Frequently Asked Questions

Buying or selling a home is not something you do every day. It is therefore not surprising that you encounter all sorts of questions when buying or selling a home. We can answer the questions that you may have. We have listed the most common questions for you.

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When am I negotiating?

You are only in negotiation if the seller makes you a counter-offer or if the selling broker explicitly states that he is negotiating with you. You are not in negotiation if the selling broker states that he will discuss your offer with the seller.

Can an estate agent continue to conduct viewings if a bid is already being negotiated?

You may. A negotiation does not necessarily have to lead to a sale. The seller may also want to know whether there is more interest.

Can the seller raise the asking price of a property during negotiations?

Yes. The asking price is only an invitation to make a bid (see question 4). The seller can decide to raise or lower the asking price at any time. Each bid expires the moment a counter bid is made.

Will I become a buyer if I bid the asking price?

The asking price of a house is an invitation to make a bid. If you offer the asking price in an advertisement or housing guide, then you make a bid. The seller can still decide whether or not to accept your bid or if he wants his estate agent to make a counter-offer.

When does the sale come about?

In short, the sale comes about as soon as there is a signature under the deed of sale. Until then, after verbal agreement, you have a gentlemen's agreement. That is not a binding agreement. If the seller and the buyer agree on the most important issues for them in the sale (these are usually the price, the completion date and the resolutory conditions), then the sale must be recorded in writing. The selling broker records this sale in a deed of sale. This must state what the parties have agreed upon. Usually there are also a number of agreements recorded in the deed of sale. Think, for example, of the penalty clause. A resolutive condition is also an important issue. The parties must agree on this before the oral purchase. After signing the deed of purchase, you legally have three days to think over your purchase. In many cases this will be longer, as Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays are not considered 'thinking days'.

Can a broker change the sales system during negotiations?

That is allowed. Sometimes there are so many interested parties, all bidding at or around the asking price, that it is difficult to determine who is the best buyer. In that case, the broker can, in consultation with the seller, decide to stop the ongoing negotiations and to change the sales system, for example to a sale by tender.

The estate agent asks a 'ridiculously' high price for a house. Is that allowed?

That is allowed. The seller decides in consultation with his broker what he or she will sell their house for. The buyer can negotiate about the price but the seller decides. This applies to all matters that the seller considers important to decide whether he wants to sell his home to this buyer.

What is an option?

After the negotiation, the seller can grant you an option. This means that the seller grants you the first right of purchase, for the price already negotiated. The right of option is always linked to a period of time. During this period the property may not be sold to anyone else. During the option period you can consider whether you want to purchase the property and, for example, find out whether you can get financing for it.

If I am the first one to call for a viewing, if I am the first one to view the house, or if I am the first one to make an offer, should the real estate agent in these cases also enter into negotiations with me first?

The selling broker determines the sales procedure together with the seller. The selling broker does have the obligation to inform you about this. It is not in the seller's interest to negotiate bids in strict order of arrival. So the first to come is certainly not always the first to go. The answer to these three questions is therefore no.

What are 'plus costs' and do they include the estate agent's commission?

Plus costs (kosten koper) are the transfer tax (2%), the costs of the notary for drawing up the deed of transfer and registering it in the registers. The seller and his estate agent may decide in advance that the property to be sold is to be 'paid for by the purchaser', in which case these costs are to be borne by the purchaser. This is almost always the case with existing properties. New-build properties are generally offered with no legal charges, in which case the notarial costs and, in the case of new-build properties, VAT are payable by the seller. If the seller uses an estate agent to sell his property, then he must pay the estate agent for this service (the estate agent's commission), irrespective of whether the sale is freehold or nominal.

What expenses are tax deductible?

All expenses related to the financing of the home are deductible.