Table of contents:

Selling a house: professional tips for selling a house
Selling a house: professional tips for selling a house

Video: Selling a house: professional tips for selling a house

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Video: How to SELL a House FAST | House Selling TIPS | Selling a House UK 2023, January

There are many different reasons why someone wants to sell their house. However, the goal of every house sale is always the same: the sale should go as quickly and smoothly as possible. In addition, ideally, the maximum price for the property should be achieved.

Table of contents Table of contents Selling a house: How to sell a house at the highest price

  • Sell ​​house: Please do not rush!
  • Sell ​​a house: do I need a broker?
  • Selling a house: Advantages of a real estate agent
  • Selling a house: What does the broker cost?
  • How do I recognize a good broker?
  • What should I look for in a broker?
  • Sell ​​house without a real estate agent
  • Selling a house: 6 tips for selling a house without a broker
  • Selling a house: What is my house worth?
  • Selling a house: what factors determine the price?
  • Selling a house: What costs can the seller expect?
  • Selling a house with a current loan: is that possible?
  • Selling a house: what is the prepayment penalty?
  • You should avoid these 3 pitfalls when selling a house
  • Selling a house step by step: this is how you should proceed
  • Selling a house step by step: preliminary considerations and measures
  • Selling a house step by step: documents and formalities
  • Selling a house step by step: the offer
  • Selling a house step by step: the visits
  • Selling a house step by step: the conclusion of a contract
  • Selling a house step by step: the handover
  • Sell ​​house: The most common mistakes in selling a house
  • Selling a house: the most common questions
  • General questions about house sales
  • All about the broker
  • All about the buyer
  • All about the formalities when selling a house
  • All about the presentation of house sales
  • All about legal issues when selling a house
  • All about the notary

Table of contents Table of contents Selling a house: How to sell a house at the highest price

  • Sell ​​house: Please do not rush!
  • Sell ​​a house: do I need a broker?
  • Selling a house: Advantages of a real estate agent
  • Selling a house: What does the broker cost?
  • How do I recognize a good broker?
  • What should I look for in a broker?
  • Sell ​​house without a real estate agent
  • Selling a house: 6 tips for selling a house without a broker
  • Selling a house: What is my house worth?
  • Selling a house: what factors determine the price?
  • Selling a house: What costs can the seller expect?
  • Selling a house with a current loan: is that possible?
  • Selling a house: what is the prepayment penalty?
  • You should avoid these 3 pitfalls when selling a house
  • Selling a house step by step: this is how you should proceed
  • Selling a house step by step: preliminary considerations and measures
  • Selling a house step by step: documents and formalities
  • Selling a house step by step: the offer
  • Selling a house step by step: the visits
  • Selling a house step by step: the conclusion of a contract
  • Selling a house step by step: the handover
  • Sell ​​house: The most common mistakes in selling a house
  • Selling a house: the most common questions
  • General questions about house sales
  • All about the broker
  • All about the buyer
  • All about the formalities when selling a house
  • All about the presentation of house sales
  • All about legal issues when selling a house
  • All about the notary

But selling a house is not something that can be done quickly. On the contrary. There are a number of legal issues to consider, important financial issues to settle, and ultimately it is important to have a certain strategy in order to sell the house. This is the only way to be legally on the safe side and have the chance of a maximum price when selling a house.

The following tips should help you to skip the possible pitfalls when selling a house, to have as little stress as possible and to get as much money as possible for your house. For this we clarify among other things these most important questions when selling houses:

  • What price can I ask for my house?
  • How do I get the best price on house sales?
  • Do I need a broker to sell my house?
  • What legal questions do I have to consider when selling a house?
  • Can I sell a house that has not yet been paid for?

Sell ​​house: Please do not rush

The higher the value of a thing to be sold, the more carefully you should proceed and the better you should prepare for the sale. A house has enormous value, so you should definitely take plenty of time to sell your house.

The more hastily you go about it, the lower the sales price will be. And even worse: Under certain circumstances, you can also fall into legal cases, which in the worst case can cost you dearly. It is therefore essential to take the time to sell the house to find out more, to consult experts if necessary, to hire a broker or to make arrangements and agreements with your bank. In all of these preparations, you should always have one goal in mind: you want to sell your home. And at the best possible price.

It's also often worth taking your time before looking for buyers. So you can take a critical look at the object to be sold again. Because unlike a car sale, it is also worthwhile to carry out minor cosmetic repairs on the house before the house sale, so that the house shows its best side when viewed. If there is no time for these preparatory measures, a significantly lower price can be expected.

Sell ​​a house: do I need a broker?

Whether you sell your house with or without a broker depends primarily on your living situation and your level of knowledge. Depending on the initial situation, it can be helpful to consult a real estate agent who will primarily advise you on legal issues. However, if you have enough time to take care of the house sale and you also have sufficient knowledge, a broker can also be dispensed with.

Advising a broker is usually especially when you want to sell a house that is not in your own place of residence. The expenses for travel and, if necessary, accommodation costs at the property location can quickly grow to a handsome sum that comes close to the costs for a broker. It is more convenient to have a specialist at your side.

Ein Makler kann durchaus hilfreich sein. Gerade dann, wenn das Haus nicht am eigenen Wohnort steht
Ein Makler kann durchaus hilfreich sein. Gerade dann, wenn das Haus nicht am eigenen Wohnort steht

A broker can be very helpful. Especially when the house is not in its own place of residence.

Photo: iStock / demaerre

Selling a house: Advantages of a real estate agent

If you want to sell your house but have as little work as possible, it is advisable to hire a reputable broker. He can support and advise you in all matters and also helps to determine an appropriate sales price for your house. And hiring a broker to sell a house has other advantages:

  1. Time savings: The time spent on house sales should not be underestimated. A lot of time has to be invested before all the formalities have been completed and all organizational matters have been dealt with. An experienced broker is not only experienced in these things and does them properly - he also takes this load off your shoulders. The broker also takes over the communication with the potential buyers, arranges viewing appointments and carries them out. You then do not have to do more than to be regularly informed about the current status.
  2. Legal certainty: Selling a house not only costs time, but also requires knowledge of numerous legal matters with regard to deadlines and regulations. A broker deals full-time with exactly these topics and can therefore provide you with legal security. He also takes care of all the organizational things, documents and that the timelines are met.
  3. Higher selling price: A real estate agent has market knowledge that home sellers generally cannot show. Thanks to his professional competence and proven sales skills, he is usually able to advertise the property accordingly and advertise it during the tour. In his own interest (after all, his brokerage fee is tied to the sales price), he will try to sell the property at the highest price. The probability that you will get more with brokers when you sell your house is therefore high.
  4. Faster sales: Since a broker knows the necessary processes, knows where and how a property should be offered and also has sales skills, it is very likely that the house sale with brokers will go faster.

