How to verify property ownership in germany

For real estate purchases in Germany, the German legal system makes use of notarisation. All contracts to buy and sell real estate in Germany need to be notarised, whether you're buying property or signing a development agreement.

There are 2 ways of notarising your contracts:

Client wants to sign the purchase agreement in Germany: has a network of over 100 Notaries across Germany. We will check the availability of the notary and set a date for you. The purchase agreement will be in German so if you are need of a professional translator we will help you arrange that as well. Costs can vary between 1000 Euro up to 2000 Euro

Client wants to sign at their living place (outside of Germany)

German consular officers are empowered by statute to undertake such legal acts for the purposes of German law (section 2 of the Konsulargesetz (Consular Act)). Documents executed before a consular officer rank equally with those executed before a notary in Germany (section 10 (2) Konsulargesetz). The fees are levied in accordance with the Auslandskostenverordnung (Foreign Costs Ordinance) and are roughly equivalent to those charged by German notaries.A signature or manual sign is authenticated by being acknowledged or executed in the presence of a consular officer. Signatures on documents to be kept on file at a court may only be authenticated by being executed in the presence of a consular officer. In both cases, the person whose signature or manual sign is to be authenticated must appear in person.

The most important document containing the required description of land is the land register (Grundbuch).

It is divided into three sections (Abteilungen) and the reference list (Bestandsverzeichnis). The reference list contains a detailed description of the real estate and should correspond with the cadastral plan, see below.

Section I lists the former and current owner of the land. The ranking follows the historical sequence of ownership.

Section II contains all relevant covenants and restrictions (Belastungen und Beschränkungen), e.g. hereditary building rights, easements, pre-emptive rights, etc. to the land.

Section III lists the land charges and mortgages.The land register is a public document granting public reliance (öffentlicher Glaube). Thus, for the benefit of the purchaser, the content of the land register is decisive since it is deemed to be correct.

Given the public reliance on the land register, both parties are advised to review the most recent extracts of the land register prior to signing the sale and purchase agreement.

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