Skip to content

What happens after I sign the purchase agreement at the Notary? 

What does the notary do? What do you need to do? What else is happening in the background? Get answers to all these! 

Notaries in Germany validate and attest documents and act as public officers. German notaries also have the permission to deliver legal assistance at the time of concluding contracts. 

After you sign the purchase agreement at the Notary, the real estate purchase contract is considered in effect so that your proprietorship of the property is also secured from there on. 

You have to pay the selling price: “step by step” against procurement of the proprietorship of the corresponding real estate, as per the wording in the real estate purchase agreement. So, not only you as the buyer is assured of the ownership, but also the home seller is guaranteed to get the fixed selling price on time. A notary serves as a neutral and principled party to monitor the conditions and to perform a correct additional process.

Now the process!

1.           Sending copies to respective parties: After you sign the purchase agreement at the notary, he stamps it, notarizes it and then sends copies of the agreement to the respective parties—at the very least to: The seller, the buyer, and the income tax office.  

2.           Notary Applies for Notice of transfer of title (Auflassungsvormerkung) at the court. The notary tells the court that you just signed the purchase agreement and your name should be put in the records as the next owner of the property. This is to prevent the seller from selling the property again to a different party.    

3.           Right to purchase by city: It’s also found out if the city / community has any objections to the sale and transfer of the property in question.

4.           Notary checks the cancellation permits with the Seller’s bank. The property might have been given as collateral a few days back.

5.           Check if others have a right to buy the property: The notary will get all necessary approvals in favour of the buyer during this period, e.g. from the leaseholder in case of leasehold. It’s also checked if someone else had any first rights to buy the said property and if he/she has given his approval for the sale of the same.

6.           Informs the property management: He also informs the property management in case of an apartment and gets his sanction if it is required.

7.           Due date notification: 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 post and asks the amount as per the purchase agreement.

8.           Notary asks the court to update the land register: After successful payment and subsequent written confirmation by the home seller to the notary public, the buyer’s name is eventually entered in the land register as the new proprietor of the property.

9.           Taking possession of the property: Subsequently, it is essential to hand over all related keys to the new owner. You may either move in or get rent from the property. Once you take possession, take meter readings for gas, water and power. This is necessary to formalize things and inform the concerned bodies as to whom in future they have to send their bills.

10.         Land transfer tax: You will get an invoice at some point in time and only after you pay the bills will you be acknowledged as the new owner of the property in the records.

11.         Receive updated land register: Only after you settle the land transfer tax will you be acknowledged as the new owner in the updated land register.  The court will wait till that time.

12.         Property insurance: If you want, you can take over the premium of the previous owner or get new insurance for your property.

Final Thoughts

A lot of things happen after the notary notarizes your property papers. Lots of clearances and NOCs are taken from the concerned people and departments before the property papers are legally transferred in your favour and you are officially made the owner or the proprietor of the property. Check with an expert if you find any difficulties or need some more information on the subject. Buying a house in Germany is a big life-changing decision. Don’t take any chances!

We also made a detailed video on this topic. Head on over to our Youtube – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ncV5zhu3R8