Selling Your Property
Essential points in the sale of real estate
If you want to sell a residential property, it is advisable to consider the necessary steps in advance. With our knowledge we are at your disposal during the sale.
1. Check your expectations of the sale
Think carefully about the conditions under which you would like to sell the property and who is the buyer. Different characteristics of the property are also important here, as they influence the demand and the purchase price to be achieved. Important criteria that influence the price are
- the residential area and the district,
- the size and type of the object as well as
- the number of rooms available.
These points are included in the publication of the offer and ensure that suitable potential buyers are found.
2. Advice and support during the sale
In the sale of your property, we support you with our extensive industry knowledge and extensive experience. We know through which channels we best market apartments for sale and how we address the right clientele. In addition, we support you in the preparation of an exposé and conduct price negotiations for you.
3. Advice on prices and sales conditions
Anyone wishing to purchase a property is prepared to pay a reasonable price for high quality. We set a fixed price for the sale and discuss it with you beforehand. Here we consider all characteristics of the object.
4. Conclusion of contract
Once a suitable buyer has been found, the contract documents are signed. We compile these in consultation with you and advise you with regard to legally impeccable wording.
How to sell your Berlin real estate
A flat may not be as expensive as a house, but that doesn’t automatically make it an easier sell. And although a broker is an invaluable source of assistance, sellers must also be prepared to take some initiative. Avoid unnecessary expenses by following our how-to guide.
Timing is everything
In theory, you’re always free to sell. In practice, the timing of a sale is usually determined by external factors such as an inheritance, relocation, or career change. Of course, the real estate market is another crucial factor in determining the best time for a sale. Naturally, it’s best to sell when both purchase and rental prices are high – usually in the warmer seasons, when the real estate market is at its most dynamic and suitable buyers easier to find. Not for nothing are the spring and summer months considered ideal selling periods.
Finding the right time to sell, however, is not the only decisive factor; you should also make sure to plan enough overall time to make the best possible decisions regarding your sale. Time is of the essence when it comes to optimal negotiating leverage, and the most severe mistakes frequently occur when there are time constraints. If buyers realise that the seller might be pressed for time, they will likely try to use that situation to their advantage by pushing down the price.
How to prepare for a sale
It’s always good to come prepared – but what exactly does “prepared” look like? This question is particularly relevant when it comes to repairs and renovations. As with so many things in life, the answer is: it depends. If you hope to sell in a more upscale market, you might want to focus on attractive presentation. When looking for a dream home, wealthy buyers are usually prepared to dig deep into their pockets. Also keep in mind that renovation costs, though not legally mandatory, will drive up the selling price. They do, on the other hand, eat up time and money. Sometimes, a few renovations here and there will suffice to ensure a satisfactory sale. A property evaluation can help you figure out when it’s worth the cost and effort to make those changes.
Selling with or without tenants – what’s the difference?
The truth is, there isn’t much of a difference. But there is considerably higher demand for properties without existing tenants; empty flats can sell for up to 30 percent more than those with renters already inside. And there’s another factor to consider: Germany’s renter protection laws (specifically, the “Mieterschutzgesetz”). Unless existing tenants are considerably behind on their rent or buyers plan to claim the apartment for themselves in court, they cannot simply terminate a rental agreement with existing tenants, even once they become the official owners of a property. Local laws, moreover, regulate rent raises according to regional indices, limiting prospective owners’ overall financial leeway.
How much can you charge?
Real estate evaluations can be quite complex and go well beyond a simple calculation of average price per square metre. Other elements such as property size, location, and overall condition also factor into the selling price. And there’s more:
- Year of construction: Units from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s are more affordable than apartments in prewar und newly constructed buildings.
- Storey: ground floor apartments usually yield 20 to 30 percent less rental revenue than other units in the same building, largely because they’re more vulnerable to burglaries and entail higher heating costs. As a rule of thumb, the higher up the flat, the more it’s worth.
- Outdoor areas: properties without a balcony or garden will yield several hundred euros less per square metre.
- Number of bedrooms: the trend, currently, is towards bigger flats. In cities, this means that two to four-bedroom apartments are especially popular. But since most apartments built in the postwar period were one-bedroom, larger flats are relatively rare.
Selling your apartment – first steps
Arrange an appointment with a real estate agent
The ins and outs of a successful sale can be overwhelming. Working with a professional real estate agent can help everything run smoothly. But what should you look for in a top-notch property broker? True experts will have extensive knowledge of the local real estate market as well as a strong network of potential buyers and financial service providers. Moreover, they will work hard to make sure that both sellers and buyers are satisfied, guiding prospective buyers through complex processes such as drawing up partition deeds or calculating housing assistance deductions.
Notary services and the land register entry
Once a promising buyer has been found, the real estate agent will verify their solvency. If the results are positive, the agent will negotiate all details of the sale on behalf of the seller.
Once negotiations have been successfully concluded, the next step is to set up an appointment with a notary. Not until the purchase agreement has been notarised and signed by both buyer and seller is the apartment officially sold.
The final steps in the sale are entry into the land register followed by payment. Buyers must transfer the agreed amount from their bank to the seller’s to finalise the purchase. Only when the money has arrived is the sale considered complete.
Notary and broker fees
Notaries and real estate agents usually charge via invoice. In Germany, broker’s commissions vary from federal state to federal state but are always a percentage of the selling price.
After the seller has paid notary and broker fees, there may still be some additional costs – specifically, in the form of taxes. If less than ten years have passed between the buying and re-selling of the property, the tax office will likely levy a capital gains tax. Sellers are exempt from tax liability if, for example, they’ve lived in the property for more than three years without letting it, or if they’ve used the property exclusively as a personal vacation home. These sellers may still, however, be liable for church and solidarity taxes. It is important to clarify well in advance of the sale what kind of taxes, if any, a seller will be obligated to pay, especially vis-à-vis capital gains.
As for those who inherit a property, they will be obliged to pay an estate tax. The amount will depend on your tax bracket and relationship to the deceased. Note, however, that every inheritor is entitled to an allowance.