Selling a house: What does the broker cost?

Hiring a broker to sell the house makes things a lot easier. However, this requires a brokerage fee.

So far, German law does not provide for a fixed regulation of how high the brokerage commission to be paid when selling a house. It is also not specified who has to pay them: the buyer or seller. As a rule, however, half of it is borne by the seller and the buyer. In some states, however, deviations from this are the rule (see table). And the amount of the brokerage commission also differs in the individual federal states. However, it is always calculated as a percentage of the sales amount.


































Mecklenburg-West Pomerania




Lower Saxony¹

7.14% or 4.76-5.95%

3.57% or 0%

3.57% or 4.76-5.95%

North Rhine-Westphalia²
























Thuringia ⁴




Adding a broker is therefore a cost factor that should not be underestimated and that needs to be carefully considered.

Die Wahl eines seriösen Maklers ist essenziell für den Erfolg, wenn Sie ihr Haus verkaufen wollen
Die Wahl eines seriösen Maklers ist essenziell für den Erfolg, wenn Sie ihr Haus verkaufen wollen

Choosing a reputable broker is essential for success if you want to sell your home.

Photo: iStock / FatCamera

How do I recognize a good broker?

Choosing a reputable and competent broker is absolutely essential for success when you sell your home. Only an excellent representative of his field can get an excellent price. Here are some things to consider when choosing a broker:


It is essential that you hire a reputable and experienced real estate agent. Inquire among friends or acquaintances whether someone has a recommendation for you. If you are dependent on searching the Internet, consider several brokers, find out more about them, research experience reports and read existing reviews. However, take a critical look at them and check whether they can be considered authentic.

Proximity to the market

Choose a broker who is familiar with the supply and demand on the property market in the area that is important to you. Only in this way will it be possible for him to highlight the advantages of the four-part or district and to propose a reasonable price. A broker who knows the local peculiarities is also able to determine the best time to sell.

Certifications and Memberships

Check whether the broker is a member of associations. B. TÜV and how long his company has existed. You should also find out which training qualifies him as a broker. Has he completed an apprenticeship such as a real estate specialist or real estate agent or has he completed a degree? All of these points can indicate a reputable broker.

Customer base

A reputable broker builds up a certain customer base over the years. The larger this is and the more prestigious the names are within the customer base, the more you can rely on dealing with a reputable real estate agent who can sell your house without getting in trouble.

Good contacts

If a broker is in the business longer, he has numerous contacts from the industry. When hiring a broker with a well-developed network, you can be sure that they will have quick access to reliable contacts who are necessary for the house sale. A serious broker should e.g. B. have contacts to architects, notaries, lawyers, appraisers, energy consultants and possibly even to civil servants or employees in the local building or land registry offices.


A serious broker avoids assuring you of a utopian sales price for your home. Instead, he will openly discuss with you the difficulties that may exist in your particular case and evaluate them realistically. Let yourself be factually justified here, where the problems lie. A reputable broker will be able to show you how to minimize them or even eliminate them altogether. Another sign of seriousness is when the due commission and its due date are addressed openly.

Service orientation

The real estate agent will be a key player in selling your house for several weeks. It is therefore essential that you hire a broker who not only sells your house as advantageously as possible, but also maintains close contact with you and provides you with all the necessary information. You can recognize a service-oriented broker by the fact that he already tells you what information you receive from him and when and what other services he also provides for you. He also takes as much time in the conversation as is needed to clarify all questions and to clear up any uncertainties.

Strategic skills

A reputable broker can tell you how to approach the sale of your home, where to offer the property and who. For any existing sales obstacles (e.g. need for renovation), he should be able to come up with ideas on how to resolve or at least reduce them. In the initial meeting, the broker should also be able to show you a few exposés of previous sales so that you can assess what you can expect.


If a real estate agent does his job seriously, he has the necessary insurance that covers possible damage (for example, due to an error in the sale of a house). Ask for property damage liability insurance and let us show you the insurance policy.


An ideal broker is not only professionally competent, experienced and experienced in selling, but also personable. This property may seem negligible, but you should think a step further: the broker takes care of all arrangements with potential buyers and also carries out the visits. If interested parties meet a person they find sympathetic, this can increase their willingness to pay a higher price for the house.

Ein idealer Makler ist nicht nur fachlich kompetent, sondern auch sympathisch
Ein idealer Makler ist nicht nur fachlich kompetent, sondern auch sympathisch

An ideal broker is not only professionally competent, but also personable.

Photo: iStock / Ridofranz

What should I look for in a broker?

Once you have found a suitable broker, discuss with them in detail what services you can expect from them and have these agreements contractually defined. Since this contract is drawn up by the broker, you should definitely have it checked by an independent body, such as a lawyer, before you sign it.

It is strongly advised not to hire several brokers. If it cannot later be clearly proven which of the two colleagues was responsible for the house sale, in the worst case the sales commission can be paid twice.

Sell ​​house without a real estate agent

Of course, you can also sell your house without consulting a broker and save yourself and the buyer a considerable amount of money. However, you must then be aware that you are responsible for all organizational matters that will cost you some time. Take your time to weigh how much time you can and want to invest in house sales. Also estimate how long it will take you to legally find out how to sell your home without creating legal problems. Also calculate the time it takes you to inform potential buyers about the house sale (for example via the real estate offer on the Internet), to take over the communication with them and to arrange viewing appointments. If you have the time and dare to do the house sale project alone, you can do it without the involvement of a broker.

Selling a house: 6 tips for selling a house without a broker

If you have decided against hiring a broker, the house sale is entirely in your hands. In order to still get the maximum price, it is important to note a few things so that buyers first notice your offer and finally sign the purchase contract. You should definitely follow these tips:

Set the right price

In addition to the basic facts such as location and size, price is the decisive criterion that either attracts buyers or discourages them. If you want to sell your house, it is extremely important to offer the property from the beginning at a realistic price. If your imagination is too high, this will minimize the number of interested parties. If the price is too low, you are wasting money unnecessarily. If you start with a price that is too high and gradually decreases, this quickly creates skepticism among potential customers and may lead them to wait and see if the price continues to fall. How to find the ideal price for your house, read below.

