Buying property in Germany

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Can anybody help with the buying process in Germany? I have made an offer and it's been accepted, I am now awaiting mortgage offer from Raifeissenbank but an not sure when to pay deposit etc..

 

Thanks.

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I made a deposit after the seller accepted my offer. After the deposit was made, I did all the bank financing stuff. The deposit would be returned on 2 conditions: 1) if bank financing did not get approved or 2) after the buyer/seller contract was signed at the notar.

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i didn't pay a deposit. after having signed the contract at the notar, i had to contact my bank as within 7 working days the payment was due.

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lexus,

 

I think the next step is to find a Notar. Once the financing is agreed you can go ahead and make an appointment to formally sign the Kaufvertrag.

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Thanks everyone,

we do have a notar and interpreter, but still not got the financing sorted,so stalling for time.

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[adminmerge][/adminmerge]

Dear Members of the Forum,

I am considering to buy an apartment in Berlin with a 100% loan

I spoke and read a lot about all aspects related to buy an apartment in Germany but I am still not clear with the detailed sequence of all the steps; I actually got different answers from few people (banks and real estate agents). So I try to recap them to the point where I get confused and from there your help in clarifying would be highly appreciated.

 

What I understood is that the process is the following

 

1) I get from few banks a preliminary quotation about loan amount; in this way I have an orientative budget

 

2) I search and find a propery that I like

 

3) I approach the makler or the seller (if there is no makler involved) with an offer (if I want to negotiate). Let´s suppose I get a positive answer on my offer

 

4) Then a number of documents related to the apartment need to be sent to the bank. The bank carries out also an assesment of the value of the property before having a final decision of the loan. Let´s suppose the decision is positive.

 

After this I get really confused on how we move ahead. I have this info but obviously I need to put them in sequence from a timing / sequential perspective.

 

- They explained me that then the contract is drafted, but someone said this is done by the notary, someonelse told me by the Makler

 

- I understand that the Notary carries out a number of steps to check out whether the propery can be sold and finalizes the documents required to register the change in property once the contract is signed.

 

- In the meantime the bank deposit the amount into an account controlled by the Notary: the notary then frees up for the payment to the seller only once the contrac is signed.

 

- But until the contract is not signed there is always the chance of the seller to step back and accept any higher offer. I am not sure how this matches with all the preparatory work required by the notary and terms of acceptance of the loan from the bank and if this implies any cost carried out by me in case the seller has a second thought.

 

- More over if the property is sold with some basic equipment (like kitchen washing machine owen, etc) this may lead to the bank to grant me a loan which is lower than the full price.

 

If someone could help with his / her experience to put all this info into the proper sequence time wise, I would be very greatful. I also understood it is possible to pay an expert to carry out a check on the apartment to make sure all equipments and facilities work properly. There is anyone who has used this service and tell me how much does it cost?

 

Thanks a lot

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1) I get from few banks a preliminary quotation about loan amount; in this way I have an orientative budget

2) I search and find a propery that I like

3) I approach the makler or the seller (if there is no makler involved) with an offer (if I want to negotiate). Let´s suppose I get a positive answer on my offer

4) Then a number of documents related to the apartment need to be sent to the bank. The bank carries out also an assesment of the value of the property before having a final decision of the loan. Let´s suppose the decision is positive.

 

All correct, although the amount of "due dilligence" a bank does on (4) will vary from none to putting your balls in a vice.

 

 

- They explained me that then the contract is drafted, but someone said this is done by the notary, someonelse told me by the Makler

 

Definitely NOT the Makler. You can have a/the notary or a solicitor of your choice draw up the contract, although usually the seller will do this. If the seller has a contarct drawn up you may get it via the Makler, but they wont be the ones writing it. make sure you ahve the contract checked by a solicitor or notary acting for you.

 

 

- I understand that the Notary carries out a number of steps to check out whether the propery can be sold and finalizes the documents required to register the change in property once the contract is signed.

 

Yup

 

 

- In the meantime the bank deposit the amount into an account controlled by the Notary: the notary then frees up for the payment to the seller only once the contrac is signed.

