Making an offer on a property

Make sure you’re well prepared

Putting in a successful offer on a property requires sound preparation, as the amount you offer affects the likelihood of your offer being accepted. Read on to find out your options when making an offer and how to go about it.

The step-by-step procedure for making an offer on a property

  1. Calculating your mortgage

    Determine in advance the maximum amount you are willing and able to borrow to buy the property. Calculate your maximum loan amount based on your income. You can borrow up to a maximum of 100% of a property’s market value, so there is a good chance you will need to use some of your own money, e.g. funds from your savings account. If you intend to implement energy-saving measures at the property, you can borrow up to a maximum of 106% of the property’s market value. When you buy a flat or apartment, you will have to pay service costs to the building’s Owners’ Association. (Vereniging van Eigenaren or VvE) on top of your mortgage payments.

  2. Making an offer

    Once you know how much you can borrow, you can make an offer. It is crucial to put in a good opening offer. Too low, and you might not be taken seriously. Too high, and you might end up paying too much. Your offer needs to be interesting enough to prompt the seller to make a counter-offer. You can also negotiate on things other than the price, such as acquiring the flooring or curtains. You can decide on the offer together with your estate agent, or you can do it yourself. However much you decide to offer, make sure you do so in writing to avoid misunderstandings.

  3. Negotiating

    There’s more to an offer than just the price. Resolutive conditions and agreements about the property transfer are all part of the offer and negotiations. Sellers waiting for their new home to become available may prefer to move in a few months’ time, while other sellers may want to move as soon as possible. If you agree to the transfer taking place on the date requested by the seller this could work to your advantage.


Determining the resolutive conditions

Subject to securing financing

It takes time to take out a mortgage. You need to choose your type of mortgage get a mortgage offer and have your property appraised. You should therefore have ‘subject to securing financing’ included as a condition in the purchase agreement. If you fail to secure financing by a certain date, this enables you to cancel the purchase. Be sure to also clearly state the mortgage amount in this condition.

Subject to satisfactory building survey

It is always good to have a property surveyed. If the property turns out to have unexpected technical defects, you can cancel the purchase. The independent agency bureau Woningschouw B.V.  can perform a building survey for you.

Subject to defects not exceeding a certain amount

Defects in a property aren’t necessarily a problem, as you can fix some of them yourself. If there are a lot of defects, the costs of fixing them will be higher, so be sure to include a condition that you no longer want the house if repairs will cost more than a certain amount. The building survey report will tell you how much the repairs will cost.

Subject to transfer date

You agree a date for transfer of the property with the seller and you can have this date included in the purchase contact. If the seller has not got the property ready by this date, the purchase will be cancelled.


Offer accepted: the next steps

Signing the provisional purchase contract

If the seller has accepted your offer, the next step is to sign a provisional purchase contract. After signing, you have a statutory cooling-off period of 3 working days before the offer has definitively been accepted. Check the purchase contract to see when your cooling-off period ends and make sure it includes your resolutive conditions.

Taking out a mortgage

Once you’ve signed the provisional purchase contract, it’s time to take out your mortgage. This usually takes a few weeks. Make an appointment with an adviser for a free orientation meeting.

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