10 essential elements of a purchase agreement

A seller and buyer sign a purchase agreement when a bid is accepted on the house. Read more about what you can expect to find a purchase agreement.

It is common practice for a real estate agent to draft a purchase agreement to be signed in the Netherlands. In the Amsterdam area, the notary will set up the purchase agreement.

The purchase agreement includes the essential components you have agreed upon with the seller.

After both parties sign the purchase agreement, you have a three-day cooling-off period under Dutch law, during which you can cancel the transaction for any reason. This three-day period begins the day after you sign the purchase contract.

2.Responsibilities as a buyer

As a buyer, one of your responsibilities before signing a purchase agreement is to investigate whether a property has flaws. If you fail to meet this responsibility, you may lose your right to hold the seller liable for any faults or damages you discover later in residence.

It is recommended to hire a third party to perform a technical inspection to check the property for any flaws.

This technical inspection report provides you with information about the technical condition and maintenance of a property to help you avoid flaws and problems in the future.

As a buyer, you have a right to include the most common condition - the financial clause. A mortgage pre-approval does not exist in the Netherlands. As soon as you sign a purchase agreement, the next step is to arrange a mortgage.

The financial clause allows the buyer to secure a mortgage within a specified period, such as four weeks. If a mortgage lender does not approve your finances, you won't complete the agreement, which will cancel the deal.

If you don't include a financial clause in the purchases agreement, and your mortgage is not approved, you must pay 10 % of the purchase price to the seller.

4.Completion statement

Prior to the transfer of ownership, you will receive a completion statement from the civil-law notary and drafts of the mortgage and transfer deed. The buyer's completion statement includes the purchase price, the buyer's costs (the property transfer tax, the Land Registry fees, and so on), the mortgage, and the remaining amount that the buyer needs to input from their savings/available funds.

5.Energy label

In theory, on a transfer date of the ownership, the seller must provide a definitive energy label to the buyer. An energy performance certificate identifies the energy efficiency of a property. Usually, this energy label is already provided after the bid was accepted and the purchase agreement signed.

The purchase agreement indicates whether the new owner acquires a ground lease on immovable property. When a buyer obtains title to immovable property, they become the owner of that property. Read more about how the ground lease works in the Netherlands.

7.List of items in the property

A list of items included in the sale is attached to the purchase agreement. The buyer and seller should identify each item included in the deal to minimize disputes in the future.

The purchase agreement states that the buyer has to secure a security deposit of 10% of the purchase price. The mortgage broker can arrange a bank guarantee for a fixed fee if the buyer doesn't want to use their funds for the deposit or does not have these funds available.

9.The date of transfer ownership 

The transfer of ownership is when you officially become the property owner and all rights and responsibilities associated with the freehold. Around five days before the transfer date, the notary sends you an invoice to pay closing fees.

10.Homeowners association VVe

When you buy an apartment, you'll automatically become a member of an owners association (VvE). Each association has its own set of rules, which often include limitations on (structural) changes to the house. As a result, you may not always be able to make changes to your home as you like. Before you sign a purchase agreement, double-check these limits.

Do you have questions about a purchase agreement?