Real estate purchase contract for real estate - What has to be considered?

In Germany, only a notarized real estate purchase contract is legally valid. Therefore, it is important to prepare all documents correctly before the notary appointment. In the following, the home selling process regarding the notarized contract of sale for a house/apartment is explained step by step.

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1. Notary appointment for the house/apartment sale - documents and procedure?
2. What are included in a real estate purchase contract?


1. Notary appointment for the house/apartment sale - documents and procedure

Content overview Link:

  • Real estate purchase contract: Notarization at the notary
  • Checklist: Necessary documents for the notarization of the sale of real estate
  • Notary - expiration real estate sales: What is to be paid attention to?

Real estate purchase order: Notarization at the notary

Sale of real estate-Notary law:

According to BGB 311 b both the purchase and the sale of real estate must be certified by a notary.

Notaries act neutrally:

§ 14 Bundesnotarordnung: Notaries are impartial advisors to the persons who consult the notary. With this paragraph everything is actually said. A notary expresses himself/herself exclusively on information about the legal facts of the case. He/she is prohibited from providing legal assistance or advice to a party, especially if he/she would support the interests of a party by making statements. However, he/she may suggest how the notarization should be structured. For example, the notary public will not give you any tips regarding the selling price in a property sale. He/she has nothing to do with the economic decision.

Obligation to provide information/documentation:

§ 17 of the Beurkundungsgesetz states that the notary should "investigate the willingness of the parties involved, clarify the facts of the case, instruct the parties involved about the legal implications of the transaction and reproduce their statements clearly and unambiguously in the meetings.

The aim of notarization by a notary is to achieve a balance with regard to the legal content of the contract. In addition, the notary should enable a smooth and unambiguous transaction for all parties involved. Furthermore, the transfer of ownership (seller to buyer) can only take place when the new owner has paid the full amount of the selling price to the home seller and it is highly probable that the home buyer will be registered in the land register as the new owner.

Without a notary, nothing can be done when buying and selling real estate. In the following, you will learn how the notary procedure works and what real estate buyers/sellers should pay more attention to when dealing with the notary, especially in exceptional cases.

√Notary - Procedure for the sale of a house/apartment: What happens after the notary appointment?

√Notary - Procedure for the sale of a house/apartment: Absence on the notary day?

What happens after the notary appointment?

The real estate purchase contract is now considered effective so that the buyer's ownership of the object is also secured from now on. The buyer is obliged to pay the selling price: "step by step" against procurement of the ownership of the corresponding real estate, according to the wording in the real estate purchase contract. Thus, not only the buyer is assured of the ownership, but also the home seller is assured to receive the fixed selling price on time. A notary serves as an impartial and incorruptible party to monitor the conditions and to carry out a correct further procedure. Afterwards, follow the listed steps:

  1. After the conclusion of a contract, the conveyance notice is issued. The respective notary will have it entered in the land register. A priority notice of conveyance ensures the fair settlement of the transaction and reserves the property bindingly until full payment is made. Thus, possible risks that could endanger or influence the final purchase of the property are prevented. This entry protects both against the home seller's conduct in breach of contract and as well as against access by his/her creditors or insolvency administrator.
  2. The notary will obtain all necessary approvals in favor of the buyer during this period. This includes the approvals of local communities from the leaseholder in case of a leasehold, and from the property management in case of an apartment.
  3. As soon as all necessary steps have been settled, the property should be free of any encumbrances by the home seller. Afterwards, the selling price is due on the part of the buyer. The notary now contacts the buyer by mail and demands the amount according to the real estate purchase contract.
  4. After successful payment and subsequent written confirmation by the home seller to the notary public, the buyer is ultimately entered in the land register as the new owner of the property. Subsequently, it is necessary to hand over all related keys to the new owner. Finally, the conditions of the real estate purchase contract are fulfilled, and the transaction is completed.

Absence on the notary day?

1. what to do if a personal presence at the notary appointment is not possible?

Nevertheless, there are exceptional cases which make the notary appointment possible. For example, a private person of trust can be selected to sign the real estate purchase contract under your name. For this purpose, there is also the option of a powerless representation with subsequent approval as an alternative.

2. What does powerless representation mean?

There are various reasons why a real estate purchase contract should be signed in a hurry. If the home seller is unable to attend the notary appointment in person, he/she may send an unauthorized representative. Same as the usual version including power of attorney, a person of trust is selected to sign the real estate purchase contract at the notary appointment. In the event that no person can be appointed by you, this representative could also be a notary's assistant. Moreover, it is also possible for the real estate agent to be assigned as a representative, since there is no longer any need for extensive negotiations anyway. The notary is aware of these alternatives, so they are considered to be effective. However, it should be noted that the real estate purchase contract is not yet legally effective after signature of the powerless representative. From now on the real estate purchase contract is pending ineffective. The full legal effectiveness is only valid after receipt of a subsequent approval. The home seller should therefore deliver a subsequent approval as soon as possible as the interests of the buyer; otherwise the buyer should know exactly his right of revocation on the part of the bank.

3. what does subsequent approval mean?

The procedure of a subsequent approval is quite simple. The home seller can visit a notary of his/her choice in the corresponding federal territory and sign the document in his/her presence. Abroad, this is done by a foreign representation of the Foreign Office. A copy of the pending invalid real estate purchase contract is required for this purpose. The notary sends the necessary form including the copy of the contract to the home seller. At the local notary the home seller now fills out this form and has it certified by the notary. From now on, the real estate purchase contract is considered accepted as signed.

This subsequent approval is returned to the original notary public together with the original signature. Of course, only one notary can be used in total, this would reduce the overall processing time. As soon as the subsequent approval is available, the purchase procedure can start. The costs for this procedure depend on the property selling price, but they are relatively low. They can be taken exactly from the law on costs of voluntary jurisdiction for courts and notaries (GNotKG).

2. What are included in a real estate purchase contract?

Before signing the property purchase agreement:

The notary is responsible for obtaining important data and information before the conclusion of the notarial property purchase agreement. For this purpose, he/she first obtain the necessary details from the contract or the official institute (land registry):

Check the property purchase agreement:

As soon as both parties - you as the home seller and the buyer of your property - have passed on all relevant details and information to the notary public, the notary public can start drawing up the real estate purchase contract. It is customary for the notary to send you and the buyer a draft of the real estate purchase contract two weeks before the contract is to be signed. Although it is the digitalization era, the draft will be sent to you by post. Why do the contracting parties receive the draft 14 days in advance? The so-called notarization law grants both parties this period of time so that they can discuss the financial and economic results again before putting the signature on the contract if needed.

Most importantly, both the home seller and buyer are given the opportunity to thoroughly review important contents of the real estate purchase contract one last time without any time pressure. First, the following information should be checked: Object of the contract, selling price and payment deadline, personal data and any possible agreements.

KBC Real Estate assists the home seller in the preparation of the notarization and provides professional advice to its clients in order to facilitate the completion of the property purchase agreement.