Our to-do list for anyone who is looking to sell a property
No property sells itself. Even when everything is lined up for the perfect sale – buyer, price and terms – the deal is far from done. After all, a smooth transaction requires mountains of documents. It’s best to be organized and prepare everything carefully, preferably with the help of professionals. And that is why we offer a free, one-stop checklist to make sure your sale goes as smoothly as possible. Plus our promise: that we can take care of most of the details for you.
Essential documents: What every seller needs
There are a few things that almost go without saying. And yet, it’s easy to forget one or two of them. Key word: plot. The location has to be clearly defined and the property needs to be correctly described and registered.
Let’s start with the official paperwork: You need an up-to-date excerpt from the land register with all of the essential data on the property. This can be obtained from the land registry office in the property’s municipality. You will also need a cadastral map, which shows the geographical boundaries of the property and neighboring plots. You can get this from the cadastral office.
Over and above these official documents, you will also need a detailed description of the property. It makes sense to draft a description or site plan yourself (or ask an expert to help you with this). The description should contain detailed information on the property’s size, location, condition and equipment. You should also include a current floor plan of the building.
Don’t forget: The energy certificate!
It might sound simple, but it’s not: Since 2014, every property in Germany needs an energy certificate, which provides an overview of the building’s energy consumption and running costs. Failure to provide this information (or providing incorrect information) can result in fines of up to €15,000.
The energy certificate is not just something you hand over at the time of sale, it must be included with the rest of the property’s marketing material, including any listings or brochures.
If you don’t already have an energy certificate, you will definitely need one before the first sales discussions. The only exceptions: The building is a listed building or is to be demolished.
Depending on the property: A few more points to bear in mind
In many cases, you will also need a copy of any building permits – especially for new-build properties, single-family homes and subsequent conversions. If you don’t already have a copy of the building permit, you can view it in the construction file at the municipal building office.
In the case of rented condominiums, it can be a little more complicated. You will need to make sure all of the documents are ready and available. First of all, this includes the property-related documents, such as the Declaration of Division and certificate of self-containment, as well as the minutes from the HOA meetings.
The financial side of things also needs to be fully documented – in the form of a current HOA budget and the latest service charge statements. Finally, you will also need to provide all rental documents: The rental contract, proof of the current rent, details of the last rent increase and the security deposit, as well as documents related to any ongoing legal disputes, if applicable.
For successful marketing: Brochure and real estate appraisal
So far, so complicated. It is best to have a qualified real estate agent assist you up to this point. Not only do they have an efficient routine for obtaining and compiling the necessary documents, they will also help pave the way to a sale: by professionally marketing your property – and achieving the best possible sale price.
A qualitative and informative brochure is the be-all and end-all of a successful sale. There is no better way to attract potential buyers. On the one hand, the brochure should contain all the facts about the property – such as the floor plan and engaging descriptions of the property and its surroundings – and on the other, it should definitely feature high-quality photos.
And it is much better to rely on the independent assessment of market experts than your intuition when it comes to setting your asking price. You can always rely on the expertise of David Borck Immobiliengesellschaft for a realistic, reliable, and free-of-charge market valuation.
Thinking about the other side: What buyers need to know
Now for a change of perspective: It is not only sellers that have to act with integrity – the same is expected of the other party, too. After all, you have a right to expect any buyer to deliver on their promises. So, be sure to ask them to provide you with confirmation of their creditworthiness. This could be proof of their own funds, confirmation from their bank that they can afford the purchase price plus incidental costs, or a mortgage confirmation from a reputable bank.
Once all of this is in place, there’s almost nothing standing in the way of concluding a successful sale. All that’s left are the legalities that secure the deal.
Security for all sides: The anti-money laundering check
Another formality: If you have appointed a broker to manage the sale, the transaction is subject to the regulations of Section 2.14 of the German Anti-Money Laundering Act (GwG). Accordingly, we are obliged to identify our contractual partners (and/or their beneficial owners) as soon as they register a serious interest in buying or selling real estate. We are required to confirm and document their identity and business purpose. And we have to keep the documentation for five years.
In order to comply with these legal requirements we need certain information – from both buyers and sellers – before we draw up the purchase agreement. For buyers, this includes proof of the origin of their own funds (inheritance, donation, earned income, or, in the case of self-employed persons, a profit and loss statement or tax declaration).
Everyone at David Borck Immobiliengesellschaft takes their anti-money laundering responsibilities very seriously. Not only because the Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises regularly checks compliance with the German Anti-Money Laundering Act (GwG) regulations, but also in order to protect our customers against dubious transactions.
Off to the notary – the more prepared, the better
No real estate changes hands in Germany without a notary. It is a legal requirement. In order to correctly notarize the transaction, all of the documents mentioned above (if required) have to be submitted to the notary’s office.
From the buyer’s side, this also includes documents for the creation of land charges. And, since most buyers take out a mortgage to cover the purchase price, this is normally the land charge form issued by their mortgage lender. This should be submitted as far ahead of the actual signing date as possible. This allows the notary to prepare the registration of the land charge in advance, making it easier and quicker to register as soon as the contracts are signed.
Two optional things that might also be required: A list of fixtures, equipment and furnishings in case they are sold along with the property. These then become part of the purchase agreement. In addition, any evidence of the cancellation of land charges in the land register or of the listed status of the building should also be brought along to the notary’s office.
After the sale: Handing over the property in good order
Your sale is now signed and sealed. Time to take a breath and say goodbye to your property – but not without taking care of a few final steps for added peace of mind. For example, it’s a good idea to use a handover checklist when you exchange keys, including any final meter readings.
True, the seller is not legally required to provide documents other than those listed above. But: Additional documents always create a better impression – and make everything easier for the buyer. These should include anything related to management and maintenance, such as insurance policies, utility and maintenance contracts and inspection reports, instruction manuals and warranty certificates for technical equipment. The new owners will greatly appreciate your extra effort. And your property will also be in better hands.
Easier and better selling: With a co-pilot at your side
Achieve the best and most secure sale, and save yourself bags of time and stress with professionals at your side: David Borck Immobiliengesellschaft advises on the sale of real estate in Berlin and Brandenburg. We provide a no-fee, no obligation valuation, obtain all the documents you need, create a brochure, develop a bespoke property marketing strategy and advertise your property professionally with the widest possible reach. So that you can achieve the price your property deserves.
Our experts will be happy to assist you. For general questions or individual consultations, please contact us any time at +49 (0) 30 887 742 50 or email@example.com
The sales checklist: Your target-oriented start-up preparation
- Land register excerpt
- Cadastral/parcel map
- Floor plan
- Living space calculation
- Fact sheet/site plan
- Energy certificate
- From the buyer: land charge form
- High quality brochure
Needed in certain cases:
- Building record or building permit and building description
- Proof of modernization or renovation work
- Information on contaminated sites and land/building charges
- List of fixtures and fittings included in the sale
- For single-family houses: site plan
- Declaration of Division and Certificate of Self-Containment
- Minutes of last three HOA meetings
- Current HOA budget
- Last service charge statement
- Rental agreement, rent, last rent increase and amount of security deposit
- Documentation of any legal disputes
David Borck Immobiliengesellschaft
Schlüterstraße 45 | 10707 Berlin | firstname.lastname@example.org
Telefon 030 – 887 74250 | Telefax 030 – 887 742525