Frequently asked questions

Purchase

The cooling-off period starts the day after the agreement is signed by both parties, and lasts three days. During the cooling-off period, the buyer may still legally withdraw from the agreement. This gives the buyer time to consider terms and fees, or consult experts.

Should you choose to make use of the cooling-off period, it is advisable to do so in writing as the burden of proof can be difficult if done verbally. 

The buyer assumes all fees for transfer of property, about 6% of the purchase price. Buyer’s fees include the following: 

- 2% transfer tax
- Notary fees (for drawing up the transfer deed)
- Land Registry fees (for registration of the deed of transfer)

In addition to these costs, the buyer must also take into account: 

- Notary fees for drawing up the mortgage deed
- Land Registry fees for mortgage registration.

Agent fees are not included in buyer’s fees and are paid by the seller that hires the agent. If a buyer hires an estate agent to handle the buying process, those fees are included in the buyer’s fees.

When a property is ‘under offer’ this means a serious offer has been made, and the vendor has ceased marketing the property. It is still possible to view a property that is under offer. 

Agents are obliged to advise potential buyers if a property is under offer.
No. Under a Supreme Court ruling, the asking price of a property is considered an invitation to make an offer, which the seller may or may not accept. They may also make a counter-offer or increase the asking price during negotiations.
Banks apply strict rules to financing for first-time buyers. These rules are set out in the Code of Conduct for Mortgage Financing (GHF) in combination with ministerial regulations.

What are these rules and how much can you borrow?

Besides the income requirement, lenders will also calculate and take into account the exact ‘market value’ of the property. This can include:

- The purchase price of the property
- The purchase/contract price, eventual land prices and construction costs, additional work, construction interest and utility connections
- The appraised value, after rebuilding where applicable

In 2018, the maximum value of a loan may not exceed the market value of the property. The maximum mortgage amount has been reduced by 1% six times since 2013, meaning additional costs will apply in the future.

Sale

No. Agent fees are not included in buyer’s fees. If a seller hires an agent to handle the sale of their property, the seller pays that agent’s fees. If a buyer hires an agent to handle the purchase process, they are responsible for paying that agent’s fees.
An option contract is a unilateral agreement whereby a seller agrees not to sell their property for a specified length of time, whilst the potential buyer secures financing or arranges a property valuation.

The seller is obligated to sell, but the buyer has the option to buy.

Negotiations

The seller determines the sale price of their property in consultation with a selling agent. The buyer can negotiate the price, but the final decision lies with the seller. This applies to all matters pertinent to the seller’s decision on whether they want to sell. When both parties agree on these matters, a sale can proceed.

Involved parties may also negotiate over smaller matters, such as movable property, after agreeing on the principal matters. If an agreement cannot be reached regarding these smaller matters, a court may rule that negotiations must continue until a decision has been reached that is satisfactory to both parties.
Negotiation begins once the seller has responded to an offer, for example with a counter-offer. The selling agent may also enter into negotiation with a buyer. 

If the selling agent states they will discuss an offer with the seller, this does not mean negotiation has begun.
The selling agent may negotiate with multiple potential buyers simultaneously; however this must be made explicitly clear to all parties involved.

In most cases (when there is more than one potential buyer for one house) the broker will ask the kandidates to discus one final offer. This offer has to include the price, but also secondary clauses like the date of delivery and arrangement about movable goods. 

We advice you to bring your own broker when buying a home!
  • NWWI
  • VastgoedCert
  • Funda
  • Amsterdam woont
  • G7 Makelaars
  • NVM
  • Woningmarkt Consultant
  • MVA