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The procedure and incidental costs when buying a house in Hamburg and surroundings

Maintain an overview at all times.

Buying a property is an extensive procedure that involves various steps and institutions. After making the decision to buy and securing financing, a notary office will have to be agreed upon first, since a property purchase requires a notarial certification. The Land register is inspected by the notary, the contract is drawn up and sent to the buyer, seller and us for review. After clearance and clarification of all outstanding issues, a notary appointment will be arranged where the buyer and seller or authorised representative must appear in person; we will also be present at every notarial certification. The contract is read out completely, adjusted if necessary and then signed.

As a result, a notice of conveyance is entered in the corresponding Land register within a very short time, which amounts to a contractual legal guarantee of the purchase. In the case of financing, a notarial mortgage contract is also undertaken. Furthermore, the notary organises the necessary documents for legally binding and non-encumbered purchase such as pre-emptive waiver, cancellation documents of any registered liens, in apartments the consent of the Housing association administration and the clearance certificate after the payment of the land transfer tax.

As a rule, the buyer then receives the request to pay the purchase price from the notary by means of a notice of payment within 1-3 months after the certification and instructs the payment to the corresponding bank; either on the so-called notary account or by direct payment to the seller. Immediately after receipt of the purchase price, the transfer takes place, which we log with a handover protocol and carry out together with the seller and the buyer. The keys handed over and meter readings are documented and signed by both sides. The buyer is now the owner of the property and entitled to full use.

After the notary confirms the receipt of the full purchase price, the notary submits the application for transfer of title to the Land Registry in the background and independent of the transfer. Depending on the workload of the Land Registry, the resolution will be declared in writing 3-12 months after certification, which equates to the transfer of ownership of property and therefore completes the purchase of the property.

The following incidental costs are to be taken into account when buying property in Germany:

Financing costs

As a rule, a bank loan is taken out on the purchase of a property, whereby the incidental costs of the financing differ greatly, depending on the bank, equity and amount of the loan. Attention must be paid to any processing fees, valuation costs, provisioning fees, partial payment surcharges and special repayment fees.

Land Registry and notary fees

There are legal fees incurred for the activities of the Land Registry. The Land Registry and notary costs usually amount to about 1.5% to 2% of the purchase price and depend on the purchase price amount and State. The higher the purchase price, the lower the percentage.

Property transfer tax

The property transfer tax calculated by the tax office when purchasing property is levied on the basis of the property purchase tax law. The Federal States do not have a uniform regulation, but vary regarding the amount of property transfer tax between 3.5% and 6.5%. Currently this is 4.5% in Hamburg , 6.5% in Schleswig-Holstein and 5% in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Lower Saxony.

Broker commission

The broker commission is a so-called success commission and is only charged on the successful completion of an apartment or house purchase. The commission amount is 6.25% including 19% VAT.


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