How to sell Assets in Germany in Times of Corona
The Corona virus has started a global recession which will, inter alia, send south both German real estate prices as well as the German stocks. In case you own German assets and you are in it for the long term, because you want to pass the German estate on to the next generation, then you will simply have to weather the storm and sit out the recession.
If, however, you have inherited property in Germany and you planned to sell it in the near future anyway but never got round to actually do it, then you may want to consider selling your German assets ASAP now, before they have lost significant value (more).
This is, however, easier said than done because German notaries and German banks are either in actual lockdown or at least hard to do business with these days.
If you own German real estate, you can’t effect a sale and title transfer without the services of a German notary public (more here) because all property transactions must go through a German notary. And, as I wrote, most of them are in lockdown right now and do not accept any appoinments for conveyancing transactions.
Potential buyers in Germany have the same problem during the Corona crisis. While most real estate agents are still open for business (although viewing a property is diffcult to conduct and it may even be a breach of local lockdown rules in certain regions of Germany), banks are either in official lockdown or they are extremely slow when it comes to granting loans and mortgages. Also, they are very careful about what they grant right now because of the grim economic outlook and the probable drop in house prices. So you will need to find a German cash buyer if you wish to sell quickly.
In case you are a co-heir (Miterbe) in a German community of heirs (Erbengemeinschaft), i.e. a co-beneficiary to a German estate, things are even trickier, because you cannot act alone. Instead, you need to get everyone onboard before you can decide to sell a property or close a bank account. What you may be able to do, however, if simply sell your share in the estate. Whether there is a potential buyer depends on the circumstances of the German inheritance case.
Thus, Corona is slowing down both the legal as well as the practical side of transactions and de-investments in Germany. Still, trying to sell German assets now, or to at least get the process going, may be the smart thing to do, even if you are in for some red tape and frustrations.
Our law firm specialises in German-American and German-British legal matters since 2003. Ask us for assistance if you wish to sell German real estate or a share in an inherited estate in Germany.
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More on buying property in Germany, the German Land Registry and conveyancing process and the rights and duties of tenants and landlords in Germany is available in these posts:
- Legal guide to buying a house or apartment in Germany
- How to sell inherited German property (German real estate)
- Tenants beware of Waiver Clauses in German Property Lease Agreements
- Buying German Property as Brexit Counter-Strategy
- Template of German Land Sale & Purchase Agreement
- Is “Miteigentum” in a German Property the same as “Tenancy in Common”?
- Apartment Prices in Germany: How to get a quick Overview
- Searching for Property Information in the German Land Registry
Or simply click on the sections “Property” or “Conveyancing in Germany” in the right column of this blog.