 

No. For a start You dont need to use a separate account - You can do it this way but it costs extra. More importantly, you sign the contract first, before any money moves anywhere. The contract states what has to happen before you pay (usually the start of transfer of ownership and clearance by the owners banks, if necessary) and the notary informs you when this has happened, then you pay, the notary informs the seller and completes the deal. Once youve signed, the process (theoretically) cant be stopped, but you certainly cant lose out because if youve designed the contract right, you dont pay any money until the property is as good as yours.

 

 

- But until the contract is not signed there is always the chance of the seller to step back and accept any higher offer. I am not sure how this matches with all the preparatory work required by the notary and terms of acceptance of the loan from the bank and if this implies any cost carried out by me in case the seller has a second thought.

 

Whiel this is true, you actually sign the contract much earlier than you think. With no contract, there is no obligation. Once the contract ha been signed, its extremely difficult to get out of it again (and the contract breaker opens themselves up to damages)

 

 

- More over if the property is sold with some basic equipment (like kitchen washing machine owen, etc) this may lead to the bank to grant me a loan which is lower than the full price.

 

Normally you do this the other way around - Try and hive off some value into fixtures and fittings to reduce the selling price and save tax, but if there is significant value in "extras" the bank wont finance this. Just make sure the price is stated as "all inclusive".

 

 

I also understood it is possible to pay an expert to carry out a check on the apartment to make sure all equipments and facilities work properly.

Paying someone to check if the equipment works would be a waste of time because a) you can check this yourself and B) the buyer has to garantee that there are no known problems with the property. Having a structural surveyor come in and check the building itself may be valuable if its a few years old, this will cost something like 500 to 2000€, depending on what excatly is needed.

 

My No.1 tip for buying a flat is get hold of the Owners organisation yearly reports for at least the last five years. Check the sort of issues that have been raised, how the agents go about buying heating fuel, what bulding repairs may be due, what bad owners there may be and also the amount of cash in various accounts belonging to the builidng. If teher are little or no "Rücklagen" any repairs will come straight out of your pocket and if they are just about to repair or replace the heating or roof or something that can be a sudden and unexpected (and hefty) expense you might want to avoid (and/or account for in the purchase price).

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The process is roughly like this (besides what Pog451 posted):

 

Your points 1) to 4), but I would add that before proceeding to point 4), your offer, you need to be really sure of your intent to buy the property. More than one inspection of the object is needed, maybe also a visit with a Immobiliensachverständiger. The real estate agent or the seller should provide a good exposé of the object. On the basis of the concrete data of the object, you should negotiate with banks (it may make sense to find the best offer via a mortgage broker, such as Interhyp).

 

Then, if the seller is willing to accept your offer and if you have the definitive commitment of a bank for the financing (the seller is likely to ask for a confirmation, a Darlehenszusage, from the bank), the seller chooses a notary, asks him to draft a purchase contract, which is sent to both parties. There should be a 2-week period between receipt of the draft and the date of signing at the notary's office. It is recommended to have the draft checked by a lawyer. Then, at the signing, the contract is read and any remaining open questions are explained/discussed. The contract stipulates, amongst many other things, the next steps: date of transfer of the money, whether there is a Notaranderkonto (notary trust account, will cost commissions, but maybe advisable depending on circumstances), which conditions have to be fulfilled to release the money.

 

The notary then does the paperwork related to the land registry (Grundbuchamt), if necessary also cancellation of old land charges and registering of the new mortgage. After a couple of weeks, the Grundbuchamt will notify the notary of the priority notice of conveyance (Auflassungsvormerkung) for the property. With that, you are definitively noted as the new owner of the property, although the final registration will only follow another couple of weeks later. When the Auflassungsvormerkung is received, the money can be safely transferred to the seller. Handing over of the keys will follow immediately afterwards.

