Purchase contract

You can download our checklist for preparing a purchase contract here.

Please complete the checklist on screen using Adobe Acrobat Reader or by hand and send it by post, fax, e-mail or bring it to us! Thank you very much!

Note: The checklist is only intended to compile the necessary information. It does not replace a personal consultation. When submitting the checklist, please provide us with a telephone number where we can contact you. We will then call you to discuss the structure and details of your purchase contract and the further procedure with you.

The usual procedure when buying a house or apartment is as follows:

Draft and notarization

We prepare a draft of the contract and send it to you and the other parties involved. You or the other parties involved may ask for changes and additions to the contract and clarify your questions with us in advance. Once the contract has been prepared, you can arrange a joint notarization appointment with us. At the appointment, the notary will read the contract aloud and explain it. You will have the opportunity to ask questions and possibly make further changes. At the end, you, the other parties involved and the notary sign the contract.

You will receive copies of the signed contract from us.


We then take care of the entire processing of the contract:

We first obtain any necessary approvals for the contract (for example: approvals from the housing administrator, the guardianship court, the Chamber of Agriculture, approvals from persons who were unable to attend the appointment). We also have a priority notice entered in the land register to secure the buyer. We also write to the local authority to clarify whether they may have a right of first refusal (this is not usually the case). If you are buying a condominium or a heritable building right, the municipality has no pre-emptive right from the outset; an inquiry is then not necessary.

If land charges for banks, savings banks or other creditors of the seller are still entered in the land register, we will also write to these creditors so that they authorize the deletion of their rights. If the creditors still demand a sum of money for this, the buyer can pay this amount directly to the creditors from the purchase price and only pays the remaining purchase price to the seller. In this way, we ensure that the buyer acquires the house/flat free of encumbrances.

Payment of the purchase price / due date

Once we have clarified all these legal requirements, we write to the buyer to inform him that he can now pay the purchase price. The seller will also receive a copy of this letter. You can also agree in the contract that the buyer does not have to pay the purchase price until the seller or another resident has moved out. This is safer for the buyer. The buyer must then satisfy himself that the property has been properly vacated.

In addition, you can agree in the purchase contract that the buyer must pay from a certain date at the earliest (for example: “not before August 1, 2021”). This is particularly important for the buyer if the funds (loan or equity) for payment of the purchase price are not available until a certain date, for example because the bank has agreed to pay the loan amount on a certain date or the buyer still has to cancel a fixed-term deposit. The buyer can then also pay before the agreed date, but should always wait for the notarized due date notice and, if applicable, the eviction.

Direct payment or notary escrow account?

As a rule, the buyer pays the purchase price directly to the seller and possibly in part to creditors of the seller who are still entered in the land register. We will inform the buyer of any amounts to be paid to creditors with the due date notification. The seller will also receive this information. Payment of the purchase price to a notary's escrow account is usually no longer necessary nowadays. This is more favorable for the buyer as he saves the additional fees for a notary's escrow account. Only in certain cases is there a special need for security that requires settlement via a notary escrow account (for example: the property being purchased is in foreclosure proceedings, or the buyer wants to move into the property immediately, although the legal requirements for payment of the purchase price have not yet been met).

Transfer of ownership

Once the buyer has paid the full purchase price, ownership is usually transferred to the buyer. This means that the buyer may move in or rent out the property, bears all costs and charges and is entitled to all benefits (e.g. rent). Current costs such as consumption costs, property tax, insurance premiums are to be divided between the seller and buyer at the time of transfer of ownership (i.e. usually the time of payment of the purchase price) if the seller has already paid them in advance.

Transfer in the land register

After payment of the purchase price, the seller (and any creditors to be redeemed) confirm to us that the purchase price has been paid in full. As soon as we receive this confirmation, we have the title transferred to the buyer in the land register. As soon as the transfer has taken place, we check that it has been carried out correctly and send the buyer an extract from the land register.

A waiver of pre-emption rights from the municipality is also required for the transfer of ownership in the land register, or alternatively a negative certificate stating that there are no pre-emption rights. We request this declaration after the contract has been notarized; it is a prerequisite for the purchase price becoming due (see above). A declaration of pre-emption rights is not required for residential and partial ownership and for heritable building rights.

Real estate transfer tax and clearance certificate

Furthermore, the so-called clearance certificate from the tax office - land transfer tax office - is required for the transfer of ownership. We are obliged to report every property purchase contract to the land transfer tax office. The buyer automatically receives the notification of the real estate transfer tax. He must pay the land transfer tax; we then receive the tax office's clearance certificate from the tax office. We submit this to the land registry office with the application for transfer of ownership.

