Most asked questions

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  • Buy
  • Negotiation
  • NVM
  • Option
  • Sell

Is the brokerage fee included with the purchasing costs payable by buyer?

No, the broker fee is not included. ‘Purchasing costs payable by buyer’ include:

a) Transfer tax.
b) Notary fees, among other things for drawing up the deed of delivery and registering it in the Land Registry.

In addition to the costs mentioned above, there may be notary fees for the preparation and registration of the mortgage deed. If the buyer has engaged a buying agent, the brokerage fee for this purchasing agent will be for the account of the buyer. These are generally settled through the final bill drawn up by the notary. The costs of the selling broker are at the expense of the seller.



As a buyer, can I expect advice from the selling broker?

The selling broker represents the interests of the seller. He will advise the seller during the sales process. The selling broker can and may therefore not represent your interests at the same time. So if you want guidance and advice during the buying process, it is wise to engage a buying NVM broker yourself.

Should the broker first negotiate with me if I am the first to make an appointment for a viewing? Or if I am the first to make a bid?

No, this is not necessary. The seller determines together with the selling broker with whom he negotiates. As a buyer, ask the selling broker in advance about the sales procedure used to avoid disappointment.

How is the number of square meters of a house determined?

NVM brokers are obliged to measure the number of square meters of a house according to a sector-wide agreed measurement instruction. This instruction describes exactly what is or is not counted as the usable area of ​​a house or apartment. A distinction is made between four spaces:

a) Living space, such as living room and bedrooms, toilet, hallway and meter cupboard.
b) Other indoor space, such as attached garage and attic with loft ladder.
c) Building-related outdoor space, such as balcony and loggia.
d) External storage space, such as separate shed and separate garage.

A point of attention in determining the usable area is, for example, that the height only will be measured if it is at least 1.5 meters. The outer walls are not measured, the inner walls are. Niches smaller than 0.5 m2 are ignored.

What exactly does the three days’ reflection period for the buyer mean?

The statutory three-day reflection period means that the buyer can cancel the purchase within this period without giving any reason. The reflection period of three days starts as soon as a copy of the signed purchase agreement has been handed over to the buyer. The reflection period can last longer than three days if it ends on a Saturday, Sunday or a public holiday. Rules have been drawn up for this. The NVM broker can indicate exactly when the reflection period runs.

How does the purchase come about?

If seller and buyer agree on the most important matters – including price, delivery date, resolutive conditions and any agreements about movable property – the selling NVM broker will record the agreements in the purchase agreement. Only when both parties have signed the purchase agreement will the purchase be effected.

Resolutive conditions are an important point of attention. If you want to include these in the purchase agreement, you must include this in the negotiations. As a buyer, you do not automatically receive a resolutive condition. Buyer and seller must agree on additional agreements and resolutive conditions before the purchase agreement is made up.

Examples of resolutive conditions are:

  • Financing reservation.
  • No housing permit.
  • Negative outcome of an architectural inspection.
  • Not obtaining National Mortgage Guarantee.
  • NVM No-Risk clause.

The purchase is only concluded when the purchase agreement is signed by both parties. This follows from the Law on Real Estate and is called the requirement of writing. A verbal or e-mail confirmed appointment is therefore not sufficient.

As soon as the seller and the buyer have signed the purchase agreement and the buyer (and possibly the notary) has received a copy of the agreement, the statutory reflection period commences for the private buyer. Within this time, you as buyer can still cancel the purchase. After this time the purchase is final, unless the resolutive conditions apply.

What is an option?

The term ‘option’ is used in two ways:

2) In legal sense, an option gives a party (in this case the buyer) the choice to conclude a purchase agreement with another party (the seller) by means of a unilateral declaration. Both parties agree on the conditions of the purchase, but the buyer gets one week’s reflection time, for example. When purchasing a new house, such an option is customary. When purchasing an existing house, it is not.

b) When purchasing existing houses, the term ‘option’ is actually used incorrectly. In that case, ‘option’ has the meaning of certain agreements that a selling NVM broker makes with an interested buyer during the negotiation process. For example, the promise that the buyer will receive a few days of reflection time before making a bid. the buyer can use this time to gain better insight into his financing or the possibilities for using the property.

In this period, the NVM broker will inform other interested parties that an option is available on the house. You can not demand an option. The seller decides, in consultation with the NVM broker, whether such options are given.

Is a NVM broker allowed to ask an unrealistically high asking price for a house?

The seller determines in consultation with his NVM broker which price is realistic for the home. The buyer can negotiate the price, but the seller decides.

Is a NVM broker allowed to change the system of sales during the negotiations?

Yes, that is allowed. Sometimes there are so many interested parties who offer or approach the asking price, that it is difficult to determine who is the best buyer. At that time, the seller – on the advice of his broker – can decide to change the bidding procedure in, for example, a registration procedure.

In this procedure, all bidders are given an equal chance to make a bid. Of course, the broker must first fulfill any commitments or agreements previously made before the procedure is changed.

Can the seller increase the asking price of a house during the negotiation?

Yes, the seller can decide to raise or lower the asking price. In addition, as a potential buyer, you also have the right to lower your bid during the negotiations. As soon as the selling party makes a counter offer, your previous bid will expire.

When I offer the asking price, does the seller have to sell the house to me?

No, the seller is not obliged to sell the property to you. The Supreme Court has determined that the asking price must be seen as an invitation to make an offer. Even if you offer the asking price, the seller can decide whether or not to accept your offer, or make a counter offer through his broker. 

Is a sales broker allowed to continue with viewings if a bid is already being negotiated?

Yes, that is allowed. A negotiation does not have to lead to a sale. Moreover, the seller will probably want to know if there is more interest. It is also possible to negotiate with several interested buyers at the same time. An NVM broker must clearly report this to all parties.

Often the selling NVM broker will inform interested parties that there is already a bid or that negotiations are under way. The NVM broker does not make announcements about the amount of the bids. This could provoke overbidding.

When am I in negotiation?

You are negotiating with the selling party if it responds to your bid by:

a) Making a counter offer.

b) Explicitly mentioning that you are in negotiation.

So you are not yet negotiating if the selling broker says he will discuss your bid with the seller


Does my house need an energy label?

From 2008, an energy label is mandatory for the sale and rental of a home, with a few exceptions. The energy label for houses gives an indication of how energy efficient a home is with classes and colors. From 1st of January 2015, compliance with having an energy label for the transfer of ownership will be monitored.

In the case of a home without a definitive energy label, the Inspectorate for the Living Environment and Transport (ILT) can impose a penalty on the seller. This can be a fine up to € 410,- or a penalty order with the obligation to still apply for a label. This legal obligation can not be excluded in a purchase agreement. More information can be found on the website of the national government.

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