Congratulations, you have decided to invest in real estate in Germany, , the leading European country with the highest yielding real estate market. As professionals in the field, we wish to paint you with the clearest and most transparent picture, and lay out all the options available to you for buying real estate in Germany. If you are considering buying independently, without an Israeli investment company, one of the most important steps is finding a reliable real estate agent. We will familiarize you with the process of working with a German real estate agent without the involvement of an Israeli investment company, as compared to a process conducted jointly with an investment company. Why do you need another middleman in addition to the real estate agent? Let’s review all the facts.

Is it possible to operate without a real estate agent in the German market?

As a general rule – no. We, too, as an established company with experience acquired through dozens of deals in Germany, also work with real estate agents. An agent fulfills an essential function in finding a safe, yielding deal with potential. True, some of the ads in Germany note that the property is private (in German, von privat), which means that there is no real estate agent involved in the deal – but it is not advisable to enter these types of deals. The vast majority of transactions are made through agents (in German, immobilienmakler), and rightly so – it is very reasonable to assume that the property seller does not want to personally deal with a number of potential buyers, preferring to pay a professional to take care of his/her property and guarantee the maximum profit, in addition to peace of mind.

Can you find a yielding property by remote control?

It is important to prepare yourself in advance, and take into consideration that searching for property in Germany independently is quite a time-consuming process, especially for a person who is not fluent in German. Most ads do not list the exact address of the property, and a meeting with a real estate agent or other middleman must be scheduled in order to view the property, so you must physically visit every property you are interested in. And so, the advantage of working in collaboration with an Israeli investment company is that you have eyes and ears on the ground, who have already visited the property, checked the figures, and done intensive research prior to offering you a property. When working with us, you do not have to come to Germany until the contract is ready for signing – the choice is yours. Our success as a company is founded, ultimately, on the properties we chose to offer you, and we do not waste our time and money on properties that have not undergone comprehensive inspections that guarantee high returns over many years.

One of the benefits and a significant advantage of working through an investment company is the quality of the properties offered to you. We at Nadlan Germany , collaborate extensively with real estate agents, and due to the scope of our work we have the first, exclusive rights to many properties. We are at the top of the list among real estate agents when attractive properties are offered to the public for purchase. Our reputation as honest, knowledgeable and trustworthy professionals has positioned us as a company that is given first options on yielding properties in Germany, that are worth our time and money – and yours!

Recognizing a professional real estate agent

As a prospective investor wishing to invest independently should keep in mind not to fall for the ads that looks attractive. Our recommendation, as a leader in the field, is not to be taken in by tempting offers that sound wonderful on paper. Especially when you are far from the property itself, and have to rely, as your eyes and ears, on an agent who is interested, first and foremost, in making a sale, without any obligation to tell you the whole truth. It is always better to work with people who care about your interests, and put your profits ahead of their profits or those of their company. Starting from the initial house-hunting stage, take care not to be tempted by ads published by agents trying to jump at a chance to make a quick profit on the back of foreign investors that are unfamiliar with the German real estate market. Many of the ads that offer a property at a significantly cheaper than average price, this oftentimes means that they require intensive renovation that can add up to a sum that is even higher than the cost of the original investment. Properties in Germany differ greatly from those in Israel. For example, in Israel, “large, spacious rooms” are considered a significant advantage, whereas in Germany, a country with a cold climate most of the year, this is another way of saying “rooms that are very expensive to heat”. In addition, and this is true worldwide, there is no reason to hurry because the ad states that “no time to lose”. It could very well be a problematic property that has been on the market for some time without buyers – and you may have absolutely no competition.

How to identify a good real estate deal?

We believe that a good deal starts at the acquisition stage. A professional agent is someone who gives you all the facts about the property, and is ready to give you an objective evaluation of future returns. Ultimately, in order to make money in the real estate market, the returns must be secured over time. Therefore, we recommend that you involve more expert professionals, in addition to a single real estate agent, whose interests may not necessarily be yours. We operate in partnership with clients interested in purchasing properties throughout the process, and provide constant support for buyers who decide to invest through our company. We are truly devoted to our clients and appreciate the trust they give us. In return for their trust, we offer full transparency, availability and a genuine desire to build a good relationship. We work very hard for the long-term success of every investor who chooses to partner with us. It is not always possible to rely on the agent and be confident that s/he has conducted a thorough evaluation of the revenue from the property. Our company’s reputation is at stake in each and every transaction, and integrity is an important component of our success formula. Therefore, we ask all the right questions before we even offer you a property. We pay close attention every detail of every deal, and believe that the secret to success lies in transparency and disclosure of all information. For instance, we assign a great deal of importance to tenants of the property ,in order to ensure that the transaction will yield the maximum income – with minimum operating costs. We review all the contracts with tenants, and monitor tenant satisfaction and requests. In parallel, we constantly examine the option of raising the rent, as well as renovating and dividing large apartments. Once we have the keys to the property, we change gears, and begin the work of upgrading the property, so that your returns will never be at risk.

What about the fine print in the contract with an agent?

For purchasers, it is generally advisable not to sign an exclusivity contract with a single agent. You may wish to explore a number of proposals from different agents. In the initial contact with the agent, it is necessary to determine who will pay the commission (buyer or seller) and the commission percentage. Currently, in cases of purchase, there is no legal regulation in Germany governing the commission percentage an agent may charge. This is open to negotiation, and in most cases it ranges from 3% -7% of the purchase price, usually 4%. In some cases, the buyer pays most of the commission, and in other cases the commission is divided between the buyer and the seller. A real estate agent may issue a formal receipt only after s/he has arranged the contact between the seller and the buyer. This means that the agent has provided the seller with the complete details of the buyer – full name, address and price quote. If you have already received a quote from a real estate agent for a property you have already been offered by another agent, contact the first agent who talked to you about the property immediately, otherwise there is a good chance that you will have to pay a double commission – to both agents. The importance of rules and regulations in Germany should never be underestimated. This is a country with many laws and a lot of bureaucracy. For Germans, ‘I didn’t know’ just doesn’t cut it. Therefore, it is always advisable to involve professionals with proficiency and expertise in Germany’s fastidious legal system. We are very knowledgeable about the various requirements, and always act “by the book” when it comes to municipal and state laws. In conclusion – although it is possible to work directly with an agent – it is best to play it safe, to combine the work of an agent with that of a professional, reliable and responsible investment company that puts your interests first, and goes the extra mile for you. Only then can you rest ensured throughout all the stages of the transaction, and enjoy the yields for many years to come.