Have all documents ready

If you want to sell your house as profitably as possible, it is important to have all relevant documents for the property ready. This includes the energy certificate as well as evidence of renovations and other documents that can provide information about the condition of the house. The more precisely you can inform about and prove the renovations that have taken place, the greater the confidence of potential buyers.

Create an appealing synopsis

Potential buyers usually get the first impression of the house you want to sell through an exposé. Therefore, create this with special care. Take your time for the photos and choose the best time of day for them. For example, it is not expedient to photograph the rooms of a light-flooded house in the evening or at night. If you lack the necessary technology or the skill to take pictures, hire someone to take appealing photos for you.

Make sure to highlight the points in the synopsis that make your house unique and therefore particularly interesting. If there is a particularly remarkable view (e.g. of mountains, a lake or the sea), this would be a point that you should definitely mention, for example. Proximity to local public transport can also be a plus when selling a house.

Be sure to add the floor plan to the synopsis or, if there are several floors, the floor plans. The presentation helps interested parties enormously to classify the house as suitable for them.

Bring the house into shape

Even in the synopsis, but especially when viewed by potential buyers, small things are often noticed that can reduce the overall impression. If you want to sell your house, you should therefore take an honest look at your house and fix minor flaws before you offer it for sale. This includes an unkempt garden as well as a dilapidated shed, a broken fence or broken sockets inside, warped door frames or the like. Weigh exactly what it will cost to remedy this flaw and to what extent you can then present your house in a better light. Even small things that are fixed quickly lead to a higher sales price.

Staging the house: home staging

When viewing vacant properties, potential buyers need some imagination. But not all interested parties have enough imagination to imagine the property offered for sale in a homely manner. It is therefore worth repeating the house that you want to sell for the viewing appointments. For this purpose, the house is particularly appealingly furnished with furniture, carpets, pictures and accessories, so that no more imagination is required. The goal is to show the potential buyer: "So nice, you could live here soon."

So-called home staging is particularly common in the United States, but has also become more common here in Germany. And not without reason: Studies have shown that homestaging can reduce the time to sale by up to half, while increasing the sales price by 10 to 15 percent. If you do not trust yourself to set it up or you do not have the necessary objects, you can commission a company with the equipment. This brings all the necessary furniture and other items with you, places them in your house for an agreed period and removes them after the sale. So you only pay for the service and do not have to worry about anything else.

Promise small gifts

Getting something for free always makes a buyer feel good. Therefore, consider whether there is something in the house that you would leave to the buyer at no extra charge. This can be a built-in cupboard as well as a corner bench in the kitchen or a picture. It is important that you do not mention this possible gift in the synopsis, but only offer it at the viewing appointment. This is the only way to create the desired feeling that he would have made a particularly good purchase.

Selling a house: What is my house worth?

When selling a house, the price is the main point that either attracts or discourages prospects before they even deal with the synopsis. If you want to sell your house, it is therefore essential to ask for a reasonable price right from the start. But what is your house really worth?

In order to make a realistic price, it is important to look at the property objectively and to free yourself from emotions. It makes most sense to leave the price assessment to a specialist. An independent broker, for example, knows the current situation on the market, can assess supply and demand and thus determine the appropriate price.

When setting the price, it is important that a certain margin is planned. It is rather rare that a house is actually sold for the asking price. Negotiations are absolutely common. You should therefore take this into account when pricing.

For a rough orientation, you can look at offers from the same area and check the sums for which comparable houses in the immediate vicinity are sold. Please note, however, that even small differences (e.g. proximity to the nearest bus stop, location on a main road, etc.) can lead to considerable differences in value for houses that are otherwise absolutely comparable. The time of sale is also crucial. If the neighbor sold his comparable house three years ago for 500, 000 euros, this does not mean that this would still be a reasonable price today.

Der Wert einer Immobilie hängt von vielen Faktoren ab. Unter anderem ist der Standort ein wesentlicher Faktor
Der Wert einer Immobilie hängt von vielen Faktoren ab. Unter anderem ist der Standort ein wesentlicher Faktor

The value of a property depends on many circumstances. Among other things, the location is an essential factor.

Photo: iStock / wakila

Selling a house: what factors determine the price?

How much you can really ask for when selling your property depends on numerous factors. If you ask a real estate agent, he may answer jokingly that there are only three factors: "Location, location and location." In fact, the location of your house is essential, but other things also play a role. These are the key factors when selling your home:

  1. location

    As mentioned earlier, the location of the house is one of the most important factors in pricing. Is the house in the city, on the outskirts or outside in the country? What is the connection to local public transport like? Are there shops, schools, kindergartens or sports facilities? All of this has an impact on how much you can call up as a price when selling a house.

  2. Size and type of house

    The type of house is also decisive. Is it a detached family house, a semi-detached house or a row house? The following applies here: A detached house is generally worth more than a semi-detached house and a row end house is fundamentally more than one “right in the middle”.

  3. Condition of the house

    This factor determines how well the house is in good condition. If there are defects, structural damage, a damp basement or mold in the house, this naturally reduces the price. Here you should check carefully whether it is worthwhile to remedy the defects before the sale in order to be able to set a higher sales price.

  4. Construction year

    The older the house is, the higher the probability that there are defects or that there is a need for renovation and refurbishment. If the house has always been well looked after and repairs have been carried out reliably, old age does not necessarily mean that less money can be obtained from the house when it is sold. On the contrary: some buyers just love the charm of old properties "with soul" and prefer these new buildings.

  5. Building fabric / energy efficiency

    When buying a house, clever buyers not only care about the purchase price - they also pay attention to the costs that can be expected over the years. A solid building structure and high energy efficiency therefore also pay off when selling a house: You can charge a higher price for a low-energy house in timber frame construction than for a poorly insulated house.

  6. Monument protection / expansion options

    As beautiful as an old house may be, which is a listed building, this status brings with it considerable restrictions for the owner: conversions and extensions are often only very limited and sometimes not even possible. In order to still get the maximum price when you sell your house, it is advisable to find out exactly what is allowed and what is not, so that you can provide the interested parties with comprehensive information.