Property development contract

A special form of property purchase contract is the property development contract. Here you purchase a plot of land or a condominium, whereby the developer also undertakes to construct the building / condominium (together with the common property) for you. The purchase price is paid in installments according to the progress of construction or if you provide appropriate security. 

The exact specifications of the building and your apartment can be found in the building description. When buying a condominium, there is a declaration of division for the building - as is always the case with condominiums - along with community regulations. We will send you all the documents at least two weeks before the notarization date so that you can examine them in detail and make a well-considered decision about the purchase. During this time, we will of course be available to answer any legal questions you may have about the contract and the other documents.

Representation at the notarization

The law stipulates that you should attend the notarization in person or at least be represented by a trusted person if you are concluding a contract with a business as a consumer. In all other cases, too, it is always advisable to attend the notarization in person so that you can be advised by the notary directly during the notarization and clarify any questions you may have. Of course, we are also available to answer your questions before and after the notarization in person, by telephone, e-mail or in writing.

If you are nevertheless unable to attend the notarization (e.g. due to illness or vacation), you can also have yourself represented at the notarization. If possible, this should be done by a person you trust. Your representative can act as a so-called “representative without power of representation” or as a “verbally authorized representative” and you can approve their actions later (in notarized form) or confirm their power of attorney. Alternatively, you can also grant your representative a power of attorney for the contract in advance in notarized form. We will of course be happy to prepare both a subsequent approval/confirmation of power of attorney and a power of attorney for you.

Purchase agreements for estate objects

The estate can be realized by the heirs selling estate items and dividing the proceeds between themselves. All co-heirs must always participate in a sale if the testator has not appointed an executor to settle the estate. The sale of estate assets must be notarized, particularly in the case of real estate (land, residential and partial ownership, heritable building rights).

As a rule, the land register must be corrected in advance for the sale of estate property. The land register correction is free of charge at the land registry if the heirs apply for the correction within two years of the inheritance. To correct the land register, please provide us with a notarized disposition of property upon death (will or inheritance contract) or a certificate of inheritance. If you still require a certificate of inheritance, we will be happy to prepare the corresponding application for you and submit it to the court.

With regard to the payment of the purchase price, it makes sense for the buyer to pay the purchase price in total to a single account of the community of heirs (for example, an existing account of the testator). This is because if the buyer pays the purchase price to several heirs separately, this increases the risk of errors in payment and also leads to an increase in fees, as this also constitutes a division of the estate. The heirs can then divide the purchase price among themselves at a later date.

In all other respects, the sale of an estate property is concluded and processed in the same way as a regular property purchase agreement.

To prepare a property purchase contract, please send us the following information or fill out our data sheet, which you can download  here .

  • Name, address, date of birth, tax ID numbers (11 digits) of all sellers
  • Name, address, date of birth, tax ID numbers (11 digits) of all buyers
  • Do the people involved speak German or is a translation required?
  • If seller or buyer is married (even if the spouse is not involved!): Please give us the date of the marriage, the habitual residence (center of life) and nationality of both spouses at the present time and (if different) the habitual residence and nationality at the time of the marriage! This information is important so that we can determine whether foreign marriage law applies. This may provide for special features that we must take into account when drafting the purchase contract so that you can sell or acquire the property in a legally secure manner!
  • Data on the object of purchase: Local court, land register district, sheet number (if you do not have this information, please let us know the owner, their date of birth and address so that we can determine the land register data for you).
  • For condominiums: name and address of the administrator, amount of the condominium's share of the maintenance reserve, amount of the monthly house allowance
  • For heritable building rights: Amount of the monthly or annual ground rent
  • Amount of the purchase price
  • Seller's account details (IBAN and bank/savings bank)
  • Movable items that you would like to sell or buy (for example: kitchen equipment, furniture, carpets, lights, air conditioning, curtains, lawnmower). Please also let us know what part of the purchase price is attributable to the movable items. The buyer does not pay real estate transfer tax on this part of the purchase price.
  • Any defects in the object of purchase of which you are aware. These should be mentioned in the deed to clarify matters for both parties.
  • Is the property rented out? Will the buyer take over the tenancy or should the tenant move out by a certain date? In the case of a planned move-out: Has the tenancy been legally terminated? On takeover: Has the tenant provided a security deposit?
  • Does the seller still live in the property? By what date should the seller vacate the property?