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KNAP EXPAT BROKER asks a fee for services rendered. This fee will be between 1,25% and 2%, including 21% VAT (in Dutch: BTW). This fee buys you a full service handling, done by KNAP Expat Broker.

You can expect a full service supplied by KNAP Expat Broker. This means that we are your sparring partner throughout the entire process of the buying and/or selling of your house.

We can start immediately after we have signed the commission together, and once we have a clear view of what you’re looking for in real estate.

We advise you to consult them asap. The sooner you know what is possible, financially, the better and faster we can make it work for you.

This year (2018) you can loan a maximum of 100% of the value of the property. Additional costs normally amount to approximately 5% of the total value of the property. So ordinarily you’ll need around 105% of the listing price of the property.

When you want to rent out your house, different percentages apply to this kind of mortgage. When you buy to let, the loan you can take out will be around 60%-65% of the market value of the property. Also, your interest will usually be 1% higher when compared to a mortgage for your first house, or the house you choose to live in.

The total process of buying and becoming owner normally takes from around six weeks up to 2 months. Things really depend on how fast you can provide the bank with the proper documents.

It is advisable to order a technical survey, especially when the house isn’t flawless and somewhat older. We can advise you as to whether it’s useful to arrange for one.

In the case of ground lease (or ‘leasehold’), the owner of a property does not own the ground that the building is constructed upon. The property owner only has the right to use the ground, and pays the City a fee to do so: the ground rent. Land is a scarce commodity in Amsterdam, and it has to be managed efficiently. Therefore, the City operates an active land control policy in which ground lease plays an important role. The ground lease system has operated in Amsterdam since 1896.

The ground rent can be paid in one of two ways:

  • You pay a certain amount once each year (jaarlijkse canon). In this case, the ground rent is adjusted annually based on inflation (indexing). This adjustment is based on official figures published by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).
  • You buy out the ground rent (afkoop). You pay one single amount up front for the use of the ground over a specific period.

Two ground lease systems

The City has two types of ground lease: continuous and perpetual.

Continuous ground lease

In continuous ground lease, the ground rent is adjusted every 50 or 75 years. At the end of this period (tijdvak), the ground rent is determined anew, based on the current value of the ground. That value can only be recalculated shortly before the end of the tijdvak. If the value has risen significantly, the ground rent will increase accordingly. This could mean a sudden, major increase in costs for homeowners.

Perpetual ground lease

In perpetual ground lease, a fixed ground rent is agreed upon, and will remain at that level permanently (in perpetuity). If the ground increases in value, it will not affect the ground rent; there are no major, sudden increases in costs. Ground rent can be bought off or paid annually.

There are a number of good reasons for the ground lease system:

  • the whole community benefits from the increase in value of the land;
  • the City retains more influence on the use of the land;
  • it is a method of combating socially undesirable developments, such as speculation.

Source:  https://www.amsterdam.nl/en/housing/ground-lease/

When something in the house ceases to function properly before you become the owner, the original owner is obliged to repair it. You may expect the property to be in the same shape as it was when the sale was made (excepting normal wear and tear).

If you buy a house, it is required to be fit to be put to normal use. If there are (hidden) defects, it is possible that you are unable to use the house normally. In that case you can recover the damage from the seller. That is, unless you’ve known in advance what defects there are.

Information obligation
The seller has a legal obligation to provide information: they are obliged to let you know if the house has any defects, visible or not, and what these defects are. However, when it comes to obvious defects that are plainly and immediately visible, the seller does not have to name it separately. In case the defects are hidden, the question is whether the seller knew about it. This is not always easy to find out. That is why it is good practice to first offer the seller the chance to repair the damage. If they do not do that, or do not do it adequately, you can try to recover the damage from them.

Research obligation
As a buyer, you yourself have an obligation to investigate. For example: you should check with the local authorities whether you are allowed to renovate the house, if you intend to do so. You are also expected to observe obvious defects, yourself, and make arrangements accordingly. Do you want to make sure that you did not miss anything? Then order a technical inspection, in which the crawl space is also scrutinized. This is, however, not standard procedure with every inspection.

Defects after transfer
If there turn out to still be defects after the transfer, you may contact the seller. Whether the seller can be held liable, depends on a number of factors.

Have you done enough research, yourself? You cannot assume that the seller tells you everything. Particularly if the defects are already clearly visible. For example: a floor that is very slanted. If you do not investigate such a thing yourself or have it investigated by a third party, it will become difficult to hold the seller accountable later on.

What you can do with your house depends, among other things, on what is stated in de zoning plan, on the deed of division, and on the deed of transfer. It is advisable to check these things before you decide to buy a house.

No. We, as KNAP EXPAT Broker, don’t do any administration. We can, of course, advise you with regard to third parties that will be able to help you out in that regard.

An apartment right is created by dividing the ownership of real estate into two or more parts, and assigning the exclusive right of use of private areas to a single party. In Dutch this is called splitsen.
An example of where this would apply, is when a large complex contains several individual apartments. All owners of an apartment own the property collectively.

The 30% ruling is a tax advantage for highly skilled migrants working in the Netherlands. The advantage entails that the taxable amount of a gross Dutch salary is reduced from 100% to 70%, meaning that 30% of the loan is tax free.

No, we, as KNAP EXPAT Broker, don’t do tax advice, but of course we can advise you in finding a proper party to take these matters out of your hands.

You are only in negotiations with the selling party if they respond to your offer by:

a) Making a counter-offer.

b) Explicitly stating that you are negotiating.

You are therefore not yet negotiating if the seller’s broker says that he will discuss your offer with the seller.

Yes, this is permitted. Negotiations do not have to result in a sale. The seller will probably also want to know if there is more interest in the property. They are also allowed to negotiate with several potential buyers. An NVM broker has to make this clear to all the parties.