  7. Property size and condition

    The property on which the building is located also determines which price is realistic for your house. How big is it, what condition is it in, what options are there for additional buildings (for example a shed, a small guest house or similar)? It is also important which additional buildings (such as a garage) are already on the property.

  8. Rented or not?

    Selling a rented house is generally possible, but you can usually only ask for a lower price.

  9. Development:

    The connection to the water, telephone and broadband network is another factor that decides what price you can charge when you sell your house. The better the development, the more money the house is worth.

How significant the influence of which factors is on the possible price when selling a house cannot be answered in principle. Because, as always on the free market, the following applies: Interesting and therefore more expensive make a house the factors that other properties cannot offer. Here, too, it shows once again that it is important to identify the unique selling points of your own house, to advertise accordingly and then to take them into account in the purchase price.

Selling a house: What costs can the seller expect?

If you want to sell your house, you have to expect some costs that you will face. It is not possible to give a general answer as to which and how high these are, since a lot depends on the individual situation and the chosen procedure for sales. Basically, however, you have to expect these costs when selling a house:

estate agents

If you have decided against a private sale and have commissioned a broker to sell the house, you must pay for the commission. Depending on the state in which you sell your house, the amount varies between 4.76% and 7.14% of the sale price. As a rule, the buyer and seller share the commission equally. In some states, however, there is a deviation from this regulation and the buyer bears the entire costs. Important: There is no legal regulation regarding the amount or who has to bear the costs. Therefore, you must agree this in the purchase contract!

Advertising costs for private sales

If you have decided to sell the house without a broker, this does not mean that the sale can be carried out at no cost. In order to reach prospective customers, you have to create an exposé and publish it in a suitable place. In addition, there may be travel costs for the private viewing if the house you are selling is not at your place of residence.


Just as you would drive through the car wash again when selling a car, it is also worthwhile to bring the property back into shape when you sell your house. Therefore, when selling a house, expect costs for minor cosmetic repairs and repairs such as repaired lights in the garden, a faultlessly closing garage door or windows that close without a draft.

Energy performance certificate

An energy certificate is mandatory for house sales today. This records the house's energy efficiency class, so buyers can estimate what heating costs they can expect. If you do not already have such an ID, you must have it made for sale by an energy consultant or an architect.


It may be advisable to hire an appraiser to assess the value of the house. This is particularly advisable if you do without a broker when selling a house.

Notary fees

As a rule, the buyer pays the costs for the notary required for the house sale, but it is imperative that you state this in the purchase contract, otherwise you may have to assume part or even all of the costs.

Prepayment penalty

You can sell your house even if the bank is still financing. To do this, you must terminate the loan agreement and pay a prepayment penalty. The amount due here depends primarily on the amount of the loan and other factors.

Deletion of the mortgage

If you paid off your house before the sale, it does not automatically mean that the land charge at the land registry has been deleted. If you want to have this entry removed or if the buyer insists, you can request a deletion approval from your bank, which you can use to arrange for a notary to delete the entry in the land register. The notary fee and the fee at the land registry come at your expense.

Speculation tax

A speculation tax is also payable under certain conditions. This is always the case if you have rented your house for at least a certain time and have not owned it for more than ten years. However, you do not have to pay if you have owned the house for more than ten years and / or have lived in it for the past three years.

Selling a house with a current loan: is that possible?

As a rule, when buying or building a house, one does not assume that it will be sold again after a short time. However, certain life situations may make it necessary to sell the house. Professional transfer is the classic, but divorce, sudden unemployment, or death can also be reasons to sell the house before the loan is paid off. But can you sell a house when the loan is still running? Yes, it is possible and there are three different ways to proceed in such a case.

  1. Prepayment penalty: You cancel the loan from your bank

    In principle, it is possible to cancel the financing at the bank, but you have to expect that the credit institution will then collect a so-called prepayment penalty (more on this below).

  2. Real estate swap: You transfer the loan

    This option is useful if, for example, you want to sell your previous house due to a change of location and purchase a new one elsewhere. In this case, you can carry out a property swap in which the current loan is transferred to your new house. However, the approval of the bank is required here.

  3. Debt restructuring: The buyer takes over the loan

    Sometimes it is possible to transfer the ongoing financing to the buyer. This process, known as debt restructuring, can be a very convenient solution for everyone involved. Here, too, the approval of the bank is essential, which of course will put the homebuyer through its paces in terms of solvency. And of course the buyer must also have an interest in this process. However, this will only be the case if the interest rate negotiated in the loan agreement is more attractive than that from the current capital market.

Selling a house: what is the prepayment penalty?

If you sell your house and terminate the financing contract with your bank, the bank will charge you the so-called prepayment penalty. With this payment, you compensate the credit institution which, through the premature termination, will lose interest that you would have paid over the years if the financing was planned. At the same time, the repayment also provides the bank with funds that it can work with. This fact is taken into account when calculating the prepayment penalty so that it is usually lower than the sum of the interest that you would otherwise have had to pay.

The amount of the prepayment penalty depends on the remaining loan term, the amount of interest and the agreed interest rate. It must therefore be calculated individually.

You should avoid these 3 pitfalls when selling a house

Even if you take all the advice given so far - when you sell your house, there are three classic traps that sellers fall into again and again:

  1. Who's the owner?

    It sounds so logical, but it always causes problems: only the one who owns the house can sell it. This is especially important if the house is to be sold due to a divorce, comes from an inheritance or the ownership is not clear for other reasons. Be sure to find out who is the owner and therefore the person authorized to sell before you initiate the further steps necessary for the house sale.

  2. Stick to the truth

    It is so tempting: If you keep one or two shortcomings in the house from prospective buyers, a higher sales price may be achieved. However, be careful not to deviate from the truth when applying for your home! If you find out, you may face sensitive claims for damages!

  3. Be realistic

    It happens so often: A typical mistake when selling a house is also to be sure that the deal will be concluded early. If a prospect shows enthusiasm during the tour, agrees to everything and is assured of wanting to buy the house, this does not mean that this will happen. Look at the matter very matter-of-factly and realistically: Only when all sales documents have been signed, the financing has been regulated and the purchase amount received, has the sale of the house been really perfect. You should never brush off other interested parties beforehand.

