What is involved?
An estate agent can be engaged whether you are buying an existing house or a new build house, either by the seller or by yourself. It is also possible to sell or buy a house without the mediation of an estate agent. Approximately half of the homes in the Netherlands change owner without the mediation of an estate agent. Once you have agreed on the purchase price, the purchase contract is drawn up. Lastly, the notary arranges for the transfer of ownership and the execution of the mortgage deed.
Often buying a home is a good opportunity to arrange other important financial affairs at the notary as well. For example, cohabitants who are not married can have a cohabitation contract drawn up. A cohabitation contract regulates the ownership of the house and the household contents and the conditions of a will. This will prevent financial ambiguities in the event of divorce or death of one of the partners. This also allows you to make provisions regarding the payment of inheritance tax over an insurance payout after death.
Many people have a will drawn up when they buy a house. After all, your own home is a substantial capital asset. If you have children, it is advisable to instruct the notary to draw up a ‘survivor’s will’. Such a will stipulates that after the death of one of the partners, the entire estate is to go to the other partner. Although the children are entitled to their share of the estate, they will only receive it after the death of the surviving parent or partner. This prevents the children from immediately claiming their inheritance and compelling the surviving parent or partner from taking out a(n) (additional) loan on the house or selling the house. If you are or getting married in the Netherlands the abovementioned is arranged automatically.
Value of the house
A valuation is an estimate of the (sale) value of a house. The valuation reviews the nature and size of a house, the state of maintenance and the area. Since the valuation value of the house is also of importance for obtaining the mortgage, it is advisable to arrange the valuation in consultation with De Hypotheker. With regard to the mortgage, the report must be drawn up by an impartial valuer (i.e. one who is not involved in the purchase or sale of the property in any other way).
Structural survey If you are looking at buying an older house, we recommend to have a structural survey carried out regarding the quality of the house. Such a survey will reveal hidden defects such as leaks or the presence of woodworm. A valuation report and a structural survey report will give a clear picture of the value of the house.
If you wish to be eligible for the Nationale Hypotheek Garantie (National Mortgage Guarantee) when purchasing a flat or house and the valuation report indicates that the overdue maintenance to the house is higher than 10%, you are required to obtain a structural survey.
De Hypotheker will be happy to tell you more about this. De Hypotheker can also recommend a good structural survey firm. This will give you a fast and expert insight into the condition of the house you are interested in.
If you are buying a new build home, you can instruct an impartial party to carry out an inspection. At the time of completion all essential components of your house will be thoroughly inspected. It is usually much easier to properly resolve problems when you point out defects directly to the builder. Your personal adviser at De Hypotheker can give you more information on this issue and arrange a completion inspection for you.
If all parties have agreed on a purchase price, a purchase contract will be drawn up. The following data will be included in this contract:
- The agreed purchase price.
- Who is buying what.
- The intended transfer date.
- The dissolving conditions.
- The date on which the dissolving conditions will lapse.
This contract will be signed by both parties. The estate agent usually arranges the meeting. Once the contract is signed by both parties, buyers have three days to reconsider during which the purchase can be dissolved without consequences. After that period there usually is a fee of 10% of the purchase price for breach of contract.
Deciding not to go ahead with the purchase without having to pay a penalty is only possible if dissolving conditions are included in the purchase contract. Examples of these conditions are:
Nationale Hypotheek Garantie (NHG – National Mortgage Guarantee)
- You cannot arrange the financing.
- You are not eligible for the Nationale Hypotheek Garantie.
- The municipality will not not issue you a housing permit.
- A reservation in the structural survey.
A mortgage with the Nationale Hypotheek Garantie (NHG) offers more security. For instance, when you are no longer able to pay your mortgage through no fault of your own. If you sell the property and you are left with a residual debt, the Stichting Waarborgfonds Eigen Woning can help you find the best possible solution. Let De Hypotheker inform you how you too can qualify for this guarantee. Or take a look on our website page ‘Is NHG an option for me?’