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There are additional costs for the purchase of real estate,

These will be calculated as a percentage of the purchase price.

The additional costs in the purchase of real estate are between 5.5% and 12.25% of the purchase price. The exact costs depend on the one hand on the federal state in which the property is located and on the other hand on the commissioning of a real estate agent. If the latter has been commissioned to market the property, he also receives a commission from the buyer.

Additional costs of buying a real estate property
Cost factor purchase price
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The basis of the additional costs with the real estate acquisition: The purchase price

Basically, all additional costs in the purchase of real estate are a percentage of the purchase price of the property. The purchase price forms the basis for determining the additional costs on the basis of the corresponding percentage.

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The largest amount of additional costs in the purchase of real estate: the real estate transfer tax: 3.5% - 6.5%.

The amount of the real estate transfer tax is not regulated throughout Germany, but is set at the level of the federal states. The fixed percentage of the federal state in which the property is located is valid for calculating the additional costs. While in Bavaria you only pay 3.5% of the purchase price to the tax office, in Thuringia this amount is almost twice as high: currently 6.5%.

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Overview of the land transfer tax per federal state:

Federal state Tax rate
Baden-Wuerttemberg 5,0 %
Bavaria 3,5 %
Berlin 6,0 %
Brandenburg 6,5 %
Bremen 5,0 %
Hamburg 4,5 %
Hesse 6,0 %
Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania 6,0 %
Lower Saxony 5,0 %
North Rhine-Westphalia 6,5 %
Rhineland-Palatinate 5,0 %
Saarland 6,5 %
Saxony 3,5 %
Saxony-Anhalt 5,0 %
Schleswig-Holstein 6,5 %
Thuringia 6,5 %

Status: August 2021

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Notary fees: approximately 1.5%

In Germany, all contracts for the sale of a real estate property or a plot of land must be executed by a notary office. Since these transactions involve very large sums of money with sometimes high claims for damages, the legislator has intervened. In contrast to other sales contracts, sales contracts of a real estate property must always be processed through an independent notary office. The notary draws up the purchase contract according to the specifications of both parties, buyer and seller, and acts as an intermediary - in the true sense of the word. For his services, the notary charges a fee of approximately 1.5% of the purchase price. This additional cost in the purchase of a real estate is one of the lowest, but depending on the amount of the purchase price, it can still amount to several thousand euros.

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Land register fees: approx. 0.5%

The land registry charges approx. 0.5% of the purchase price for the transfer of ownership, registration of any land charges and new preparation of the land register. This smallest part of the additional costs for the purchase of a real estate is automatically sent to the buyers by the responsible tax office after the completion of the purchase process and has to be paid within a period of time.

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The charges for the procuration: Brokerage fees between 0% and approx. 3,75%.

Since the end of 2020, there is the so-called brokerage fee splitting for the sale or purchase of residential properties such as single-family homes, apartments and granny apartments.

Real estate agents usually charge a performance-based fee for marketing services, viewings, checking prospective buyers, obtaining documents, taking photographs and drone shots, and preparing an exposé. Depending on the federal state, this brokerage fee is to be paid either by the seller or by the buyer and seller in two equal parts.

The amount of the brokerage fee is not regulated by law in Germany. This can therefore theoretically be freely negotiated. Before the change in the law at the end of 2020, the generally accepted brokerage commission for the buyer was between 0% and approx. 7.14% of the purchase price. These additional costs when purchasing a real estate property have been noticeably reduced by this change in the law in 2021, as now only 50% of the total amount has to be paid by the seller.

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Bank fees during financing: 0%

If you were to take out a loan through a bank for the purposes of a real estate financing, banks used to charge one-time fees for this. This is now a thing of the past, as banks have included an ongoing fee in the monthly or annual interest installments to be paid.

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Are there ways to reduce the additional costs when buying a real estate?

If you are buying a property where the furniture is also being sold, this should be included in the purchase agreement. This will reduce the land transfer tax. Because the land transfer tax is to be paid in principle only on real estates and/or properties. If a kitchen is now built into the property, this is not a fixed component and can reduce the additional costs accordingly. However, the value must be realistically assessed and recorded. For this, seek advice from your tax advisor.

We have provided this information to the best of our knowledge, but do not guarantee its completeness or accuracy. If you have further questions regarding additional costs when purchasing a real estate property, it is advisable to discuss the individual and specific case with a tax advisor.