Contracts by which a party undertakes to sell or buy property must be certified by a notary.

The certification obligation thus applies to property purchase agreements as well as property development agreements, but also to construction management agreements and construction contracts if they form a unit with a property agreement or are dependent on the purchase of a property.

Certification seeks to protect the purchaser from the far-reaching consequences of hasty transactions, among other things. The notary is neutral and points out various aspects regarding the purchase agreement, e.g. that ancillary agreements are ineffective. He or she does not review attached documents, nor must he or she point out financially disadvantageous situations or all risks. Generally, this is only done by the purchaser's lawyer, who exclusively represents the purchaser's interests when reviewing the purchase agreements.

When the contracting parties do not speak German, certification must either take place in a language understood by both parties, or an interpreter must be present at the certification. This interpreter should prepare a translation of the document in advance and send it to the contracting partner in order to avoid problems with the certification.

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