Buying real estate in Germany

For Germany there are no restrictions on property or land ownership for citizens. Also, there are no restrictions on property ownership for foreigners. It is possible for every natural person of legal capacity and every legal entity is allowed to own real estate.



of the households in Germany own real estate


million dwellings in Germany


average rent to income ratio in Germany


Laws and Regulations

The agent’s fee is negotiable based on the agreement and therefore it is also negotiable if it will be paid by the buyer or the seller or split between the two. The fee does vary between the federal countries in Germany and ranges from 3.0% to 6.0%.

The total cost to the buyer of purchasing a property is usually around 10% of the purchase price. This covers:

3.5 – 6.5%

Property transfer tax (grunderwerbssteue)

1.2 – 1.5%

Notary’s fees

0.8 – 1.2%

Registration fees

1.5 – 3.0%* 

Estate agent’s fees, if shared (* plus VAT at 19%)

Part of this payment is the transfer tac. In Germany this transfer tax, ‘Grunderwebsteur’, is based on 3.5% of the purchase price. However, this percentage is higher in different regions in Germany:

5.5% – Saarland
6% – Berlin
6.5% – Schleswig-Holstein
3.5% – Bavaria, Saxony
5% – Baden-Wurttemberg, Brandenburg, Hesse, Mecklenburg-Pomerania, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Pfalz, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia
4.5% – Hamburg

There are no licensing laws/government regulation of the real estate industry in Germany. There are certain regulations but they are stated by voluntary or self-regulated bodies, some of which will only certify companies. 

Search portals

The official association of real estate in Germany is called IVD. Here you can also find a real estate agent.

There are multiple shared listing websites in Germany for real estate. The most popular online property portal under the Germans are Immo Scout 24, Immowelt and Immobilo



1. Search

Searching for the ideal property based on your criteria

2. Analysis

Analysing the property

3. Valuation

Assessment of the real estate and a valuation

4. Negotiation

Negotiations with the vendor/agent in order to obtain the best possible conditions

5. Contracts

Compiling the offer and reviewing the contracts