Selling a house step by step: this is how you should proceed

If you want to sell your house, you have to think of countless things. This is one of the main arguments why hiring a real estate agent to sell the house can be worthwhile. So that you don't lose track when you sell your house, we have created a schedule with the essential things to consider. With this plan, you know exactly when to take care of what and what you shouldn't forget.

Selling a house step by step: preliminary considerations and measures

  1. Time of sale: The decision to sell the house has been made. Nevertheless, it is worth considering briefly whether the best time to sell the house is now. Unless you have to sell now, you should watch the market for a while and wait a bit longer to sell.
  2. Repairs: Check whether there are any repairs that can add value to the house you want to sell. Have this carried out and only then can a broker or appraiser determine the value. Pay particular attention to little things, because these can later be decisive when it comes to the question of the overall impression with which a prospect leaves the house after the visit.
  3. Loan: If the loan has not yet been repaid at the bank, you should find out about possible options as early as possible and clarify with the bank whether a prepayment penalty is to be expected or whether the bank is also willing to reschedule or swap real estate.
  4. Home staging: Check whether you want to present individual rooms or the whole house in a special way. Home staging helps interested parties to imagine how cozy the house can be. Houses presented with home staging are not only sold twice as fast - they also achieve prices that are up to 15 percent higher. Think about whether home staging is an option for you and maybe hire a company to do it.
  5. New home: Find a new home early on before selling your home. It is also important to discuss the necessary financing with the bank. Only when this has been clarified should you initiate the sale of the house.

Selling a house step by step: documents and formalities

  1. Papers: Get all the documents and information you need to sell your home. These include: extract from the land register, floor plan of the property, energy certificate, floor plan, insurance certificates, expert opinions on the value of the house, utility bills, details of the usable and living space, number of rooms, size of the property, year of construction and evidence of renovations and repairs.
  2. Broker: Find a reputable broker, agree on the services to be provided, let him draw up a contract and have it checked by a lawyer.
  3. Land charge : It is advisable to delete the land charge from the land registry before starting the house sale. Have your bank issue you with a deletion permit. With this, a notary can initiate the deletion of the land charge from the land register.

Selling a house step by step: the offer

  1. Price: The price is absolutely essential when selling a house. If you do not have enough knowledge yourself to be able to realistically assess the value of your property, you should definitely seek professional advice. Remember to plan a specific negotiation framework.
  2. Exposé: The Exposé is like the business card of your house. Make sure that it was designed either by yourself or by the broker. This is the only way to make interested parties aware of your house. In particular, make sure that attractive special features of your house are highlighted. This makes your property stand out from others.
  3. Application: The exposé must be published in suitable places. If you want to sell your house as quickly as possible and at a high price, the exposé should be advertised in several online portals and, if necessary, daily newspapers. Use media with the greatest possible reach or encourage your broker to choose media for publication.

Selling a house step by step: the visits

  1. Advertising: The more people who become aware of your offer, the better cards you have when you sell your house. Therefore, make sure that, in addition to the advertisements in newspapers and on the Internet, you can also find information about the sale on the house itself. This can be the so-called "real estate gallows" in the front yard as well as signs in the windows. In this way, you can also reach people who are looking for something new in their current environment.
  2. Viewing appointments: The easiest way is for a broker to arrange and carry out the viewing appointments. He also has the necessary specialist knowledge and sales skills to convince prospective customers of your house.
  3. Encore: Check whether you can offer a free bonus if you are interested in the visit. This could e.g. B. the garden tools in the shed or attached sun protection on the windows. Such additions, which were not included in the synopsis, give prospective buyers the feeling that they are dealing with a particularly good offer.

Selling a house step by step: the conclusion of a contract

  1. Credit check: Before you sign the purchase contract, you should definitely check or have your broker check whether the potential buyer has the necessary credit rating. You should only sign the purchase contract once the financing has been clarified.
  2. Purchase contract: Have the purchase contract drawn up by a specialist and, if necessary, checked again by a specialist lawyer. Errors in the contract can have dramatic consequences for you and / or the buyer.
  3. Notary: If the purchase contract is signed, a notary must be present and notarize the purchase contract. He then also ensures that the buyer is entered in the land register.
  4. Brokerage contract: So that the payment of the brokerage commission does not remain with you, it is important that there is a written agreement between the buyer and the broker that obliges the buyer to pay his share of the commission.
  5. Insurance: In some cases it is possible and desired by the buyer to take over existing insurance to the house. Clarify this with the buyer and the insurance companies concerned.
  6. Admissions: If you have agreed to take over certain objects in or at the house during the inspection, a contract should also be concluded, which clearly regulates which objects are concerned.
  7. Delivery date : Together with the buyer, you should also agree in writing on a date by which you have received the purchase amount and on which the house can be handed over.
Die Übergabe der Immobilie sollte unbedingt erst dann erfolgen, wenn die Kaufsumme beim Verkäufer eingegangen ist
Die Übergabe der Immobilie sollte unbedingt erst dann erfolgen, wenn die Kaufsumme beim Verkäufer eingegangen ist

The handover of the property should only take place when the purchase amount has been received by the seller.

Photo: iStock / sidelnikov

Selling a house step by step: the handover

Purchase price

If you have been able to sell your house, the handover should not take place until you have received the full purchase amount. Before that, you should neither allow access to the house nor hand over other objects or documents belonging to the house.


You are obliged to hand over all of the keys to your house, mailbox, garden shed, tool shed, to individual rooms or to the basement without exception. So carefully find all the keys together so that you can hand them over to the buyer.


You must be able to hand over all the documents that you have selected or have had drawn up for the house purchase (such as floor plans, floor plan, energy performance certificate, etc.) on the day of delivery. Be sure to avoid forgetting individual documents. This will delay the handover of the house unnecessarily.

Handover protocol

Make sure that the broker creates a handover report. This is the only way to prove in an emergency which documents, objects and keys you have given to the buyer and when. In addition, the condition of the house with all defects should be recorded in the handover report (it is also advisable to document the defects with photos), the electricity and water meter readings should be noted and other aspects that are still essential during the handover should be recorded. This is how you protect yourself against claims for damages as well as against unjustified claims from energy suppliers or water companies.