 

The Senate of Berlin has published a guideline for property purchase, see Leitfaden. There's a warning with regard to agents who try to sell Schrottimmobilien (junk real estate), i.e. property which has serious flaws and consequently isn't worth its price, can only be rented out with difficulty and won't render anywhere near the promised yield. It is important to not let yourself pressure into a purchase by artificial time contraints and also not by the promise of "100 % financing", see Schutz vor Schrottimmobilien. Buyers need to calculate with own capital of about 30 to 40 % of the total costs (20 % of net purchase price + full additional costs such as real estate agent fees, notary and Grundbuchamt commissions, Grunderwerbsteuer).

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The notary then does the paperwork related to the land registry (Grundbuchamt), if necessary also cancellation of old land charges and registering of the new mortgage.

 

A good tip when buying any property is to get hold of a copy of the land registry entry (any Makler worth their commision will already have a copy but amke sure its recent) and make sure there arent any unexpected nasties (Granny with a lifelong right to reside, strange access rules, more debt than expected). Also, with a flat, get hold of the "Teilungserklärung" (declaration of division) which states which bits of the building would actually belong to you and check that too

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Thank you very much for your info, So the PROCESS is clear and I have consolidated everything below also for other members that in the future could be interested. Still I have some remaining QUESTIONS and if you could answer it would be great.

PROCESS

1)I get from few banks a preliminary quotation about loan amount; in this way I have an orientative budget

 

2)I search and find a property that I like

 

3)I approach the makler or the seller (if there is no makler involved) with an offer (if I want to negotiate). Let´s suppose I get a positive answer on my offer

 

4)Then a number of documents related to the apartment need to be sent to the bank. The bank carries out also an assesment of the value of the property before having a final decision of the loan. Let´s suppose the decision is positive. (Darlehenszusage)

 

5)The notary drafts the contract and during the 2 weeks period the parties are free to ask the notary to propose modifications / add clauses. The Notary´s job is to explain anything which is not clear to one or both of the parties, and also to check if any of the clauses / add on-s proposed by the parties are compliant with the law, until agreement on the final version is reached and both parties are ready to meet at the notary place to sign the contract. What happens that day is clear from the previous explanations.

 

6) After the purchasing contract is signed the Notary performs the paperwork related to the land registry (Grundbuchamt), if necessary also cancellation of old land charges and registering of the new mortgage. After a couple of weeks, the Grundbuchamt will notify the notary of the priority notice of conveyance (Auflassungsvormerkung) for the property. With that, I am definitively noted as the new owner of the property, although the final registration will only follow another couple of weeks later. When the Auflassungsvormerkung is received, the money can be safely transferred to the seller. Handing over of the keys will follow immediately afterwards.

 

OUTSTANDING QUESTIONS

 

For point 2)

Rainydays said “more than one inspection is needed”. maybe also a visit with a Immobiliensachverständiger. Based on my experience a kind of check list would include

 

- Copy of the land registry entry

- Owners organization yearly reports for the last 5 years (for the reasons mentioned by pog451)

- Checking in the apartment whether heating system, bathrooms, kitchen, dishing machines, owens,fridge (if all of them are included in the full purchasing price) are working properly.

- If the floor, ceilings, wall have any visible defects or problems

I would like to ask

QUESTION: if you see any other relevant item to be considered for these checks

 

QUESTION : What are the advantages of having an Immobiliensachverständiger and how much would it charge to carry out a complete inspection of the apartment and the building: I understand that the owners has to guarantee everything is delivered in good conditions but if I miss something in my inspection, going for a trial later could be long and expensive.

 

QUESTION: Also I would like to understand if the Maklers are normally willing to accept such inspections before the buyer making any offer and if this is sean as a normal and reasonable practice.

 

QUESTION it is a correct assumption that any outstanding payments for the building charges due by the current owner cannot be transferred to me if I become the new owner? I would just be responsible for the charges belonging from the period when I will be the new owner.

 

QUESTION: it is needed to specify the point tackled above in the purchasing contract or if it is mandated by law?

 

Regarding point 5)

 

I learnt from a broker of Interhyp that after the positive decision, the bank prepares also the loan contract and I have 2 weeks to sign it. I also learnt that in the loan contract there is a clause that allows to cancel it if for any reason the apartment purchasing contract is not finalized/ signed. My question are:

 

QUESTION : typically the loan contract is signed before or after the finalization of the apartment purchasing contract?

