What is the purchase process?

The process of buying a property in Austria is very straightforward. The notary, who is a semi-public official, will act on behalf of both the purchaser and the vendor, he will draw up the deed of sale and all the documents required to transfer the legal ownership. The notary has a duty to protect the interests of both parties. When buying a property, both the purchaser and the vendor are required to attend the notary’s office to sign the deed of sale in his presence. Alternatively both parties can sign a power of attorney authorising one of the secretaries working in the notary’s office to sign the sales deed on their behalf. In this case you will receive from the notary a copy of the deed of sale in German and a professional English translation along with a power of attorney (also in English) which authorises the notary’s secretary to sign on your behalf. You will need to take the power of attorney to either a Notary Public (not a solicitor) in your country of residence to have your signature witnessed and (in the UK) the Notary Public will then send the document off to the foreign office to have it ‘legalised’. Alternatively, documents can be signed and legalised at the same time if taken to the Austrian Embassy. If you prefer, you can hop on a plane and sign in person at the notary’s office!