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When you buy a house as a (foreign) buyer, it is wise to be assisted by a local real estate agent a.k.a. “Makelaar”. The real estate agent is familiar with the market, the state of the house and can guide the negotiation process. If necessary, a financial specialist can advise on applicable tax schemes for expats. The notary is also involved in the transfer, and often a mortgage advisor or a bank will be engaged for financing. If the deal is done and dusted you might need an interior designer or a PA to make a house a home.

Although not immediately noticeable, legal aspects also are involved when purchasing a house. Below are some frequently asked questions our office answered at the How To Buy A House Events.

What does the reflection period entail?

The law stipulates that the purchase agreement when buying a house must be entered into in writing by a natural person who is not acting in the performance of a profession or business. The agreement, or a copy thereof, must be made available to the buyer. The buyer has the right to dissolve the purchase for three days after this delivery by hand. The buyer does not have to state a reason for dissolving. If the buyer has made use of this right and a new agreement originates between the same parties with regard to the same property within six months, the right to dissolve will not arise again.

Does my employer have to provide me with an employer statement or a declaration of intent?

No, an employer is not obliged to provide these statements. In practice, employers often cooperate. However, it is advisable that employers carefully formulate the letter of intent from an employment law perspective.

Who is liable in case something appears to be wrong with the property after the purchase and delivery?

The seller has an obligation to disclose and the buyer has an obligation to investigate. In principle, the seller’s obligation to disclose takes precedence over the buyer’s obligation to investigate. However, under certain circumstances, the buyer may need to obtain further information, for example on the basis of communications from the seller. Should it subsequently become apparent that there is a hidden defect, it will have to be established whether there has been a violation of the obligation to disclose by the seller, or whether the buyer has neglected his obligation to investigate. In the first case, the buyer could, under certain circumstances, cancel the purchase or receive compensation. However, should it become clear that the buyer should have carried out (additional) research, he may not have any claim against the seller. Obviously, it is also important what parties have agreed in the purchase agreement; for example, has the seller guaranteed certain matters.

Can I dissolve the purchase agreement in case my bank does not provide the requested financing?

A financing reservation is a condition precedent in the purchase agreement and means that the buyer can dissolve the purchase agreement if he is unable to obtain the necessary financing (in time). However, an active attitude is required from the buyer with regard to obtaining the relevant financing. The buyer will therefore only be able to invoke this condition precedent successfully if he can demonstrate sufficiently documented that his financing application(s) have been rejected.

Next live event

Our next event is scheduled on September 6th 2023 in the beautiful Vondelkerk in Amsterdam. We’ve invited companies who can answer all of your personal questions if you are looking to buy a home. Keep an eye on our website or send us an email if you are in need of information.

See you soon!