One of the reasons we were attracted here, to Graz, is what we saw in an immobilien magazine. The prices of houses seemed fantastic. And they are if you want to live in the middle of nowhere, with no bus and no shops nearby - which is not us!
So our budget kept going up, and up, and up. Needless to say we found a wonderful little gem in St. Leonhard and we started to discover... all the list prices are negotiable (by 100,000E or more in some cases).
However, unlike California, or Italy for that matter, there is no requirement for a seller - once they have their house on the market - to actually sell it. Wheras in California, if someone offers at least the list pirce, per the contract with their agent they must sell it at least for that.
Not in Austria!
If the seller changes their mind, raises the price, or decides to take the house off the market ... so much for their agent. They are screwed. Oh, and so is the intersted buyer, BTW.
A few other tidbitds we learned while browsing at various houses and asking questions...
"Oh, there's a little shop attached. Do we need a permit to open a little store here?"
"Permit? No, you open what you want."
"Is the electricity up to code?"
"There is no requirement here, for that"
"Are all the permits in order for the bathrroms?"
"There is no need for permit here."
Wow... I guess shoddy unregulated work has not made it to Austria, yet. I konw we're in Europe but... this is vastly different from what you would find right next door in Italy!