The seller’s NVM broker will often inform interested parties that there is already an offer, or that negotiations are taking place. In that case, you can make an offer as a potential buyer, but the broker will only commence negotiations with other parties if negotiations with the first candidate have ended. The NVM broker is not allowed to make any statements about the amount of the offers. Otherwise, this might result in an auction.

No, the seller is not obliged to sell you the property. The Supreme Court has determined that the asking price must be viewed as an invitation to make an offer. Even if you offer the asking price, the seller may still decide that they either will or will not accept your bid, or they could propose a counter-offer, through their broker.

Yes, the seller can decide to increase or reduce the asking price. As a potential buyer, you also have the right to reduce your offer during the negotiations. This means your previous offer will be void as soon as the selling party makes a counter-offer.

If the seller and the buyer agree on the most important points – including price, transfer date, resolutive conditions and any arrangements about movable items – then, in the Amsterdam region, the notary will set these arrangements down in a sale agreement. The purchase is only completed when both parties have signed the sale agreement. Resolutive conditions are an important matter. If you want these to be included in the sale agreement, then this has to be taken into account during negotiations. As a buyer, you are not automatically granted resolutive conditions.

 

The seller and the buyer must agree on the additional arrangements and resolutive conditions before the sale agreement is drawn up.

  1. The inability to meet financing conditions.
  2. An adverse building survey.
  3. Failure to obtain a National Mortgage Guarantee, if this is applicable.

The purchase is only completed when both parties have signed the sale agreement. This is termed the requirement for a written agreement.

As soon as the seller and the buyer have signed the sale agreement, and the buyer (and possibly the notary) have received a copy of the agreement, the legal cooling-off period will commence for the private buyer. You, as the buyer, can still cancel the purchase within this time. The purchase is considered final once this period has ended, unless resolutive conditions apply.

Yes, this is allowed. Sometimes there are so many potential buyers who offer or approach the asking price, that it is difficult to decide which party is the best buyer. At that time, the seller – on their broker’s advice – can decide to amend the offer procedure by changing it into a tender procedure, for example. In this procedure, all bidders are granted an equal chance of submitting a bid. The broker must, of course, comply with any previously established promises or agreements before the procedure is modified.

The seller will decide the price they want to ask for his property in consultation with their NVM broker. The buyer can negotiate on the price, but the seller decides.

The term ‘option’ is used in two ways:

a) In a legal sense, an option grants a party (in this case the buyer) the choice to conclude a sale agreement with another party (the seller) by means of a unilateral declaration. Both parties agree on the purchase conditions, but the buyer will, for example, be given an additional week’s cooling-off period. Such an option is common when buying newly built property, but not so in the case of an existing property.

b) It is in fact incorrect to use the term ‘option’ when purchasing an existing property. ‘Option’ in that case denotes certain agreements which a seller’s NVM broker agrees upon with an interested party during the negotiating process.

 

An example of this would be a promise that the buyer will be granted a couple of days to change their mind when they make an offer. The buyer, then, can use this time to gain a better view of their financial situation, or potentially, on how to use the property. The NVM broker will inform other interested parties during this period that there is an option on the property. You cannot demand an option. The seller will decide, in consultation with the NVM broker, whether or not options such as these are to be issued.

No, this is not required. The seller will decide in consultation with their broker who they will negotiate with. If you are the buyer, make sure to enquire with the seller’s broker in advance about the selling procedure that is being followed, in order to avoid disappointment.

No, the commission is not included. The following fall under the ‘buyer’s costs’:

a) The transfer tax:

b) Notary fees, including the fees for drawing up the deed of transfer and registering it with the Land Registry.

In addition to the costs, above, there may be notary costs for drawing up and registering the mortgage deed. If the buyer has engaged a purchase broker, the commission for said purchase broker is at the buyer’s expense. This expense is usually charged in the final statement drawn up by the notary. The seller’s broker’s costs are borne by the seller.

The legal three-day cooling-off period means that you can cancel the purchase without giving any reasons. The three-day cooling-off period starts as soon as a copy of the signed sale agreement has been handed over to the buyer.

The cooling-off period can last more than three days, if it ends on a Saturday, a Sunday, or a legally recognized public holiday. There are rules for this; your NVM broker can tell you how long the cooling-off period will last.

The main concern of the seller’s broker is to vouchsafe the interests of the seller. They will advise the seller during the selling process. Hence, the seller’s broker cannot represent the buyer’s interests at the same time. Therefore, if you want guidance and advice during the purchasing process, it is wise to engage an NVM purchasing broker.

NVM brokers are obliged to measure the number of square meters within a property based on prearranged, industry-wide measurement rules. These rules describe exactly what is, or what is not included in the measurement of a house or apartment, as the usable area. A distinction between four areas is made here:

a) Living space, such as living rooms and bedrooms, toilets, hallway and meter cabinet.

b) Other rooms in the house, such as an attached garage, or an attic with a loft ladder.

c) External areas attached to the building, such as a balcony or a terrace.

d) External storage space, such as a detached barn or a detached garage.

An important distinction when determining the usable surface area is, for example, that only areas with a minimum height of 1.5 meters are measured. External walls are not included, but internal walls are. Alcoves of less than 0.5 m2 are ignored. You will find more information on www.nvm.nl about how usable surface areas are measured.

An energy label for a property states how energy-efficient a property is, measured in classes (A++ to G) and colors (dark green to red), and in comparison to similar properties.

The energy label is a report consisting of several pages, drawn up by a certified energy label adviser. Since 2008, energy labels have been a compulsory element in the sale of real estate, with a few exceptions. Your NVM broker can inform you about this. An energy label can work to your advantage. The more energy-efficient your house is, the more it is worth. We can direct you to a certified energy label adviser.