Finding Property to Buy in the Netherlands

Your first step, after ensuring finance is available, is to find the house or apartment you want to buy...

Property for sale is most commonly advertised with the help of an estate agent (makelaar). This may be online, in a shop front, in the local press or with a board outside the property. Local papers typically produce a housing (woon) supplement on a Wednesday or Thursday.

Property may be freehold (vrij leen) or leasehold (erfpacht). Many city apartments are leasehold. The terms of the ground rent may put limitations on the amount that can be raised as a mortgage to purchase such properties.

Having seen a potential property advertised the next step is to view it. It is very likely that the prospective buyer will have to make an appointment with the agent to view the house. Be very clear that you are not engaging their services to find a home (unless this is what you want) but simply enquiring about a specific property or properties.

It is common to work with an estate agent (makelaar) and to let them do all the legwork. This has advantages such as saving time and getting to see properties before they are officially on the market. But it does mean paying a fee equivalent to one or two percent of the eventual purchase price (plus BTW, Dutch Value Added Tax).

If looking for property without an agent, be vigilant with apartments. Some are under the control of a housing authority with its own regulations. They must give permission before the property can be occupied - even if you own it!

  • Many properties are advertised with the words kosten te koper attached to the price. This means that the buyer pays the costs
  • New build properties may be advertised vrij op naam which means that the price includes costs

Further Information

Information provided by Rijnbeek Real Estate Agency Tel: 070 363 7700 /email / Website Javastraat 98a, 2585AV The Hague Copyright ® 2006-2014 Rijnbeek Real Estate Agency. All Rights Reserved