Purchasing facts

Buying real estate in Berlin

Costs (% of the buying price):

"Grunderwerbsteuer"(Property Transfer Tax) 6.0%
Notary costs 1.0%
Registration in the Land Registery Office 0.5%
Real estate agent fee Up to 7.14% (incl. 19% VAT)


In addition to these costs, we recommend our clients seek advice from a specialist property lawyer, to ensure all legal aspects of the purchase are taken care of. We would be happy to refer you to an English speaking lawyer.

Financing Berlin real estate

If you have equity available in your home, holiday house or apartment, you can use this to finance your property in Germany. Most financial institutions provide loans to their customers against security in the customers? other assets. The terms of the loan and interests differ from institution to institution and depend on current markets and level of security.

A number of banks and other financial institutions will consider long-term loans against security in property in Germany. You can typically borrow up to 75% of the purchase price of the property.

Finding your property in Berlin

Finding your property in Berlin is a little different from what most foreigners might expect. Normally people begin by searching one of the many websites available on the internet. However, the amount and quality of information provided by the owners or brokers on these websites is extremely variable and it is not uncommon that the photos displayed are taken on mobile phone cameras, if you will find any at all.

It is also not uncommon that the same property is being sold by several different brokers. The broker's fee is normally paid by the buyer and is typically 7,14% (6% + 19% VAT) of the purchase price. So be careful not to receive a bunch of property brochures as this could lead to more than one broker's fee being charged

Buying your apartment in Berlin

In Germany, a real estate contract has to be signed at the office of the public notary. The public notary is legally obliged to be neutral and the notary is personally responsible for ensuring that every property sale is properly conducted. She/he must check that the seller actually has the rights to sell the property and she/he must notify the buyer of any covenants and easements affecting the property. The buyer pays the notary costs.

It is normally possible to reserve a property, and often a reservation fee will then have to be paid. However, there are still no guarantees that the property will actually be yours. No verbal or written agreements other than the signatures at the notary are legally binding.