 

QUESTION : What happens if I sign the loan contract and then the Notary discovers AFTER THE APARTMENT PURCHASING CONTRACT IS SIGNED that the full property cannot be sold by the seller for any reason (like Granny with a lifelong right to reside)?

 

QUESTION : Do I need then need to pay any fee to the bank, as I already signed the loan contract?

 

I understood that the Notary is involved first in drafting the contract and then, when it is signed, to perform all the paperwork that allows me to become the owner. Let´suppose that during the 2 weeks period, the seller wants to include in the contract some clauses that, even if legal, are deviating from the standard practice and putting on me very heavy and special obligations. Let´ suppose that I refuse these clauses and we do not agree on the final version of the contract so we fail to finalize it.

 

QUESTION Is the notary entitled to be paid anyway by me even in this circumstance?

Let´s suppose that the Notary, after the contract is signed, discovers that the full property of the apartment cannot be transferred to me, and therefore the apartment cannot be sold as agreed:

 

QUESTION : would this create for him the right to be paid by me for his / her services?

 

QUESTION : Under these circumstances, the Makler could also claim payments towards me, in the case he was not aware of the problems?

 

QUESTION; there are other "standard" charges I should consider besides a) Makler´s commission ( up to 7.14%) B) Taxes (5%) Notary fees (1.5%), assuming no start up costs are charged by the bank for the loan? I learnt that the Notary can charge some costs where money are transferred to the Notary account: how much I should budget for it?

 

QUESTION: at least a complete translation in english from the german version of the Purchasing contract is needed: Am i oobliged to hire a certified translator or I can rely on a smart and accurate work of a native german speaker? In case I am obliged how much I should budget for a certified translation service?

 

QUESTION: last! as I will need an english speaker notary and I will be the one to pay do I have the right to decide which notary to hire for the contract? I understood that is normally the seller that chooses the notary, but in my case I would really want to use the one I believe can assist me the best. Could this become a problem?

 

Thank you very much in advance, you really helped me and other expatriates a lot! :)

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Deadsoul, most of these questions could be answered by whoever has already gone through the buying process_a notary is not needed for that.

I made a lot of research on internet and there was not clarity on how to tackle the points above.

Besides, the questions I raised could be of help for other expatriates in the future, avoiding missunderstandings or mistakes for what is normally a big life time investment. I do not believe it is advisable to learn this by doing, you can risk a lot.

So I believe it would be useful not only for me but also for anyonelse to have a thread where these questions find answers, if someone has the time and the condition to answer.

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I'm only able to answer some of the questions. There are a lot of tipps in the Leitfaden by the Berlin Senate, see link in my previous post, maybe you can go through the checklist with the help of a German speaker. It's indeed the job of the notary to answer any legal questions or those regarding costs, but it doesn't harm to have a general idea about the process beforehand.

 

 

OUTSTANDING QUESTIONS

 

For point 2):

Rainydays said “more than one inspection is needed”. maybe also a visit with a Immobiliensachverständiger. Based on my experience a kind of check list would include

 

- Copy of the land registry entry

- Owners organization yearly reports for the last 5 years (for the reasons mentioned by pog451)

- Checking in the apartment whether heating system, bathrooms, kitchen, dishing machines, owens,fridge (if all of them are included in the full purchasing price) are working properly.

- If the floor, ceilings, wall have any visible defects or problems

I would like to ask

QUESTION: if you see any other relevant item to be considered for these checks?

There is a lot more to check, e.g. condition of pipes and power supply; noise insulation (between apartments); energy efficiency (see Energieausweis); if the apartment has been refurbished: quality of material and work etc.

 

QUESTION : What are the advantages of having an Immobiliensachverständiger and how much would it charge to carry out a complete inspection of the apartment and the building: I understand that the owners has to guarantee everything is delivered in good conditions but if I miss something in my inspection, going for a trial later could be long and expensive.

