What is the procedure to follow if you want to buy a house or an apartment in The
After consulting your financial advisor, you will know what your budget is. The next
step is to find your dream house, generally with the help of your own real estate
agent. (Since the seller’s real estate agent’s job is to represent the interests
of the seller, you may wish to consider hiring your own!). Once agreement has been
reached on the purchase price, a Purchase Agreement will be drawn up. In the Amsterdam
region this is most of the time done at the Civil Law Notary’s office, but elsewhere
in The Netherlands this is normally done by the Real Estate Agents. After signing
the Purchase Agreement, you have three days to change your mind. This is the so called
cooling-off period. It is also standard to have a financial contingency clause in
the contract. This means that you have a couple of weeks to secure a mortgage offer
from a bank. If you are unsuccessful, this means that you can still get out of the
Purchase Agreement by letting the seller (or his Agent) and the notary know in writing
before this financial due date. You will need two letters from two different banks
denying you the mortgage loan. Your financial advisor will also be able to help you
here. In normal circumstances, though, the mortgage applicant is rewarded with a
mortgage offer and the next step is then to make a deposit of 10% of the house price.
This 10% needs to be transferred to the Notary’s office or (and most commonly) the
mortgage bank sends a letter of guarantee to the Notary’s office for this 10%.
The final date in the Purchase Agreement is the actual date of transfer of ownership
of the property. On this date you become the owner and all rights and duties related
to the property will transfer to you. You will go to the Notary’s office to sign
both the deed of transfer of ownership as well as the mortgage deed on this day.
An interpreter is normally present if you do not have a good command of the Dutch
language. The dates in a Purchase Agreement should not be set too lightly or too
tightly. The advice of a real-estate agent and that of your financial advisor can
save you hassle and keep you safe from legal pitfalls.