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Frequently asked questions
"What do I have to keep in mind when selling my house, plot or apartment?"
A lot of money is involved in the sale of a property, so right from the start it is very important not to make mistakes. Here are our tips for successfully selling your property:
Before the ad
- Call in a pro, an agent for example, who can give you expert recommendations regarding the purchase price.
- Take as many high-quality photos of your property as possible. That way you avoid unnecessary "sightseeing" of your home and get prequalified prospects.
- A proper floor plan is also important. There are online services here that allow you to spruce up your old floor plan.
- Document everything meticulously and collect all the sales data! That way, later claims for damages can be prevented. A visit to the building archives (Bauarchiv) can help.
- Do not conceal negative aspects, but point these out to the potential buyer directly.
- Do not publish the full address of your property straight away. There are interested parties who ring on the door even late at night or enter the premises without permission.
- Do not provide your telephone number until you know you are dealing with serious prospects. Anyone who is truly interested will not hesitate to write an email. This way you avoid a constantly ringing phone.
- If you have found a qualified prospect for your property, have him/her provide proof of financing in the form of an account statement or a bank confirmation.
- Do not accept the highest bidder straight away. Check whether he/she can actually raise the finances.
- Choose the right notary with the help of recommendations from your circle of friends. This will spare you potential difficulties and delays.
- "German legalese" is not easy – so get expert advice with the sales contract.
Take enough time to review the sales contract. A signature is always legally binding and should be well considered.
- Only handover the property once the purchase price has been paid or deposited in the notary's account.
- Create a handover certificate: the names of the buyer and seller, the date of handover, the address of the property, the number of keys provided, and the meter readings of all utilities should be included.
"What is the difference between a simple brokerage commission, an exclusive commission, and a qualified exclusive commission?"
- When there is a simple commission, the broker does not necessarily have to act. The client may additionally use other brokers or sell the property independently.
- For an exclusive commission, the broker must act. The client may not use other brokers, but the property may be sold independently.
- In the case of a qualified exclusive commission, the client may not sell the property independently and must pass interested parties on to the broker.
"What is the cancellation policy for brokerage contracts?"
- Any brokerage contract may be cancelled within 14 days, unless it was concluded on the agent's premises. This also applies when the contractual commitment came to being without a signature, only by ordering sales particulars. Real estate professionals are required by law to send a cancellation policy.
- That is to say, you will receive this even if you have not signed a contract with the broker. Consequently, your agent will only become active after 14 days, unless you wish to shorten the cancellation period.
"What is the orderer principle?"
The government has passed the so-called orderer principle (Bestellerprinzip). It says that the the person who hires the broker (the owner) must be the one who pays for this. For now though, this applies only to landlords, not to sellers. Whether the law will also be passed for sales, is debatable, since no advantage can be anticipated for the consumer or buyer.
"What are the duties of an estate agent? What services should they provide?"
- Market valuation
- Creation of sales particulars, pictures and floor plans
- Official administrative paperwork
- Obtaining the necessary documents for the sale
- Help preparing energy performance certificates
- Identification of interested parties
- Organising and carrying out viewing appointments
- Conducting negotiation talks
- Cooperation right up until the purchase contract and help with the purchase contract
- Arranging financing opportunities
- Handover of property
"How do I find the right estate agent?"
An estate agent should be knowledgeable about the local area, experienced, and use modern channels for marketing your property. When searching for an estate agent, be sure to pay attention to the recommendations of other sellers! Verified customer reviews can be found at:
(Michael Werner's agent recommendation profile)