The notary should explain this more profundly, but basically the property is sold as seen and the seller doesn't have to guarantee for anything, he/she would only be held liable for maliciously concealed flaws (difficult to prove after the fact). I don't have an exact idea about the costs for a survey, but they will be rather negligeable with regard to the whole investment. Whether you hire an expert for the inspection depends of course on the degree of expertise you have yourself with regard to houses, construction etc. At any rate it is advisable to be accompanied by a "trusted person" according to the checklist by the Berlin Senate:

 

 

Schauen Sie sich die Wohnung und das ganze Haus, insbesondere auch Dach (achten Sie auf Holzbock) und Keller unbedingt selbst an und nehmen Sie zur Besichtigung am besten eine Person Ihres Vertrauens mit. „Vier Augen sehen mehr als zwei“ und im Zweifel haben Sie einen Zeugen dabei.

Machen Sie eine zweite Besichtigung mit einem Fachmann Ihres Vertrauens.

QUESTION: Also I would like to understand if the Maklers are normally willing to accept such inspections before the buyer making any offer and if this is sean as a normal and reasonable practice.

See above, bringing an expert or at least a trusted person is normal, and the Makler wants to sell the property after all.

QUESTION it is a correct assumption that any outstanding payments for the building charges due by the current owner cannot be transferred to me if I become the new owner? I would just be responsible for the charges belonging from the period when I will be the new owner.

Should be explained by the notary and enters into the contract.

 

Regarding point 5):

 

I learnt from a broker of Interhyp that after the positive decision, the bank prepares also the loan contract and I have 2 weeks to sign it. I also learnt that in the loan contract there is a clause that allows to cancel it if for any reason the apartment purchasing contract is not finalized/ signed. My question are:

 

QUESTION : typically the loan contract is signed before or after the finalization of the apartment purchasing contract?

The usual process is that after choosing the bank with the best offer, you apply for a loan (Darlehen beantragen), the bank checks all the details and agrees definitively to giving you the loan (Darlehenszusage). The specific conditions (namely the interest rate) are reserved for a limited time, say 14 days. You'll receive the loan contract, but shouldn't sign it before the purchase contract is signed at the notary. After the deal being sealed, the Darlehensvertrag can be signed.

 

QUESTION : What happens if I sign the loan contract and then the Notary discovers AFTER THE APARTMENT PURCHASING CONTRACT IS SIGNED that the full property cannot be sold by the seller for any reason (like Granny with a lifelong right to reside)?

That is unlikely to happen as the existence of such potential deal breakers should be addressed beforehand by the notary.

QUESTION; there are other "standard" charges I should consider besides a) Makler´s commission ( up to 7.14%) B) Taxes (5%) Notary fees (1.5%), assuming no start up costs are charged by the bank for the loan? I learnt that the Notary can charge some costs where money are transferred to the Notary account: how much I should budget for it?

See Leitfaden, point 1, "Kaufpreis".

 

QUESTION: at least a complete translation in english from the german version of the Purchasing contract is needed: Am i oobliged to hire a certified translator or I can rely on a smart and accurate work of a native german speaker? In case I am obliged how much I should budget for a certified translation service?

A notary who routinely does contracts with English speaking clients should be able to provide an English version, a big part consists of text modules anyway.

QUESTION: last! as I will need an english speaker notary and I will be the one to pay do I have the right to decide which notary to hire for the contract? I understood that is normally the seller that chooses the notary, but in my case I would really want to use the one I believe can assist me the best. Could this become a problem?

This is where I have to correct my previous post; in principle either one of the parties can decide on the notary, but it seems to be more common to have the buyer choose the notary, for the simple reason that he/she has to bear the costs, and in your case you have specific requirements (English language). The Leitfaden strongly recommends to choose the notary on your own, see point 10:

 

 

Bedenken Sie, dass Sie den Notar bezahlen und deshalb auch das Recht haben, diesen auszuwählen. Lassen Sie sich nicht gegen Ihren Willen einen Notar, den der Verkäufer oder der Vermittler bevorzugt, einreden. Insbesondere der Hinweis „der Notar kenne das Objekt / habe schon „mehrere Verträge in dem Objekt beurkundet“, ist nicht überzeugend: Jeder Notar kann – ohne dass Ihnen Mehrkosten entstehen – einen Wohnungskaufvertrag entwerfen und beurkunden.

