Buying at Auction



New Member
Buying Green Belt Land in Germany

I am a real estate agent and broker with offices in Germany. The days when an amateur could benefit from the State or court auctions are over. This is not a place to purchase unless you have local knowledge.
In many cases the bidding is going way over the window price in the local agents. It is like sharks at a feeding, everyone just goes crazy at the false idea they are bidding on a bargain.
Once you have bought the property, What are you going to do with it? Put it back in the auction and hope for a bigger fool than you in the next auction because most of these properties are unsellable for various reasons.
I have and will continue to buy at auction but not without getting my local experts involved. Like I said the good times are over - I could, not so long ago, walk away with maybe a dozen good properties at good prices - not today - I would be lucky to find one or maybe two at each auction and because plane loads of people have been fooled into going over to attend these auctions I will be bidding against too many dreamers with no idea of the local value, laws, restriction, taxes etc so I tend to drop out quite early in the process knowing I can make a phone call to a local agent and find a similar property listed with them.
There will be those who may come onto this forum and argue against this posting - You choose who to listen to.
There are bargains to be had in Germany and as a long/mid term investment it is hard to beat when you consider the safety net and the changes coming in German law, but - the auctions - be afraid, very afraid.
Hi, can you please give me your opinion on buying non urbanised plots of land in Germany.The land is towards the coast and i have been advised that a similar plot is now being developed but i am a bit wary.Your advice would be appreciated.Thanks


New Member
Hi, can you please give me your opinion on buying non urbanised plots of land in Germany.The land is towards the coast and i have been advised that a similar plot is now being developed but i am a bit wary.Your advice would be appreciated.Thanks
First, please let me make it clear - I am not a legal expert. Second let me also make it clear - If I were to be involved in any such transaction I would have my local expert (We are fortunate in having a German fellow director) run his beady eye over the whole thing first. Thirdly - I would need more info than this to give worthwhile advice (or to dodge giving any advice, as the case may dictate). Fourth - I'd sit you at the other end of the table and over a cup of coffee find out whether you were a serious purchaser wanting to do business with my company or just somebody trying get something for free and waste a lot of my time in the hope that I could wave a magic wand and make everything appear pink and perfect for you.
I don't know what it is you do to keep the wolves from the door but this is what I do and I do it well. If this sounds a little harsh - I apologize, but my company would go bust very quickly if we spent all our time going into great details about the merit or lack of on this or any other forum.
If you wish to contact me privately please feel free, I'm an amiable sort of bloke and will not bite your head off but I do like to get to the point, find out exactly what it is you want, get back to you soonest and let you know exactly what I'll charge to do it for you and then get down to business.
Generally, there is no need to be scared off by non-urbanized plots as long as all the requisite planning permission and proof of ownership is there. Do not under any circumstances part with as much as a penny (other than for visiting fees etc) before you get to sit in front of the Notar - you can choose the Notar and there are many who will be willing to translate the documents into English for you (at a fee of course - because that's how they keep the wolves from the door) If not then take a translator with you with whom you have some sort of grievance procedure if the deal goes awry as a result of their translation. Personally I'd go for the English speaking Notar every time.
If there is not the required permissions,licences etc you can ask the Notar directly the status of the land and re-schedule a second meeting having had the safeguards entered onto the contract, such as Planning permission must be applied for and granted (All fees paid by seller) or the contract will not be signed.
Contact the British embassy - they will send you a list of English speaking legal beagles in the area as well as translators.
If in the slightest doubt get legal advice and/or move onto the next deal - life is too short to be worrying whether you've made the right decision or not.
Or get hold of a local agent such as us and let us take most (but not all) of the strain from you. I say this because I would still prefer you to get your own legal advisor - I really don't want the sort of bad publicity being seen to be giving you the wrong advice might bring down on my head - as I said life's too short.
Good luck.


New Member
Hi, I have very recently bought auction from the SGA auction. It's one of the big ones. The problem I have is I think they are trying to charge me too much. They quote 6% their commission + VAT, so 7.2. Then there is 3.5% german state tax + notary + solicitor + other expenses. However, they want to charge me 6% commission plus a wopping 10% for other expenses. So 3.5% german state tax + notary + solicitor + other expenses = 10%. I've read that notary & solicitor are standard fixes, around 1%, so the numbers don't add up to 10%. Anyone with any comments? Thanks very much.


