Making the Offer and Completing

Find out what to expect from the house purchase process after making an offer to buy...

Once the buyer has found a property that suits them, the first step is to make an offer. Since a change in the law in September 2003, a verbal offer is no longer binding. Under Dutch law anyone who later withdraws an offer because of an inability to organise funds could be liable to a penalty of ten percent of the offer price. Therefore any offer, verbal or otherwise, should be made with the proviso "subject to raising the finance".

A written offer in the form of a Presale Agreement or Contract of Sale (koopovereenkomst) is a purchase agreement drawn up by a lawyer and must be signed by both parties. Buyer and vendor will normally use the same lawyer (notaris) which saves on cost and paperwork. A three-day cooling-off period is allowed for withdrawal without penalty. Once this three-day period has passed, the lawyer will be passed the contract of sale and will then set a date for completion.

  • If completion is likely to take more than two months the buyer may be asked to pay a ten percent deposit at the time that the purchase agreement is signed
  • The purchaser (or their representative) is expected to consult development plans and possible other public restrictions

During the time between the signing of the Presale Agreement and the agreed data of completion the buyer's representatives will normally need to undertake a valuation (for mortgage purposes) and there may be further inspections of the property.


A Transfer Contract (akte van levering) is signed by both parties on completion. The lawyer registers the details with the relevant authorities.

On the day of completion the estate agent can (if required) supervise a final inspection of the property by the buyer which may include taking meter readings. The agent normally accompanies the vendor to the lawyer's office for the signing of the transfer deed. As soon as this deed is signed the ownership of the property transfers to the buyer. The lawyer registers the change of ownership with the Land Registry.

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