Purchase questions

Usually, the asking price will be followed by the abbreviation ‘k.k.’, or ‘kosten koper’ (‘closing costs payable by buyer’). But wait, what does that mean? It means that as the buyer, you will pay not only the purchase price but also all closing fees and expenses. This includes transfer tax (unless you are eligible for and wish to invoke your right to the first-time buyer exemption; no transfer tax for those between the ages of 18 and 35 and a purchase price that does not exceed € 440,000), notary fees and land registry searches. If you are taking out a mortgage for the purchase, there will also be costs for the mortgage deed, the handling fee and an appraisal of the property.

When you purchase a property ‘vrij op naam’, the seller will take care of the closing costs associated with the legal transfer of title. Which makes a difference. These costs include transfer tax, land registry fees and the notary fees associated with the transfer deed. This type of purchase usually involves a newly built property, because it is not so much a ‘transfer’ from one owner to the next, but instead the basic transfer of land (or ground lease) and a contract agreement for the construction of the building.

The purchase broker is your best friend in terms of the purchase process: he/she will protect your interests throughout the process of purchasing a property. This includes property selection, scheduling viewings, gathering information from building archives, land registry searches, valuation, negotiation, advice about potential remodeling/sustainability measures, supervising the drafting of the purchase agreement, monitoring the time schedule stipulated in the purchase agreement and the final inspection of the property prior to closing. Need we say more?

A purchase broker will offer expert advice and support on a host of matters. From assessments of the structural integrity of the property down to legal issues. We know the market and want to share that knowledge with you. But we’re also here for emotional support: it’s our job to stay rational where buyers tend to be a little (too) emotional when it comes to buying.

At the final inspection – the moment of truth – the property will be inspected, the meter readings will be taken down, the technical equipment will be given tested, and a final check will be made whether all the movables that were agreed upon have remained behind. This is also an opportunity for you to ask any questions you might have about appliances, etc. An inspection report will be drawn up by the selling agent, which will be signed for approval by all parties and subsequently shared with both the seller and the buyer.

And then, the real estate agent will join you at the notary’s office for the signing of the transfer deed. This closing appointment marks the moment you’ve been waiting for: the keys of your new home will finally be yours. Cheers!

The selling agent looks after the interests of the seller. Ultimately, the seller decides to whom and how the property is shown, which offer to accept and under what conditions. The buyer purchases from the seller, not from the real estate agent. Of course that makes sense, but it also means that the purchase is official only after the purchase agreement has been signed by both parties. Until then, the selling agent can negotiate with multiple parties simultaneously, accept offers and schedule viewings. That said, a real estate agent may not use the offer from one party as a negotiation tool with another party.

That would be nice, but no. The Supreme Court has determined that the asking price should be considered an invitation to submit an offer. Even if you offer the asking price (or more), it is still up to the seller to decide whether or not to accept your offer, or come back with a counter offer. The seller can also decide to raise the asking price. However, you are also in control: as a potential buyer, your offer will state a deadline for the seller to accept or reject your offer, so that in the course of time you can also amend (raise or lower) your offer.

Yes, unfortunately that is allowed. A legal agreement is constituted only once both parties have signed the purchase agreement. In a phrase: requirement of written form. Which means that an email or app-message is not legally valid. After signing, the purchase is established, although the buyer does have a 3-day grace period in which to dissolve the agreement (without being obliged to offer a reason).

As soon as you purchase an apartment, you will automatically become a member of the Vereniging van Eigenaren (VvE/HOA). This is required by law; essentially, you’re purchasing the apartment right and a share in the building. The members of the HOA have joint responsibility for the building’s upkeep and maintenance. Administration and management of the HOA can be outsourced to a professional party, but can also be taken care of by the owners themselves. As an apartment right owner, you will pay a monthly contribution (used for maintenance, operation costs, contingencies and insurance, etc.). Before you purchase an apartment right, always make sure to gather information about the HOA. How are the finances? How much has been saved up? Do they have a long-term maintenance plan? Always request (through your real estate agent) the HOA documents (minutes of the meetings, balance sheet, annual statement, household regulations, long-term maintenance plans, etc…). Because nobody wants to be faced with unwelcome surprises.

