Faq - B&F Makelaar

Frequently Asked Questions


  • If I bid the asking price, does the seller have to sell the house to me?

    No, the seller is not obliged to sell you the property if you bid the asking price. The Supreme Court of The Netherlands has ruled that the asking price should be seen as an invitation to make an offer. Even if you offer the asking price, it is up to the seller to decide whether or not they will accept your offer, or (through their estate agent) make a counter-offer. The seller can even decide to raise the asking price, just as they could lower it.

  • What does it mean when a property is ‘under offer’?

    In most cases, ‘under offer’ (Dutch: onder bod) means that the selling agent has received an offer and that the seller has verbally accepted this offer. A purchase agreement has not yet been signed, however. The status will usually change soon thereafter to ‘sold (under condition)’.

  • As a buyer, can I expect advice from the selling broker?

    The selling agent represents the interests of the seller and advises the seller during the selling process. The selling agent therefore cannot and should not represent your interests at the same time. If you feel you need guidance and advice during the purchasing process, then it is wise to enlist the services of a purchasing agent yourself.

  • Is a verbal purchase agreement legally binding?

    No. A purchase agreement for the acquisition of real estate by a private buyer must always be entered into in writing. This so-called ‘requirement of writing’ (Dutch: schriftelijkheidsvereiste) – set forth by law since 2003 – is there to protect the buyer.

  • Does the commission for an estate agent fall under the ‘kosten koper’ (purchasing costs)?

    No, this commission is not part of the ‘kosten koper’.

    The ‘kosten koper’ include:
    a) Transfer tax;
    b) Notary fees, e.g., for drawing up the deed of transfer and filing it with the Land Registry.

    In addition to the aforementioned costs, there may be notary fees for drafting and registering the mortgage deed. If the buyer has enlisted a purchasing agent, then the commission for this agent will be at the expense of the buyer. This commission is generally settled through the final invoice drawn up by the notary. The costs of enlisting a selling agent are at the expense of the seller.

  • The estate agent is asking an extraordinarily high price for a house. Is that allowed?

    The seller and his estate agent determine a realistic asking price for the property, and what the most successful selling strategy is. The seller is completely free to determine the asking price. The buyer can negotiate, but it is ultimately the seller who decides

  • Is a selling agent allowed to continue hosting viewings of a property if an offer is already being negotiated?

    Yes, he is. After all, a negotiation does not have to lead to a sale. Furthermore, the seller will most likely want to know whether there is more interest. It is also allowed to negotiate with several interested buyers at the same time, but an estate agent should clearly notify all parties involved. The selling agent will often let interested parties know that an offer has already been made, or that negotiations are underway. The estate agent does not disclose the amounts that have been offered.

  • When am I in negotiations?

    You do not enter into negotiations with the selling party until they respond to your offer, either by making a counter-offer or by explicitly stating that you have begun negotiations. This means you are not yet in negotiations if the selling agent has simply informed you that they will discuss your offer with the seller.

  • Is the selling agent obliged to enter into negotiations with me first if I was the first to schedule a viewing? Or if I was the first to make an offer?

    No, he is not required to do so. The selling party, together with their estate agent, decides whom they will enter into negotiations with. To avoid disappointment, it is wise for prospective buyers to ask the selling agent about the procedure that is being used.

  • What exactly does the three-day cooling-off period for the buyer entail?

    The cooling-off period (Dutch: bedenktijd) of three days is set forth by law. Within these three days, a buyer may still dissolve a signed purchase agreement without providing any explanation. The three-day cooling-off period starts as soon as the buyer has been provided with a copy of the signed purchase agreement. The cooling-off period can last longer than three days if it ends on a Saturday, Sunday or publicly recognized holiday. Your estate agent can tell you exactly until when the cooling-off period lasts.