- No restrictions on Austrian property for EU buyers although some local laws still exist that restrict some types of ownership (eg: Forestry Land). Other foreign nationals must obtain approval from the “Grundverkehrsbehörde” – part of the local council.
- All fees are regulated by the government so that you know exactly what you have to pay.
Property is almost always freehold title.
- Once a formal offer is made and accepted it is binding on both parties.
- There are Regulations governing the role of the Estate Agent and Notary.
- A formal offer in writing is made via a real estate agent. Attached to the offer document is an itemized list (Kostenaufstellung) of related transaction costs such as legal fees, property transfer tax, registration duty, notary fee, and real estate agent’s fee. The vendor has affixed period of days to accept or decline the offer.
- The seller accepts the offer, a purchase agreement or sale contract is drawn by an Austrian solicitor/notary. Once the offer is signed by both parties it is binding on both parties.
- The contract is signed, the buyer may be expected to pay 10% of the purchase price as deposit, which is put in a trustee or escrow account until the completion takes place.
- Upon completion the Notary will register transfer detail at the local registry office and pay transfer and registration duties. The Notary acts for both parties and is seen as an intermediary.
- It takes an average of 32 days to complete all the three procedures needed to register a property.
Legal/Notary Fees 1-3% + 20% VAT: Buyer
Property Transfer Tax 3.5% or 2% for transfers between close relatives: Buyer
Land Registry Duty 1.1%: Buyer
Estate Agent’s Fees 3-4% + VAT: Buyer/Seller
Fees are set by law (3-4%) with the rate depending on the purchase price and are shared equally by the Buyer and Seller.
Your local estate agent will help you to complete the documents to pay your regular running costs such as electric, telephone, fuel etc.
The profession of real estate trustees encompasses real estate agents, real estate management and real estate developer, each having different reserved activities (real estate management: management of built-up and raw plots of land; real estate developer: organizational and commercial handling of building projects). It should be specified that qualification is required by law only for the pursuit of these activities as a self-employed person or as manager. Employees need not be qualified.
There are four alternative paths to obtain qualifications, three of them requiring successful completion of a specific qualifying examination. The examination covers general knowledge of legal regulations such as tax law, labor law and many others, as well as specific subjects relevant for the profession. The total duration of the training is five years.
A certificate of proficiency in awarded upon presentation of one of the following:
- Certificate on successful completion of a real estate related study program at a university or university of applied sciences, plus at least one year of respective business practice;
- Certificate on successful completion of a commercial or legal university study program, plus at least one year of respective business practice and the successful completion of the qualifying examination;
- Certificate on successful completion of a trade -related high-school plus at least 1½ years of respective business practice, or completion of a general high -school plus at least two years of respective business practice, in addition to the successful completion of the qualifying examination;
- Certificate on successful completion of a 3-year trade school with a focus on the real estate trade, or the successful completion of an apprenticeship (including the final exams) in the field of real estate or office administration, plus at least 2 years of respective business practice, in addition to the successful completion of the qualifying examination.
Real estate trustees when registering with the competent authorities must submit evidence of professional third-party liability insurance. The insurance company must report to the competent authority any circumstances resulting in the termination, non-existence or insufficient coverage of liability insurance.
Under the Austrian Trade Act 1973, the trade authority checked the professional qualification of the real estate agents.
Austrian property links