Sales questions

The selling agent will take care of the entire process, from appraisal to transfer of ownership. A professional with market expertise, as well as financial and legal knowledge. Selling your property is a complex process that most will only go through once or twice in a lifetime. It’s daily work for the real estate agent, so that makes a big difference. Determining the asking price, research (building archives, land registry, zoning plan, property taxes (WOZ), property details (BAG), etc.), defining the sales strategy, preparing the property for the sale and property staging, marketing, (scheduling) viewings, negotiations, managing the purchase agreement draft/signing, monitoring the process/ deadlines, the final inspection and attending the closing appointment at the notary’s office.

Quite a long list. Of course, close lines of communication are maintained throughout, and the real estate agent will provide feedback during the entire process. You’re a team, and the real estate’s agent task is to monitor the process and emotions.

The seller has a duty of notice, and must notify the buyer of any and all potential ‘defects’ of the property. In addition to providing a completed (standard) questionnaire, the seller must also share information that he/she is aware of, but that may not be addressed ono the questionnaire. The selling agent relies on the information provided by the seller: after all, the real estate agent never lived in the property, whereas the seller (usually) has. Should the selling agent have any reservations concerning the information provided, he/she is obliged to investigate further.

On the other hand, buyers of a property also have an obligation to conduct due diligence. This may be by means of reviewing the questionnaire, but also by consulting other sources. This usually befalls the buying agent. The agent has the knowledge and expertise to collect the appropriate information for you. This may concern the structural integrity of the property, for example, so that you have a general idea of anticipated costs for the long and short term. In addition, this may also relate to the zoning plan for the area or potential easements that apply.

Have you seen the property and are you ready to make an offer? We will submit it on your behalf, including the associated conditions. Preferably, we do so by initiating the negotiations with the selling party. Even though that has unfortunately become less common over the past years, and sellers often opt for a deadline or tender process that requires potential buyers to submit their best and final offer.

These types of processes allow all potential buyers to submit their offer. Contrary to what you may assume, the highest offer is not always the ‘winning’ offer. This is because the seller may give priority to certain conditions, or the inclusion of the movables in the transaction. The selling party, therefore, retains the right to reflection or the right to award the property at his/her discretion. That means that it is up to the seller to decide whether the proposed purchase sum, combined with (potential) conditions, is enough to proceed with sale. The real estate agent is required to remain transparent throughout the negotiations, and to abide by the guidelines that were communicated in advance to all potential buyers (and the seller). In this process, the real estate agent is required to remain impartial, but support from a purchase broker is strongly recommended.

As of January 1, 2023 the real estate agent is required, upon request from an individual who has submitted an offer, to provide insight into the bidding process by means of the bidding log. This log contains the submitted offers, the conditions, a time stamp of the offer. Of course, all information has been anonymized in order to comply with the privacy act.

When selling and renting homes, a valid energy label is mandatory. Until 2021, it was possible to request a label digitally, but as of January 1, 2021, it has become more complex and expensive (unfortunately). This requires a skilled consultant to visit the house to determine the label. This is necessary because it makes the label more accurate and makes it possible to offer customized improvement options: an incentive for sustainability and energy savings. As a consumer, you are completely free to choose the advisor. You can quickly (and at an attractive rate) arrange your energy label through De Nieuwe Amsterdamsche as your sales broker. As an MVA member, we have special agreements with a number of recognized quality suppliers. Often this is done simultaneously and by the same party as the one who provides the measurement survey. Please note that an energy label is not required if the sale concerns a listed monument. However, we do notice that consumers increasingly value a good, low energy label these days due to the spike in energy costs. Therefore, if you plan to remodel or renovate your property, it is a good idea to invest in sustainability measures, such as heat pumps, solar panels, insulation, IG+++ glazing, etc. But we can talk about that later (;

When selling an ‘old’ property, a property age clause can be included in the purchase/rental agreement. Good to know, because a property age clause states that the buyer is aware of the age of the property and that the consequences of hidden defects – as a result of the age of the property – are at the buyer’s risk. This clause places the responsibility on the buyer and states that the seller is not responsible for the quality of certain components of the property. Be aware: this clause is not a standard provision in the purchase agreement, so that as a seller you may want to add it manually.

