Selling a Property in the Netherlands

Property for sale? A general overview of the process and points to bear in mind when selling a house, apartment or land in the Netherlands...

This page aims to give an overview of the processes involved in selling a property, but it cannot deal with every circumstance. Therefore professional advice should be sought with regard to personal situations.

Marketing the Property

For reasons of sheer practicality most vendors will engage an estate agent to promote their property for sale. Estate agents have a trade association, The Dutch Association of Estate Agents (Nederlandse Vereniging voor Makelaars - NVM).

The NVM is a recognised body, with a Code of ethics (including disciplinary procedures) and compulsory training for members. It can provide information on registered agents in a specified area. All agents also have access to funda, a popular residential property website in the Netherlands. An agent registered with the NVM offers more protection should there be any complaint or problem.

The seller of property (or the agent acting on their behalf) is legally obliged to give sufficient and clear information regarding the property to be sold. The purchaser (or their representative) is expected to consult development plans and possible other public restrictions.

The agent initially views the property for sale in order to value it, taking into account its condition and current pricing of similar properties. They will also look at any local plans for further development which may have a positive or negative effect on value. After discussions with the vendor the property can then be marketed at the agreed price.

An agent will use the Internet, local press, and other means to reach potential buyers.

Viewings are arranged by the agent as part of their service and they will almost always accompany potential buyers. There is no requirement for the vendor to be present at these viewings.

The Offer

If a potential buyer makes an offer the agent handles negotiations. The vendor is not obliged to accept an offer and can also make a counter offer. While negotiations are in progress viewings and offers from other potential buyers may still take place.

Once a price has been agreed verbally an official Presale Agreement or Contract of Sale (koopovereenkomst) - or purchase agreement - is prepared. The agent arranges this in conjunction with a lawyer. Buyer and vendor will normally use the same lawyer (notaris) as this saves on cost and paperwork.

Both parties are required to sign and the buyer is allowed three days to withdraw without penalty. Once this three-day period has passed, the lawyer will be passed the Contract of Sale and will 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.

Completion

  • 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 vendor is no longer the owner of the property. 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, 2585 AV The Hague Copyright © 2006 Rijnbeek Real Estate Agency. All Rights Reserved