ILN: BUYING AND SELLING REAL ESTATE - AN INTERNATIONAL GUIDE

[BUYING AND SELLING REAL ESTATE IN AUSTRIA]

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building or apartment as well as existing easements, mortgages etc; d. date of the handover to the buyer; e. real estate tax + court registration fee; f. warranties on the object of purchase; g. declaration of citizenship and/or conditions for the granting of a land transfer licence; h. confirmation of the owner/seller that the transfer of ownership may be registered in the land register („Aufsandungserklärung“); i. Handover and takeover of the object of purchase, including the date for the transfer of risks and recklessness, benefits, burdens, and advantages to the buyer; j. Energy certificate: When selling buildings or objects for use (i.e., houses, flats, or business premises), an energy certificate must be presented and issued. The obligation lies with the seller. VI. Austrian Land Register The Austrian Land Register (Grundbuch) is a public registry administered by the Austrian Courts where all land plots and existing rights in rem are recorded. The person who is registered in the land register is legally considered as its owner. The entry in the land register is the mode of acquiring ownership of real estate and rights similar to real estate in Austria. The entry in the land register thus assumes the function of ownership in the context of immovable property. Since the land register is public extracts can be requested by all citizens for a small fee. The land register consists of three main parts:

A Sheet This section lists general data, and, for example, easements connected with the property. B Sheet This section provides information about the ownership of the property. C Sheet In the C sheet of the land register, all encumbrances (e.g., liens) of the individual property objects are listed.

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VII. Transfer of Ownership The purchase contract contains a so-called “Aufsandungserkläung” (declaration of transfer of ownership) by the seller, with which the change of ownership may be carried out in the land register. To ensure that the purchase price is transferred to the seller after the registration of the ownership in favour of the buyer, the contracting parties mostly agree on a fiduciary deposit of the purchase price with a trustee (attorney-at-law or a notary public). The contracting parties therefore conclude a trust agreement with the trustee according to which the trustee is obliged to transfer the purchase price after the fulfilment of all conditions stated in the purchase contract / trust agreement, which usually include the encumbrance-free recording of the buyer's title in the land register as well as the payment of any taxes and court fees. Note a special rule in Vienna : Since July 1, 2000, Viennese attorneys-at-law are obliged to process the trust funds entrusted to them exclusively via electronically specially secured escrow accounts. These accounts may only be used after the Vienna Bar Association has given its (electronic) "seal of approval". Other

ILN Real Estate Group – Buying and Selling Real Estate Series

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