Once you find a property that you would like to buy, it is safe to
discuss your thoughts with the estate agent. It is usual in Austria
that the Agent acts as the negotiator and will often already know if
there is room to maneuver on price.
You will then be asked to make a formal offer in writing. The agent
will then prepare an offer document, which will detail all costs
involved in buying the property, such as legal fees, land registry
costs, agents fees, Stamp duty, vat etc.
Fees usually amount to 10% on top of the offer being made. This will
all be detailed on the "Kostenaufstellung" form which accompanies
the offer document.
Currently fees are normally :
- Stamp Duty 3.5%
Land Registry 1%
Estate agent costs 3,6% (including VAT 20%)
Notary fees are on a scale set by law and you should allow 1.5% (including
Fixtures and fittings/furniture can be split from the total purchase
price, so that stamp duty etc is only levied on the actual price of
the building. Once you have signed the offer. The vendor has a fixed
period of days fixed number of days to accept or reject it after
which your offer lapses.
Once the vendor has countersigned your offer the deal is fixed.
From this point on neither the purchaser nor vendor can back out and
you can't be gazumped.
Please ensure you have your finance in place before you make an
offer. It is NOT "subject to contract" or the sale of your property
in own coutry.
The completion date is agreed between you and it is important that
you transfer sufficient funds to complete the purchase, together
with the amount needed to cover the purchase costs.
The offer papers are then passed to a Notary who will draw up the
sale contract on behalf of both parties. Please note it is normal in
Austria that the Notary acts for both parties and is seen in law as
an intermediary for both the buyer and seller.
You will be asked to transfer sufficient funds to cover the purchase
and all fees and costs to the Notary clients (trustee) account
before the agreed completion date. Once both parties have signed the
sale contract the Notary passes the money over to the vendor, but
only after ensuring that the property is recorded in the land
registry, and that you have unencumbered title. Other clauses are
inserted into the contract to ensure that the vendor has settled
bills with suppliers so that no debts from the previous owner are
lingering after the date of sale.
The timescale from finding your property to full registered
ownership can be as little as 6 weeks.
Properties in Austria are Built to withstand severe weather
conditions and stand for generations. Valuations are not usually
undertaken which you might find strange. We would suggest you
discuss with the Estate agent any renovation that the property may
require. Always enquire the condition and age of wood Built features.