An interested party has just signed a top offer to buy your house. Now you want the sale to go through quickly. All that's missing is the purchase contract that can be entered in the land register.

But then the sale falls through. You have not submitted the necessary documents for drawing up the contract to the notary or lawyer - i.e. the contracting party - in time. In this blog post I explain how you can avoid this worst-case scenario and other sometimes costly consequences - such as delays or repayments to the buyer.

The notary/lawyer needs these 3 documents

In order for the notary or lawyer to draw up the contract of sale ready for entry in the land register, you must submit 3 documents completely and on time . If these 3 documents are missing or are submitted too late, the entire house sale may fail.

Document #1: Signed, legally binding offer to purchase.
This should already contain the most important points of the contract. Why? Only in this way are you legally protected in the event of a breach of contract before both parties sign the purchase contract that can be entered in the land register and you can legally enforce individual points that have not been fulfilled by the buyer.
The purchase offer has been prepared for you either by your estate agent or, in the case of a private sale, by your notary/lawyer. After this has been signed, you should receive a copy.

Document #2: Land registry documents
You have already obtained these documents during the course of the sale, either via an estate agent or - in the case of a private sale - yourself.
Make sure that you hand over the complete necessary collection of deeds of the A, B and C sheet. Only then is the document complete. You can read more about this in our blog article "With and without an estate agent: How not to give away money when selling a house".

Document #3: Official photo document.
Take your passport or identity card with you when signing the purchase contract. You can already send a copy of the ID to the notary or lawyer in advance to be on the safe side.

You must sendthese documents to the buyer's notary/lawyer as soon as possible. If this is not the case, it can have devastating consequences for you.

Costly consequences for missing or late submitted documents

If the 3 documents listed above are missing or are submitted too late, in the worst case one of the following 4 scenarios may affect you. These range from having to pay a fee to obtain a notary to the sale falling through.

Scenario 1: Demand with costs from the authorities by the notary/lawyer

A less serious outcome for you: You have forgotten a document and the notary/lawyer of the buyer collects it himself. You may be charged for the work involved and any costs incurred in obtaining the documents from the relevant authority.

Scenario 2: Delay of the sale

It is somewhat more annoying when the entire sales process is delayed by the lack of documentation. A house sale is lengthy enough. A superfluous delay is an additional burden for both you and the buyer, which reduces the anticipation of the upcoming deal.

Scenario 3: Contractual claims

Normally, the purchase price, the assumption of encumbrances or freedom from encumbrances, etc. are stipulated in the purchase offer. The date of transfer of the property is also stipulated in it. If the sale is delayed due to missing documents, the transfer date cannot be met. You are therefore in breach of part of the purchase offer. The buyer can take legal action against this and assert his contractual claims. The consequence: You have to pay back part of the purchase price to the buyer.

Scenario 4: Cancellation of the sale

As explained in scenario three, the transfer date is part of the legally binding offer to purchase. Postponing the sale might deter the buyer from buying the house. Perhaps the buyer has even received a better offer in the meantime. If you do not submit the documents in full on time, the buyer can withdraw from the purchase. You are not entitled to compensation in this case, as the delay in the completion of the sale falls back on you.

Conclusion: Complete documents prevent legal consequences and financial losses

The provision of all documents for the notary or lawyer is imperative so that the contract of sale can be drawn up ready for entry in the land register. This is the only way to ensure the completion of the sale.

Adhere to the specified deadlines and save yourself as well as the buyer a delay in the sale. In the worst case, this delay can havelegal and thus financial consequences for you.

If you want to make sure that all documents are obtained in time and forwarded to the notary or lawyer of the buyer, you can hire an estate agent. This agent will not only support you in selling the house, but will also assist you with appointments with the notary/lawyer.

As an estate agent and surveyor, we can assist you with the sale of your house and with legal questions regarding the purchase contract. We also ensure that all documents are available to the notary/lawyer in time for the drawing up of the purchase contract.

Finally, we take another look at the contract with you so that you are legally protected and any questions are clarified. If you wish, we can accompany you to the signing of the purchase contract. Please contact us for a free initial consultation.

With kind regards
Yours sincerely, Bernhard Großruck

I would like a free initial consultation for my house sale.

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