Buying a property with the help of a real estate agent
Buying a house can be a complicated process. Doing so in a foreign country, and in another language, actually increases the complexity of the process. But it certainly doesn't have to be a scary or stressful experience and there are no restrictions placed on foreigners for buying a house in the Netherlands.
Here is what the purchasing process looks like in the Netherlands when you hire a real estate agent:
Determine what you can afford
Before you start looking for a home, make sure you are prepared. If you don’t have the money to buy a property outright, you’ll need to apply for a mortgage. You can get a mortgage from an independent mortgage adviser or from a bank.
A mortgage advisor will help you determine what you can afford, and which mortgage and bank would be the best choice for you. Once you've defined your budget, it's time to search for a buying estate agent.
Find the right real estate agent
Whilst you're under no obligation to do so, there are several benefits to working with an estate agent. They will help you through each step of the home buying process. Find a professional real estate agent, a registered estate agent, one who is allowed to appraise on behalf of the banks and is a member of an association of estate agents. Their knowledge of the home buying process, negotiating skills, and familiarity with the area can be extremely valuable.
Since home-buying can be an emotional process, an agent can also act as a mediator between you and the selling estate agent. This can put you in a better position to get the house you like. Find an agent with whom you feel comfortable.
At the intake meeting, your real estate agent will meet with you to introduce themselves, advise you on their services and explain the whole buying process. How does it work, purchasing a property in the Netherlands? During this meeting, they should also inform you about their fee and explain the overview of costs that come along with purchasing a home.
Your real estate agent will ask several questions about what you are looking for in your next home. Determine what is important to you. What are your needs, “must-haves” and “wishes”? Think about neighbourhoods, the number of bedrooms, square meters, outside area, state of the home etc. This list will enable your estate agent to find you the best property.
If you’d like to view any properties, your real estate agent will plan viewings for you. Please keep in mind that most properties for sale can only be viewed during business hours from Monday to Friday, from 9:00-17:00.
Most real estate agents will accompany you to all the viewings. One of the most important reasons for employing an estate agent is the fact that they liaise with the selling estate agents and give you advice.
Research the property
Before buying a property, you should take as much time as you need to find the right home. You need to fall in love with a home. Maybe you can't pinpoint why you fall for the place, but the feeling is strong.
Once you have found that property, your real estate agent will need to do a lot of background research to give you the right advice. What is known about the foundation, pollution, asbestos, the association of homeowners or illegal terraces? Is the association of homeowners financially healthy? Your real estate agent should inform you about all these matters.
There are many important matters to be negotiated when it comes to your purchase contract. Not only the price and the date of transfer are important, but it might be necessary that your offer is also subject to finance. Or it might be advisable to add a dissolving clause for the outcome of a technical survey.
Your real estate agent will help you to arrange this inspection, which should be conducted within a few days after your offer has been accepted by the seller. Your estate agent will walk you through these options.
With the current market, you can have several offers rejected before signing a contract. So, be prepared to experience disappointment, but know that your dream home has already been built. You just have to find it!
Preliminary purchase deed
An experienced real estate agent deals with the same contracts and conditions on a regular basis. They also know which conditions should be used, when they can safely be removed and how to use the contract to protect you. Once you and the seller have agreed to the purchase price and the additional conditions, the preliminary purchase deed can be signed. This is the point where the sale is legally binding.
By signing a contract, you agree to the terms of the sale and you and the seller must follow the terms of this contract. The cooling off period will start the next day and you have three days to change your mind and walk away from the deal, without any consequences.
Valuation of the property
Now that you have signed the preliminary purchase deed, lenders will want to have a valuation to provide an independent estimate of the value of the property you are buying. The valuator must be a registered estate agent and a member of an association of estate agents.
If your mortgage has been approved, you will transfer 10 percent of the purchase price to the escrow of the notary or your bank will arrange a bank guarantee.
Before the sale closes, on the day of transfer, you will have a final walk-through of the house. Its primary purpose is to make certain that the property is in the same condition you’ve agreed upon. This gives you the chance to see if the property is empty and all the equipment is working.
After the walk-through, you will visit the notary where you will sign all of the paperwork to complete the purchase, so the deed of ownership and the mortgage deed. Everyone shakes hands, and then you will get the keys and will be able to move into your new home. Congratulations! You are now a Dutch homeowner!