Essential Dutch real estate law: Buying a home

In this blog we briefly discuss the most important regulations in the Netherlands when buying a home.

Purchase agreement and deed of delivery

When buying a home, a purchase agreement must first be drawn up. For example, a purchase agreement includes the purchase price, agreements regarding defects and whether or not to make a financing reservation. Although entering into a purchase agreement is indeed binding, ownership of the property will only actually transfer if a deed of delivery (in Dutch “leveringsakte”) has also been drawn up and signed. A delivery deed is also called a transport deed. This deed of delivery must always be drawn up by a notary who then also takes care of registration at the land registry. Once registered in the land register, the buyer is officially the new owner.

Written requirement

When selling to a consumer buyer, entering into a purchase agreement must always be in writing. If the written requirement is not met, not only the buyer has the option to cancel the purchase agreement, but also the consumer seller. This means, for example, that if the parties have only agreed verbally (or by e-mail), the seller can still accept the offer from another bidder despite the (oral) agreement. In short, if you want to be sure of the purchase, make it final by entering into a written purchase agreement.

3 days to change your mind

If a purchase agreement has been concluded, the private buyer has three days to change his mind. At least two of these three days should not fall on a Saturday, Sunday or a Dutch national holiday. Furthermore, the reflection period always ends on a weekday. This consideration period does not apply to the seller, even if it concerns a private seller.

Canceling a purchase agreement does not necessarily have to be done in writing. It is wise though to be sure that the seller has actually received the message to prevent a dispute. Therefore always ask for an acknowledgment of receipt with an e-mail message. You can also send a registered letter, but make sure that the seller receives this letter within the three-day period. If you change your mind within six months and do want to buy the property, you are no longer entitled to the 3-day cooling-off period.

Do you have further questions about buying a home in the Netherlands? Then contact M2 Advocaten.

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