 

 

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QUESTION it is a correct assumption that any outstanding payments for the building charges due by the current owner cannot be transferred to me if I become the new owner? I would just be responsible for the charges belonging from the period when I will be the new owner.

 

Not exactly.

 

Any charges pertaining to the property have to paid the owner.

It doesn't matter if they stem from an earlier period.

 

So, if for example, the old owner should have paid a Sonderumlage of 10,000€ to the Hausverwaltung for building new balconies, then you will have to pay it if the old owner did not.

 

That's why it is very important to read all the old "Protokolle der Eigentümerversammlung" to know if any such expensive measures have been decided upon.

 

So, if you want to be sure not to end up out of pocket, put an extra clause into the notarieller Kaufvertrag.

However, that clause won't save you from initially paying out that money to the Hausverwaltung. It only means that you can then take the old owner to court and recuperate that outlay.

 

 

QUESTION : What happens if I sign the loan contract and then the Notary discovers AFTER THE APARTMENT PURCHASING CONTRACT IS SIGNED that the full property cannot be sold by the seller for any reason (like Granny with a lifelong right to reside)?

 

A granny with a lifelong right to reside is no impediment. Same as an apartment having a tenant would not be an impediment.

 

However, if you stop the process for whatever reason, you still have to pay the notary for preparing the contract, his fees would be about 75% of what they would have been if the sale had gone through.

 

 

This is where I have to correct my previous post; in principle either one of the parties can decide on the notary, but it seems to be more common to have the buyer choose the notary, for the simple reason that he/she has to bear the costs, and in your case you have specific requirements (English language). The Leitfaden strongly recommends to choose the notary on your own, see point 10:

 

There is one situation where the notary is fixed.

If the apartment is in a house that has just been split up from a Mietshaus belonging to only one owner into a house with Eigentumswohnungen, then the notary who did this split will most probably have put in a clause that the first ensuing sale of any of these apartments will have to be done by him.

 

Depending on in what city the apartment is, in that case (transformation into Eigentumswohnung) there may also be an additional problem.

In cities with scarce rental apartments the city can put in a clause that if the apartment had a tenant at the time of its transformation then that tenant gets an extra period in which you can't terminate the rental contract.

In Munich that period is 10 years, so for 10 years + legal termination period after the sale you cannot move into your own apartment.

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At the risk of adding even more things to your list it is important, in conjunction with the Eigentümlerversammlungprotokolle to find out how much is in the Instandhalungsrücklage (this is where every owner in the property should be paying into this account for regular repairs/maintenance). In conjunction with the above Protokolle you can find out whether any thing that is being planned to be done to the building has been done. The previous owner does NOT get his money out after the sale of the flat, this is transferred to you and should be a part of the notarised contact.

 

The only other thing I think you will want to know is who is doing the Hausverwaltung. Is this a recognised firm? Maybe you want to meet them before signing the contract.

 

Our experience with notaries has mostly been good, the only thing you can complain about is the charging for everything but that is according to their fee scale. However they were with us most insistant on ensuring that we understood what we were signing.

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The previous owner does NOT get his money out after the sale of the flat, this is transferred to you and should be a part of the notarised contact.

 

Actually it doesnt specifically need to be unless you want something special to happen. Equally, as PandaMunich says, any debts incurred by the previous owner against the "Eigentümergemeinschaft" transfer to the new owner on "Übergang Nutzen und Nasten" (transfer of use and responsibility), so make sure the account is cleared.

 

In a flat I onwn, for isntance, we were forced to sue one owner (for carrying out unsafe building work) and all other owners had to pay into a "war chest" to allow this. ´Theoretically, if any money was left in that "war chest", and certainly if we won the case and got damages and or costs back, Their will be money returned and I could enter into a sales contract that that money should go to me. (In practice, I almost certainly wont, not least because I dont actually expect to get much back).

