What are the costs of buying property in Germany?

In addition to the actual purchase price, the transaction costs are also a factor when buying real estate.

These are all costs that are directly related to the purchase of a property.

They are not insignificant in their total amount and should definitely be included in the financial planning when buying real estate.

The purchase of a property is mediated by an estate agent, who charges a brokerage fee. The amount of the estate agent's commission is not fixed by law.

The stamp duty must be paid shortly after the purchase and cannot be deferred as it is a transfer tax. Without payment of this tax, the transfer in the land register to the new owner cannot take place.

The incidental transaction costs also include notary fees. These cannot be avoided, because in Germany all property sales must be notarised. Without a notarial recording, the land registry cannot enter any securing loans in the land register.

  • Real Estate Agent’s Fee – From 5.95% to 7.14%, including 19% VAT (VAT is levied at a flat rate of 19%)
  • Real Estate Transfer Tax (Stamp Duty) – From 3.5% to 6.5%, Federal State dependent
  • Notary and Land Registration Fees – From 1% to 1.5%  
  • Translation of Legal Documents – 1500 Euro
  • Legal Opinion – 2000 Euro
  • Property Management Fee – 30-40 Euro per month for one apartment


If you buy a new development ‘off-plan’, according to German law, you will receive up to 7 invoices from the developer based on construction progress. On average, the payments will look like this:

  • 30% upon breaking ground
  • 28% after the preliminary building frame construction is completed
  • 12.6% after the completion of roofs and gutters and after the windows are installed
  • 10.5% after completion of heating installation, sanitary installation, electrical installation, interior plastering
  • 4.2% after completion facade works and screed
  • 11.2% after the completion of pipe works in the sanitation areas and step by step handover of the property
  • 3.5% after total completion
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