real estate

Your notary for real estate purchase and real estate law in Cologne In the field of real estate, the notary will supervise the property purchase between private persons as well as the purchase from real estate developers among other things. In addition, real estate is often transferred from one generation to the next by way of pre-recorded testamentary succession. We are also available to support you with the division of condominium and partial ownership and other property issues, such as mortgage and land charge creation.

On the following pages, you will learn all about the process of a classic purchase agreement, the specific features of a purchase from a real estate developer and about the transfer for children, spouses etc. Furthermore, you will be able to download the respective checklists.

Purchase agreement

The notary drafts the property purchase agreement on the basis of the information provided by the parties. Previous questions will be addressed. After notarisation of the contract, the notary will take care of obtaining any official permits from authorities and protects the buyer in the land register by registering a priority notice. If the object is charged, the notary will procure forms for the cancellation of encumbrances and observes any conditions of the creditors. The purchase price is only to be paid, when the purchaser has been protected, usually directly to the seller or the creditor of the seller. After the purchase price payment, the purchaser will become owner by an entry in the land register. The notary requires information for the preparation of the agreement. These follow from the checklist for the purchase agreement.

The costs for the certification and the land register entry conform to the value of the real estate. The rule of the thumb is ca. 1.5% of the purchase price for the notary costs and land registry. Further details can be found here.

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Purchase from property developer

The purchase from the property developer differs from the classic purchase contract, as the acquired property is usually still under construction. The buyer therefore does not pay the purchase price in one sum, but according to the progress of construction. The property developer may demand up to seven installments. However, the first instalment is not due until the earthworks have begun and the buyer has been secured, e.g. by making a reservation in the land register. The developer then requests the instalments according to the progress of construction. After payment of the penultimate instalment, the property is inspected together and any defects are recorded in writing. Only when the property developer has remedied these last defects does the last instalment become due and the buyer becomes the owner. If defects still occur after acceptance, the last instalment may not be retained, but the developer is liable for defects in the building for five years.The costs for notarisation and entry in the land register depend on the value of the property. As a rule of thumb, you must reckon with approx. 1.5% of the purchase price for the costs at the notary and land registry office. Further details can be found here.

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Transfer agreement

Parents often have the wish to transfer property to children during their lifetime. This is advisable to exploit tax allowances every ten years. When drafting the transfer agreement, the parents often reserve the right to live within the object (housing law) or to use the whole object commercially (usufruct). The usufruct includes the right to rent out the property. The parents receive the right of withdrawal which is registered in the land register to protect the parents. This prevents the new owners (the children) to sell or charge the object without the approval of the parents and also protects from the children from insolvency. Economically, the transfer agreement leaves everything as it was, only the ownership position is transferred to the children.

The notary requires information for the preparation of the agreement. These follow from the checklist for the transfer agreement.

The costs for the certification and the land register entry conform to the value of the real estate. The rule of the thumb is ca. 1.5% of the purchase price for the notary costs and land registry. If the property is transferred to the children or spouse, there is no land transfer tax, however the contract can trigger a gift tax, if the allowances (400.000 per child and parent, € 500.000 for spouses) is exceeded within ten years. Further details can be found here.

As notaries for real estate law, we are available for consultation and/or certification in the fields of real estate and land.

Property agreements can of course be drafted in collaboration with your lawyer, your office for real estate law and/or your tax consultant/auditor.

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