In addition, these points should be noted in the handover protocol:

  • Information about buyers and sellers
  • Address of the house
  • Items sold in total or per room
  • Condition of the property
  • If necessary, oil level in the heating system and a note on how the transferred oil should be offset

Sell ​​house: The most common mistakes in selling a house

If you have read our guide up to this point, you are fully informed about how best to sell your house. However, not all homeowners are smart about selling a house and are therefore at risk of some common mistakes. We have collected the most common mistakes so that the sale of your house can be carried out without any problems and unpleasant surprises.

Home sale? I'll do that with the left

If you want to sell your house so carelessly, you will very likely get very angry. As described above, there are simply too many things to look out for when selling a house if you don't want to take the risk of financial loss or unnecessary litigation. When should I sell my house? How can I advertise the house? How much time do I need to sell and how much time do I have? What documents do I need? What questions could potential buyers ask me? You can read all of this, but you don't do it with the left and you are always better advised with technical support.

This is also easy without a broker

Of course, it is basically possible to sell your house without a broker. As already mentioned under point 1, you need to be fit in many areas, really know your way around and, above all, have the necessary time for all sales issues. As a rule, all of this cannot be done by a private individual. It is therefore better to recalculate exactly what a broker will cost you, how much higher the selling price could be, and also how much work it will take from you. Then decide objectively whether you need a broker or not.

The purchase contract can also be found on the Internet

Just like a rental contract, you should not simply download the purchase contract for your house from the Internet and use it without checking! It is imperative that you commission a notary to draw up the purchase contract and make sure that all individual circumstances are recorded in it. If you want to be on the safe side, have the sales contract drawn up by the notary examined by a specialist lawyer. This will save you from nasty surprises.

These points should always be included in the purchase contract:

  • Location of the house
  • Address of the house
  • Description of the house
  • Land registry district
  • Land register sheet number
  • Possibly. land charges or liens entered in the land register
  • Amount of the purchase price
  • Payment modalities (purchase price, payment date)
  • Precise naming of buyers and sellers
  • Handover date
  • Warranty regulations
  • Interest on late payments
  • Possibly. special agreements

I can easily set the selling price myself

Of course, you can find out what similar houses in a comparable area cost. However, each house is to be considered individually, since numerous factors influence the actual value (see above). Certainly not, you should assume that your home is worth exactly what you originally paid for it, plus what you have invested over the years. The actual value can only be determined by someone who knows the current market situation as well as the actual condition of the house. It is absolutely worthwhile to hire a specialist to determine the value.

I also get sales calls myself

Of course, you will be able to show your house to potential buyers. It is questionable, however, whether you are praising it in the best way, pointing out all legally relevant aspects and, above all, arousing a desire to buy. For these and also for reasons of time, it is worthwhile to hire a broker to sell the property.

Selling a house: the most common questions

Anyone who wants to sell their house is faced with countless questions sooner rather than later. When should you sell the house? Do I need a broker? What is my property worth?

In the upper part of the text you have already gained a lot of valuable knowledge. We will answer any remaining questions here.

General questions about house sales

  1. How long does it take to sell a house?

    In general, one cannot answer this question seriously. The factors that determine how quickly you sell your house are too diverse: where is the house located? What condition is it in? How do supply and demand relate to each other? What price did you estimate for the property? All of these points determine how quickly house sales go through the stage.

    Basically, it can be said that a house will find a new owner faster if a broker has been commissioned to sell the house. However, this also has no influence on how quickly the financing is settled on the buyer's side. Here a lot depends on the engagement of the prospect, but much more on the credit institution.

    As a rule of thumb, you can expect around six months to move into the country until you were able to sell your house.

  2. Can I sell my house myself?

    You are free to sell your home without hiring a broker. There is no legal regulation that requires such engagement.

    If you have enough time and the necessary knowledge to take care of all matters relating to the house sale, you can do this entirely yourself and thus avoid the otherwise due broker commission.

    As the length of this article shows, there are a number of things to consider when selling a house and also numerous pitfalls that inexperienced house sellers easily fall into.

  1. When should I sell my house?

    If you urgently need money or if you have to sell the house as quickly as possible for other reasons, there is no point in thinking about the best possible time. However, if you are not under time pressure, it is worth determining the ideal moment to sell your home.

    Of course, it is advisable to offer the house exactly when the demand is particularly high and the prices rise accordingly. To recognize the really perfect moment for the house sale, however, it takes some experience. If you do not have it yourself, get advice from a specialist.

    Extra tip: Also note that at certain times of the year people prefer other things to find a new home. Christmas or Advent is a classic example of this. If you want to get a maximum price for your house, you'd better wait until the beginning of the new year to get the offer.

  1. What is my house worth?

    Of course, you can find out on the property market the price for which houses are offered that are comparable in terms of location, size and condition to yours. On the one hand, it will be difficult to find really similar properties - on the other hand, numerous other factors play a role: The year of construction is just as important for the price as the general condition, the size of the property and, and, and …

    You can only find a really serious offer price if you leave the matter to a specialist. This can be either an architect, a broker or an appraiser who takes a close look at your house and then sets a realistic price taking all factors into account.

  1. What is the property market report?

    To determine the price of a property, experts sometimes also consult the property market report. In this, the development of the real estate market can be tracked. The report is based on statistical data and thus gives an independent overview of price developments in the past to date.

  1. How do I get more money for my house?

    In order to get more money when you sell your house, it is worth checking which repair or refurbishment work is necessary before the final assessment of the property value. Often, these are quite cost-intensive, but increase the value of the house enormously, so that the amount invested can be recouped via the sales price.

    If you don't have the financial means to make big jumps, it is advisable to take smaller measures. For example, a freshly painted fence looks much more appealing than a weathered one. And a well-tended garden also influences the overall impression of the house.

All about the broker

  1. Do I need a broker?

    Basically, the answer to this question is: no. You don't necessarily need a broker to sell the house. However, the sale of a property means that numerous legal issues have to be taken into account, sometimes a professional view is required, and last but not least, it also costs a lot of time to sell a house. It is therefore generally advisable to hire a broker. He knows the market, the subtleties that ultimately lead to a higher sales price and, at best, also has sales talent. A broker is expensive, but can often eradicate the costs incurred by a higher selling price.

  2. What does a broker do?

    A broker's job is to help you sell your home. For this he will advise you comprehensively, examine the house and set a realistic sales price and create an exposé with which he advertises the property online or in newspapers. If the first prospective buyers get in touch, the broker will arrange viewing appointments with them and will let the house appear in the best light. Finally, he takes care of the buyer's credit check and arranges a notary. Because only when the financing is regulated and the purchase contract signed and notarized is the house sale considered perfect. And only then will he get his money.