When selling a house, it is important whether or not the seller has lived in the house himself. If this is not the case, the seller will include a “non-owner-occupied’ clause in the purchase agreement. This clause clarifies that the seller may not be able to provide certain statements or specific information about the property.

No! As long as the purchase agreement has not been signed, nothing is final. Therefore, a verbal agreement is not binding. Nor is an email or an app message. A valid purchase agreement entails a so-called requirement of written form: a legal provision laid down in the law in order to protect consumers. After signing the agreement, the buyer still has 3 days to dissolve the agreement (without providing reasons). Only once these 3 days have passed, and all contingencies or dissolving clauses have expired,, is an ‘agreement of will’ constituted so that the contract has become truly binding.

After signing the purchase agreement, law dictates that the buyer has three days for reflection. The buyer is entitled to cancel the purchase of the property within these 3 days, without having to provide any arguments or reasons. Cancellation of the purchase must be done by means of a declaration of dissolution that must be received by the seller before expiration of the 3 days. Furthermore, the (then former) buyer must send a copy of this declaration to the notary. More specifically: the grace period begins at 0.00 a.m. following the day on which the buyer received the signed purchase agreement. Does the 3-day grace period end on a Saturday, Sunday or on a public holiday? Then it is pushed forward one day until the next working day.

This means that the buyer, after reaching an agreement, will have a structural survey of the property conducted. If this inspection reveals important issues that hinder the purchase of the property, the buyer has the right to dissolve the sale free of charge. We always recommend that this survey is conducted during the 3-day grace period, so that it is not necessary to include it as a contingency clause in the purchase agreement.

A buyer can choose to include contingencies, or dissolving clauses, in the purchase agreement. This would allow for the dissolution of the purchase is these specific conditions are not met. Just to be on the safe side. Contingencies often concern the ability to secure a mortgage loan, a Nationale Hypotheek Garantie (National Mortgage Guarantee – a guarantee offered in the Netherlands for individuals who secure a mortgage for the purchase or renovation of a home) and a structural survey


If the purchase is a ‘closing costs payable by buyer’ transaction, the buyer is allowed to choose the notary. After all, the buyer will also pay the notary fees; he who pays the piper, calls the tune. For ‘closing costs payable by the seller’ transactions, usually the project developer chooses the notary, who will be mentioned in the offer as the ‘designated project notary’. It is common practice in Amsterdam for the purchase agreement to be drawn up by the notary, who will also execute the deed of transfer. Followed by, where applicable, the deed of mortgage.

The transfer deed is the legal effectuation of the purchase agreement that was closed between the buyer and the seller. This deed is also known as the ‘deed of delivery’. This document officially ‘delivers’ the property to the buyer, so that the property will be registered in the name of the buyer. The transfer deed is drawn up by a notary and signed by the buyer, seller and the notary. After the deed is signed, it will be registered in the public registers so that the buyer officially becomes the owner of the property. Following registration of the deed, the buyer will receive a certified copy of the deed, which serves as the title deed (so store it in a safe place). The real delivery, or economic handover, of the property takes place by means of the handover of the keys to the property.

The completion statement, which will be sent to you by the notary, lists all the amounts that you will either receive or must pay with respect to the sale or purchase of a property. Of course, it will include the purchase price, but also all of the expenses associated with the transfer of ownership, such as the transfer tax, notary fees, land registry fees, the mortgage loan sum and all associated costs, potential real estate agent fees and advisory costs. So basically an invoice with a long list of expenses.