New Member

There is good money to make at the auctions in Germany, as you can buy property for less than 2000euro. Not bad! its easy to sell them, as Wilsons auctions in Ireland and scotland will sell them for £125 each and you can sell them for 2-5times what you paid. great profit for little money out!


New Member
There are always dangers when you invest, and these dangers are multiplied when you are investing into a market with which you are not familiar, and most importantly, in a country where you do not speak the language.

If you have bought a property with a high yield, assuming that afterwards you have succeeded in renting it at that level, then that will certainly NOT automatically mean that you have made a bad investment. As everybody here knows, yield rises when prices go down, so low yield - at least on the surface of it - means that you did not overpay on your investment. Yield simulation is key to ascertaining the true value of a property.

I personally think that if you want to invest in unfamiliar ground then it is best to have a friend or person of confidence (ie having no vested interest in your decision...) to accompany you, someone who knows the market and, critically, speaks the language.

I often go fishing for information also by visiting real estate agents in the area in which I am interested. When you get 20 different opinions you will have a better idea as to what is happening. In order to get them to speak with you, you will have to probably define a budget and area of interest, even if this means suggesting that you are more keen than you actually are.

I hope that this helps.



New Member
Does anyone have any experience of these in Austria?
Do they do the auctions at the gemeind aswell?
Sounds definitely a great opportunity though


New Member
all said and done. where in western europe can you buy a property for less than 2000 euros. The german economy seems to be stable. i have tried and tested it over the past year.


New Member
where are you buying them from for so cheap then?
At court auctions or regular auctions?
Do you speak german or use someone like a property manager?

Sounds good though well done on that!


New Member
all said and done. where in western europe can you buy a property for less than 2000 euros. The german economy seems to be stable. i have tried and tested it over the past year.

This is a valid point. For 10,000 and below there are viable properties at the auctions especially if you are looking for fixer uppers, a holiday or retirement home for yourself or a property you are willing to weather proof and sit on for years.
I have done all of these things with properties purchased at the auctions.
If you are a gambler this has to be seen as fair gamble - I do not gamble even with paltry sums like this.
I can call this a viable investment because I have a team in place to capitalize on what is worth buying and what it worth walking away from.

The highest point for these auctions was about 18 months to 2 years ago when they were being flooded with ex post offices, churches, railway stations etc for an absolute song.

Most, but not all, of the properties likely to be found in the auctions nowadasy have serious problems associated with them. These problems can cost you dear.
For example ask a German specialist how much it costs to get rid of the asbestos roof on the outbuildings - quite common. I know of an investor who purchased a commercial building for the proverbial song only to be faced with a 200,000 euro bill to get rid of the roofing.

My retirement home was purchased at auction for under 20,000 it has cost me a shade under 80,000 to turn it into our dream home and we wouldn't even consider retirement elsewhere.

I will continue to bid at the auctions but only ever on the advice of my German partner. The auctions are not the place for beginners, be very careful.

For out and out investment vehicles apartments (better still apartment blocks) in the large cities are the best bet. Most of Germany still undercuts what else is available in the market place in OLD OR NEW Europe. Couple this with the safety of a large economy like Germany's and then the potential for capital growth particularly in the likes of Berlin, Hamburg, Dresden and Leipzig and it points toward sound investment. Industry is being attracted to these cities (I have read nonsense here and elsewhere stating otherwise)
The new Brandenburg airport at Schonefeld for example will bring about 40,000 jobs to the area.
We are seeing a new entry to the ranks of those interested in buying for investment and/or living in Berlin - the Germans themselves. Prior to this our main investors were Brits/Irish/American/Aussie/Israeli. We are seeing Germans and Indians in increasing numbers.
Always go for the best quality in the best areas you can afford (this is no different from investing in the UK) Be prepared to tie you money up for at least five years
nowhere in Germany can be viewed as anything other than a long term investment.


New Member

Hi there ,
i am living in the UK and really interested in buying a property in germany , what is the best way ,? as i would like to invest between 1000 to 12000 pounds to start , can you give me any hint ?
regards ,


New Member
Firstly you should begin by finding out the prices of similar rental properties in the area and know how to spot a profitable rental property. You can find more information on choosing and purchasing rental property from this guide:


New Member
Could you say more about which companies you went through to buy the properties at auction?