  3. How much is the brokerage commission?

    Since the brokerage fee or commission depends on the sales amount (depending on the state, it is between 4.76 and 7.14 percent), it is different for each house sale. The brokerage fee is due if a purchase contract for the offered house is concluded with a prospective customer.

    Since the commission depends on the house value, one might think that brokers would rather sell expensive real estate. However, these are sometimes more difficult to get to the man, so here u. U. significantly more work must be invested. And then it won't be worth it anymore: Because twice as much work has to be invested in sales as in a house that is only half as expensive, the broker's earnings per working day ultimately amount to the same thing.

What is the difference between commission or brokerage commission and brokerage fee?

The different terms are one and the same thing: All the names indicate the amount of money that the broker receives for his work.

It is important to know that the broker is actually only paid in the event of success. If he does not find a suitable buyer, he goes empty-handed. You should carefully check agreements in the brokerage contract.

Who has to pay the broker?

Even if the seller of the house hired the broker, in the end it may not have to pay him. It is not yet legally regulated who has to pay for the services of the specialist. Different handling is customary depending on the state. However, it is common practice for buyers and sellers to share the costs equally.

How do I find a reputable broker?

Recommendations from friends and acquaintances are a sure way to find a reputable broker. If no one in your area knows someone, it is worth taking a look at the Internet: Check the website of the broker in question to see if he is organized in professional associations, has certification and whether he can provide references. Then check whether you can find reviews from previous customers or reviews. If these appear authentic, you should get your own impression in a conversation. If he appears competent and personable, he can confidently answer all your questions and also gives you valuable information that you did not ask for, this could be the right broker for you.

What is a brokerage contract?

If you have found a reputable broker, you should definitely conclude a written contract with them. This should state exactly what services the broker has to provide (and possibly by when). If he offers to draw up the contract, you should have it checked by a specialist so that you don't end up falling into a trap based on cleverly worded clauses.

The broker will usually also conclude a contract with the buyer, because he may also have to get money from the new home owner, so that he will contractually secure himself on this point.

Should I hire multiple brokers?

You might think that several brokers have more contacts and you can sell the house faster. However, since a broker only receives money for his services if he mediates a buyer, the opposite is rather the case. As soon as the brokers get wind of the fact that a colleague has been hired to find a buyer, the commitment often disappears. After all, there is a high risk of going empty-handed in the end despite having done a lot of work.

How many viewing appointments are allowed?

Of course, just like you, the broker wants to sell the house as quickly as possible. This is made somewhat more difficult if tenants live in the house. Because then the broker can not arrange viewing appointments at will - he must be considerate of the residents of the house.

It is essential to announce the viewing dates in writing at least two, better three days in advance. If this is taken into account, the tenants must allow visits, but only to a reasonable extent. It is important to schedule the appointments at usual times, e.g. B. on weekdays between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. On Sundays and public holidays, the tenants should be left alone. According to case law, if you follow these rules, the tenant can be expected to allow visits up to three times a month for up to 45 minutes.

All about the buyer

How do I find a buyer for my house?

To find a buyer for your home, you can either hire a broker or take matters into your own hands. The steps to make prospective buyers aware of the house sale are basically the same in both cases: an overview of the house has to be created, which is advertised online or in daily newspapers. In order to stand out from the many other offers, it is important that you highlight the special features that make the house you want to sell so special. If the synopsis is convincing and if the sales price matches the offer, prospective customers will soon contact you or your broker.

Can the buyer pay for my house?

In fact, financing is one of the main hurdles that have to be overcome when selling a house. The sale can only be successful if the prospective buyer can actually pay for the house.

A good broker therefore checks the creditworthiness of the potential buyer in due course so that other interested parties are not incorrectly rejected.

Do not let yourself be handed over to a house before you have received the entire purchase price. No matter how likeable and trustworthy the buyer may be - in this case you should remain tough in your own interest and only start handing over when all the money is in your account.

Übergeben Sie das Haus erst, wenn es vollständig bezahlt ist
Übergeben Sie das Haus erst, wenn es vollständig bezahlt ist

Only hand over the house when it has been paid for in full.

Photo: iStock / Jirapong Manustrong

All about the formalities when selling a house

What documents do I need for the house sale?

If you want to sell your house, you need some important documents. These are, on the one hand, very official documents such as the land register extract, but you should also have other documents ready. Can you e.g. B. with evidence that the roof was recently renovated, this will raise the sales price accordingly.

You should have these documents at hand when selling the house:

  • Floor plan (s)
  • Corridor card excerpt
  • Extract from the land register
  • Energy performance certificate
  • Proof of insurance
  • if necessary, expert opinion on the value of the house
  • Service charge statements
  • Invoices for repairs / renovations carried out
  • Evidence of basic information about the house such as the year of construction, living and usable area, size of property, etc.

Where can I get missing documents for home sales?

You don't always have all the important documents ready. After all, you don't want to sell a house every day. However, it is worth keeping as many documents as possible, as this makes it easier to find prices, strengthens buyers' trust and thus has a direct impact on the sales price achieved.

If you do not have an energy certificate yet, you can get one from an energy consultant, an architect or a civil engineer. The costs for this are about 500 euros. You can find a suitable expert, for example, on the website of the German Energy Agency (dena).

An architect can also prepare missing floor plans for you. A draftsman can also do this task.

You can get the land register excerpt from the land registry office, the land card excerpt from the land registry office. You should have proof of existing insurance. If not, the chosen insurance company will issue a copy of the insurance policy.

What is the energy certificate?

The energy certificate is a document in which a house is assessed from an energy perspective. The ID should enable the owners or residents of the house to realistically estimate the energy costs they will face.

The energy certificate has been mandatory for new buildings since 1 May 2014. Existing properties only need this if they are sold or rented.

What do I have to pay attention to when handing over?

On the day of the handover, the closing point is set under a period of time, which usually lasts several months, in which you offered your house for sale. So that no mistakes happen now, you should pay attention to a few things:

  • Have a handover report drawn up (usually by the broker).
  • Make a note of all meter readings in the log.
  • Make a note of the type and number of the keys that have been handed over
  • Sign the paper yourself and let the buyer sign it. Important: Both you and the home buyer need an original. The handover protocol must therefore be made out at least twice.
  • Hand over all relevant documents about the house.

