and wait for the letters confirming the process to arrive. If you need a mortgage there's of course a lot of paperwork involved regarding the loan.

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As others have said, it's pretty straightforward legally.

Be prepared for eyewatering Makler (estate agent) fees. With all the other fees you should reckon on 10-12% on top of the purchase price.

Be prepared for a very different market, people still buy and sell much less frequently here. And any property that looks wonderfully cheap to UK eyes probably has a sitting tenant with a lot of legal security.

This was a useful thread for me recently:

(especially Pog and Rainydays posts)

 

On the Immoscout24 site there are useful summaries of the procedures and costs to expect,  but in German.

 

Both our property prchases here took about 4- 6 weeks. I don't think gazumping/ gazundering is prevalent here, but others may know differently!

 

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