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kitchen, dishing machines, owens,fridge (if all of them are included in the full purchasing price) are working properly.

 

Its fairly unusual to have this sort of stuff included in the property price and if it is, its generally all very old and close to end of life anyway, even if still working. Unless this sort of equipmemnt is pretty new (<2 years) I would actually use having to remove and scrap it as an argument to reduce the asking price, as German properties, even ones for rental, generally dont have this stuff included.

 

 

heating system, bathrooms,

 

You can have a look and check the service history of heating systems etc, but here you are actually pretty safe and dont need to engage a sachverständiger (unless you want to know how much it would cost to replace them). If the current owner tells you these things work and they dont, you have recourse. Whether they work WELL, or comply with current laws and standards, is something else to ask and potentially your problem if they dont. With a heating system its worth asking about the chimney sweep inpections (yes, hes responsible even for systems without an open fire).

 

 

If the floor, ceilings, wall have any visible defects or problems

 

*Visible* defects like cracks, subsidence, holes, visible rot or mould etc are definitely your problem. If the current owner has papered or painted over such defects in an attempt to hide them they become his problem, although getting him to pay for them may be a lengthy process. Having a Sachverständiger look as well can bring up hidden issues you amy not be able to indentify (in one place we looked at, all the "insulating" windows looked good but were at end of life and actually not insulating to modern standards - We would have assumed they were ok) but our sachverständiger flagged it up as a problem). Its definitely woth ahving a sachverständiger if you are contemplating any renovation beyond painting and decorating because its easy to mis-judge potential cost unless you are an expert.

 

 

QUESTION : typically the loan contract is signed before or after the finalization of the apartment purchasing contract?

QUESTION : What happens if I sign the loan contract and then the Notary discovers AFTER THE APARTMENT PURCHASING CONTRACT IS SIGNED that the full property cannot be sold by the seller for any reason (like Granny with a lifelong right to reside)?

QUESTION : Do I need then need to pay any fee to the bank, as I already signed the loan contract?

 

The loan contract must be signed before the sale is finalised (because if you need a loan you wont have the money to pay without the loan contract) but there nothing to stop you signing the purchase contract beforehand (although it is a bad idea). In fact, its shockingly common for sales contracts to be signed and then for people, to have their financing fall through - So common, that most contracts will have a passage that makes them null and void if the planned financing goes belly up. For your peace of mind, sign the loan contract FIRST. Even if the sale does then fall through, the worst that will happen is that the bank may charge you a (relatively small) fee for holding the loan money ready for you for your next purchase.

 

BTW - PandaMunich has said this but Ill repeat it - Nasties in the property registry are YOUR problem. If the seller is legally able to sell the house, they can, its up to you to make sure you can use it for the intended purpose. Something like a Wohnrecht or access issues doesnt stop the sale but may stop you using the property fully, so check this first. Ideally, you want the land regsitry record to be clear of anything not related to the previous owners loans and you jneed to fully understand the implications of anything that remains in there.

 

 

QUESTION Is the notary entitled to be paid anyway by me even in this circumstance?

Let´s suppose that the Notary, after the contract is signed, discovers that the full property of the apartment cannot be transferred to me, and therefore the apartment cannot be sold as agreed:

QUESTION : would this create for him the right to be paid by me for his / her services?

QUESTION : Under these circumstances, the Makler could also claim payments towards me, in the case he was not aware of the problems?

 

The Notary is entitled to fees whether the sale goes through or not. Who pays the fees depends on the exact situation. The Makler will generally only be due fees as a result of a sale, so if the sale collapses, they will go empty handed.

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Do not trust the Notary to have checked EVERYTHING necessary as I found out the painful way AFTER the purchase has been signed, that some documents were missing. That meant the Grundbuchamt rejected the sale by the heirs of the said property I was buying. I had to sign another Nachtrag and now wait for the state to issue a clearance for the heirs to sell.

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but the job of the notary is to check everything, and he's paid serious money for it. In the case above he sounds negligent, and sueable. The European model of elite notars making sure everything works out is routinely compared to other countries where property is a legal minefield.

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