Buying Property in Austria – A Brief Guide
A guide to buying property in Austria.
Information on the buying process, Legal costs and fees, who can buy, making an offer
and what to expect. Find answers to your questions here or contact us to discuss
Buying property in Austria is not as difficult as you may think
– All fees are regulated by the government so that you know exactly what you have to pay
– Property is almost always Freehold Title – but it is possible to find leasehold titles if you look hard
– Once a formal offer is made and accepted it is binding on both parties so you will not be out bid later
– Austria has clear regulations on the role of the local Estate Agent who is selling the property and Notary
– A Notary undertakes the work that a conveyancing solicitor would in the UK and can give you professional
advice on local regulation
Who can buy property in Austria ?
Austria is a member of the EEC.
Prior to membership of the EEC there were numerous local council rules that often prevented foreigners
from buying property.
Today some local laws still exist that restrict some types of ownership and we recommend that you seek your
Notar / lawyers advice when buying in Austria.
Apart from these considerations EEC citizens will find buying property in Austria orderly, efficient
If you are not an EEC citizen you may still buy property in Austria but only with the express approval
of the „Grundverkehrsbehörde“ – part of the local council.
Making a formal offer.
Once you find a property that you would like to buy, it is safe to discuss your thoughts with the local
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 10.5% 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 1.1%
– Estate agent costs 3% + vat
– Notary fees are on a scale set by law and you should allow 2.% + vat
– VAT is 20%
– Modest land Registry search fees are also charged by the Notar
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 to accept or reject your offer
after which your offer lapses. Once the vendor has countersigned your offer the deal is binding on both parties
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 UK property.
The completion date is agreed between you and often you are asked to make a 10% deposit into a trust account
held by the Notar.
A Notary 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.
Paying the day to day running bills
We recommend that you pay your running bills via direct debit by opening a local bank account in
the nearest village to your property. Its simple and Easy to do with your passport and UK address
confirmation. Most banks have an Internet account that you can operate from home in the UK.
Your local estate agent will help you to complete the documents to pay your regular running costs such
as electric, telephone, fuel etc. These items have a similar unit charge to the UK although remember
the winters are harsher so expect to pay double the heating costs that you would estimate for a similar
Local refuse collection and council charges are very modest compared to UK council tax
The vendor can advise you the usual cost of these items
IMPORTANT – Disclaimer :
All information provided is believed to be current and provided free of charge. No liability can be
accepted for the reliability of the information and statements made as this is obtained from 3rd parties.
Austrian-property.com is a free property search service – we will introduce you to the local Estate
Agents who have each property for sale. We always recommend you take legal advice from a fully
qualify Austrian Lawyer or Notar before buying a property overseas