Can a notary certify nationwide?

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On the occasion of a property transfer in Berlin, the owner asked me whether I could also certify a house in West Germany or whether she had to do it with a local notary there. I'm sure the answer is of general interest, so I would like to give a general answer here.

The location of the object is not decisive, but where the notary carries out his official work.

I can certify real estate transactions for properties throughout Germany as long as I do this in my office in Berlin.

legal details...

The regional competence of the notaries is regulated in the Federal Notarial Code (BNotO). She differentiates according to Official area (§ 10a) and the District (§ 11).

The office area is the district of the district court in which the notary has his office. My office (notarial terminology: "office") is located in the District Court of Charlottenburg. However, in Berlin in a so-called General decree (there in clause 19) determines that the office area corresponds to the office district. the administrative district of the notary is the Higher Regional Court district in which he has his official seat. In Berlin, this is the district of the Superior Court. For me (and all other notaries in Berlin) the official area and district are therefore all of Berlin.

I am allowed to do documentary work outside of my administrative district § 11 BNotO only do so if there is imminent danger or the supervisory authority has approved it. Conversely, this means that I am fully responsible for document activities within my administrative district.

Therefore, considerations of practicability and/or an existing relationship of trust are more decisive for the regional selection of the notary.

If the buyer and seller of a property live in Berlin, but the property is in Hamburg, for example, this can be notarized with me in Berlin without any problems. For those involved, this has the advantage that they do not have to travel to Hamburg for the contract. There are no disadvantages associated with notarization in Berlin, and the notary and land register costs are identical.

Conversely, it is impractical to travel to Berlin specifically to certify here when the parties involved are somewhere else.

What if the buyer and seller live in different places?

Appropriately, a notary should be chosen who has his office in one of these places, so that at least one side does not have to travel.

If the date does not fit or the journey is not physically possible, it is possible to split the contract into an offer and an acceptance, to issue a power of attorney or to first authenticate without authorization from one side and then subsequently approve it from the other. These declarations can be made in front of different local notaries. The notary costs are slightly higher overall.

Such divisions mean that the parties involved cannot exploit the full potential of the notarial support, which lies precisely in the notarization situation in the consultation and explanation of the contract. However, this can be efficient for experienced actors and in the commercial sector.