International real estate law

 German lawyers with focus on Italy and France

The EU internal market and globalization have a particular impact on real estate markets and real estate business law in Germany. Cross-border transactions such as purchases and sales, inheritance cases involving real estate abroad are examples of life situations that require advice on foreign/international real estate law and/or foreign language advice to german citizens. International real estate law is also a cross-sectional matter, since real estate assets abroad also have implications under german inheritance law and german tax law.

In principle, the acquisition of a foreign property is governed by the local law (lex rei sitae). The parties to the purchase contract must therefore comply with the respective local regulations. There are certainly major differences between the individual legal systems and Germany.

In Germany, for example, a real estate purchase agreement is only valid if it has been notarized by a notary public, whereas in France a real estate purchase agreement can be validly concluded orally.

In Italy, too, real estate purchases are conducted much differently than in Germany. Under Italian real estate law, the parties in Italy can first conclude a written legally binding preliminary contract ("compromesso di compravendita" or "contratto preliminare"), by which they commit themselves to concluding the actual main contract. The preliminary contract already contains all the essential elements that the future main contract will also have. Unlike in Germany, it does not need to be notarized. With the conclusion of the preliminary contract, a down payment of approx. 10% to 30% of the purchase price is regularly to be paid by the buyer.

Furthermore, in the international real estate business it is advantageous if the lawyers involved are familiar with the customs of international notarial transactions. Often domestic or foreign documents have to be apostilled or proofs of existence and representation (Certificate of Good Standing; Certificate of Incorporation) have to be obtained and translated.

Multilingual advice in german and international real estate law

For activities on the german real estate market we assist investors from abroad. On the other hand, we also coordinate and manage lawyers in foreign jurisdictions. Correspondence and negotiations are possible in the following languages:

  • English
  • Italian
  • French
  • Spanish
  • Polish
  • German

German lawfirm consulting in foreign real estate law

As a cross-border law firm in Germany, we offer advice and representation in foreign real estate law in certain legal systems. This advice includes the purchase and sale of real estate abroad, the handling of foreign inheritance cases involving real estate assets and the expert clarification of individual issues in foreign real estate law.

For a non-binding inquiry, please contact one of our contact persons directly by phone or e-mail or use the contact form at the bottom of this page.

Our team in Germany also includes attorneys who have received legal training abroad. They cover the consulting needs for the following areas:

  1. Italian real estate law
  2. French real estate law
  3. Polish real estate law


Contact Form

Submit your non-binding query via the below contact form and/or request a call. We will get back to you shortly.

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