Only hand over the house when it has been paid for in full.

All about the presentation of house sales

How do I make my house interesting for buyers?

Since your home is certainly not the only one on the market, it is essential to present it as well as possible. This includes numerous things, but the essential first step is an examination of the condition of the house. If the roof has a leak or the garden shed could do with a new coat of paint, these are things that you should definitely have fixed or taken care of.

A neat overall impression invites interested parties to take a closer look at your property. And often a better sales price can be achieved.

What belongs in the synopsis?

The synopsis is something like a small advertising booklet that is intended to draw the attention of potential buyers. It is therefore important to present your house in such a way that it stands out from the other offers. All the essential information about the house should be included in the synopsis, so that the interested parties as well as the financing bank can get an accurate picture of it. Sometimes the exposé is decisive whether a buyer gets a loan for it or not. This is another reason why you should put a lot of effort into creating it.

The exposé for your house should contain at least the following information:

  • Address of the house
  • Construction year
  • Construction
  • Condition of the house
  • Date and type of repairs or refurbishments carried out
  • Description of the residential area (schools, shops, public transport etc.)
  • Plot size
  • Size of the living area
  • number of rooms
  • Number of floors
  • Floor plan (s)
  • Site plan
  • Possibly existing attachments (shed, sun protection, winter garden etc.)
  • Energy efficiency class
  • Amount of the previous monthly additional costs
  • Purchase price
  • earliest possible date of handover
  • Photos: Take beautiful photos. If you cannot do this yourself, ask someone to do it for you.
  • Contact details for you or the commissioned broker

What do I have to do before a tour?

It will be much easier for prospective buyers to imagine life in your house if you polish it once more before the first inspection. Make sure that there is no junk anywhere, wallpaper peeling off the walls or that the basement smells unpleasant. Ask yourself what a house you want to live in should look like and set up your property accordingly.

Make sure you also think of the garden. If you mow the lawn again and pluck weeds from the beds, the property will make a better impression overall and will invite potential buyers to take a closer look.

If you want to sell your house, you should also inform yourself before the first viewing date to what extent additions to the house or other construction measures would be permitted. The building authority will help you here.

What questions are asked frequently during the tour?

Which questions potential buyers ask when visiting the house can of course never be predicted with certainty. However, some information is requested again and again, so that you can at least prepare yourself quite well for it. And you should also do this, because the following basically applies: the better prepared you are and the more precisely you can answer questions, the more confidence-inspiring you will appear and the more likely a sale will be. Frequently asked questions during the tour are:

  • What year is the house built?
  • How big is the property?
  • How big is the house?
  • How many rooms does the house have?
  • How big are the individual rooms?
  • Which walls are load-bearing walls?
  • Where is south
  • Why do you want to sell the house?
  • What kind of heating is installed?
  • When was the last time the heating was replaced?
  • What is the energy consumption?
  • What additional costs can be expected?
  • How was the house built?
  • How old = " are the pipes in the house?
  • Have repairs been carried out? If yes, which?
  • What glazing do the windows have?
  • Are there any sources of noise in the area (school, airport, playground or sports field)?
  • Has there ever been mold in the house?
  • Which elements in the house are also sold? (Kitchen, fitted wardrobes etc.)
  • Is there a cable connection?
  • What bandwidth is available at the location?
  • What is the relationship with the neighbors? What family situation is there with the neighbors (families, pensioners, couples)?
  • Where can the car be parked?
  • Are there any plans to add or increase?
  • Where is the nearest shop?
  • What is the connection to local public transport like?
  • Will construction work on neighboring properties in the near future?

What is homestaging?

In home staging, prospective buyers are not presented with an empty house. On the contrary: it is furnished in a particularly homely and tasteful manner so that potential buyers feel at home as soon as they visit the site. If you don't have a knack for interior design or don't have the necessary furniture and accessories, you can hire a company to set up the house temporarily. If you were able to sell your house, the company's employees will pick up the equipment again.

All about legal issues when selling a house

Who pays the appraiser?

The expert who pays him always pays the expert. This is usually the one who wants to sell their home. But buyers sometimes also call in an appraiser to be informed about the actual condition of the house from a neutral body.

What does an appraiser cost when selling a house?

How much you have to calculate for the appraiser cannot be answered generally. The amount to be paid depends heavily on which house you want to sell. With larger and more expensive properties, a higher sum is usually to be expected than with smaller or cheaper houses. Approximately, costs of between 400 and 2, 500 euros can be expected.

Can I hide defects in the house sale?

No, the principle “bought as seen” generally applies to house sales. However, as a seller you are obliged to hand over the house to the buyer without hidden defects. You must not lie to him if he asks for defects. Nor can you maliciously conceal anything from him. Incorrect information on essential points is also prohibited. And you should stick to this as far as possible, otherwise you face sensitive claims for damages if they are uncovered.

What legal issues do I have to consider when selling a house?

Perhaps the most important point to consider when selling a house is that this can only be done under the supervision of a notary. If he is not present at the signing, the purchase contract has not been properly closed from a legal point of view.

You also need an energy certificate for your house. Without this you are not allowed to sell the property. In addition, be sure to inform the buyer of any defects in the house that you are aware of.

Where can I get a serious purchase contract?

It is best to have a notary draw up the purchase contract. If necessary, he can deal with the broker professionally, so that at the end all important aspects are recorded in the document. So you and the buyer are legally on the safe side.

All about the notary

What is a notarial certification?

The notarial certification is legally required for a house sale. A notary must therefore be present when the contract is signed. He informs both contracting parties of your rights and obligations, checks the identity documents of the signers, reads out the document and has it signed by both parties. Finally, he confirms the signing of the purchase contract with his signature. This is the only way to make the purchase legally valid.

How do I find a reputable notary?

As with the broker, it is advisable to ask your friends whether someone can make a recommendation. If this is not the case, you should inquire at the Federal Chamber of Notaries ( for a notary nearby.

It is advisable to choose a notary who specializes in real estate law. He knows all the little stumbling blocks that you and the buyer prefer to avoid.

Who pays the notary?

As with brokerage commissions, there is no legal regulation regarding notary fees as to who has to pay them: the buyer or seller of the house. However, it is common for the buyer to pay for these costs. About 1 to 1.5 percent of the purchase price is common.

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