Buying a house
Buying a house? Then go to your NVM broker!
Looking for your dream house?
Buy privately or use a broker?
Looking for a new home is real detective work. Which property would suit you best? An apartment or a detached house?
A south-facing garden or a roof terrace? How many rooms do you need?
In which area? What are your financial opportunities?
Buying a house is not something you do every day. That's why it's nice if someone can give you good advice about the current housing market, building aspects, resolutive conditions, local regulations and how to submit a competitive but realistic negotiating offer. Your NVM broker can help you with this.
NVM means quality
NVM stands for the Dutch Association of Real Estate Brokers and Real Estate Experts NVM. The NVM is the largest association of real estate brokers in the Netherlands, with more than 110 years of experience. When you buy a house you want to be certain that everything is being done properly.
If you go for an NVM broker, you're going for expertise and quality. As it happens, it isn't easy to become an NVM broker:
• Every NVM broker has completed an all-round training as a broker.
Every year, NVM brokers have to take compulsory training courses to keep their knowledge up-to-date.
• NVM brokers are experts in the local market and current property prices and familiar with all aspects of purchasing and selling as well as the finer legal points.
• NVM brokers have access to an extensive network and to the NVM's database, so they are the first to know about new properties on the market.
• NVM brokers know about buildings, can assess the value of your home and advise you on resolutive conditions.
• NVM brokers adhere to the NVM Code of Practice. The NVM Code of Practice comprises rules of conduct which every NVM broker must observe.
Purchase or sales broker?
If you use the services of your own broker to buy your new home then this is a purchase broker.
If you have your home sold by a broker then this is a sales broker.
Of course an NVM broker can act as a purchase broker on one occasion and a sales broker at another, but he can never act as both the purchase and sales broker for the same property. The NVM Code of Practice does not allow this in order to prevent conflicts of interest. NVM brokers always look after the interests of their client.
What can your NVM broker do for you?
If you want to look for a new home, then you can have a chat with your NVM broker without obligation. You can have the entire purchase process arranged from start to finish or opt for certain part-services. The package of activities you agree on determines the scale of the payment – the commission – which the NVM broker will receive after you have bought your new property.
The purchase process
Once you have decided which services your NVM purchasing broker is going to provide, you can start the buying process.
Step 1. Find a suitable property
Step 2. Attend viewings
Step 3. Carry out further investigations
Step 4. Negotiate
Step 5. Sign the sale agreement
Step 6. Finance your property
Step 7. Go to the notary
Complete the Home Wish Form
By completing the 'Home Wish Form' you and your NVM broker will know exactly the conditions your new home has to fulfil.
You can find this form on www.nvm.nl. You can also find the 'Purchase viewing report' and the 'House move planner' here.
Step 1: Find a suitable property
Your NVM purchasing broker will help you find a property that suits you. He will advise you to have a look in the villages or towns and districts and neighbourhoods that interest you. This will help you gain an insight into the facilities you can find in your new living environment and which of these you think are important. Check www.funda.nl regularly for new properties, so that you become better and better informed about what you want to buy.
Your NVM broker will compare your home wishes with the properties in the NVM database. With his experience he can make a good selection from the current offering to arrive at the right match. Your NVM broker knows the local housing market and will soon see properties that have just come on the market. Your broker can save you a lot of detective work.
TIP: list your financial possibilities
Before you go hunting for property, go and see a registered mortgage adviser so you know what you want to/can borrow. Your NVM broker can help you find an independent adviser.
Buyer's duty to make enquiries
You as the buyer are expected to investigate the condition of the property. You have to pay for defects that you could have found during the viewing, which cannot be termed hidden defects later on. The duty to make enquiries also applies to legal aspects. This includes easements such as rights of way.
Seller's duty to inform
The seller is obliged to inform you about matters that could be important for you, such as defects, for example a leak.
This does not apply to defects you can see yourself, for example rotten window frames or cracks in the walls. The seller is not obliged to point these out expressly.
Step 2: Viewings
If you have spotted a property then you should take a closer look. Your NVM broker will arrange a viewing appointment and accompany you. Have a look around the area before your viewing. Keep your home wishes and future plans in mind during the viewing.
The NVM broker will in the meanwhile take a critical look at the property. Among other things the NVM broker will in this regard look at the maintenance needs of the property, the presence of any defects and any necessary repairs or conversions that need to be made. He can also advise you to engage a construction expert to take a closer look.
He will also enquire about practical matters, such as the number of other viewings and the negotiation procedure that is being used.
Fill in the 'Purchasing Viewing Form' during or after the viewing, so you know afterwards what you have seen. This is particularly useful when there are several viewings.
Step 3: Additional enquiries
If you take a strong liking to a certain property, then request advice from the NVM purchase broker whether it is necessary to engage a construction expert. This is a way to compile a record of the precise condition of the property.
Your NVM broker can direct you to an independent expert for this. Your NVM broker will also take work off your hands by investigating for example:
• Local development plans
• Environmental aspects
• Relevant details in the Land Register
• Status and obligations of the Owners' Association
• Municipal and provincial regulations
• Presence of energy label
Step 4: Negotiating
If you want to buy a certain property your NVM purchaser broker will inform you about the best offer strategy on the basis of all the information you have collected. He will assist you with calculating a strategic opening offer. As a valuer he has a lot of experience in determining the correct value and he can see what the market value of comparable properties is in the NVM database.
When making an offer, your NVM purchaser broker can attach resolutive conditions to this – if you wish. It is still possible to cancel a sale agreement on the basis of these conditions.
Useful to know:
• An offer that has been made can be withdrawn or replaced by a higher or lower offer, as long as the other party has not accepted it. An exception is an offer with a time limit for acceptance.
• If you are the first to make an offer, this does not automatically mean that another buyer cannot make another offer.
Examples of resolutive conditions are:
• Finance condition
• No housing permit
• Negative building survey
• NVM No-Risk clause
Step 5: Signing the sale agreement
Once the seller has accepted your offer, then the sale agreement can be drawn up. You will go through this together with your NVM purchasing broker to ascertain that everything is in order. Your NVM broker will pay particular attention to the purchase price, the completion date, the resolutive conditions and the list of items that will remain in the house.
If everything is in order then you and the seller will sign the sale agreement. You and the seller will receive a copy of the agreement.
The purchase only becomes official when both parties have signed the sale agreement. The broker will send the signed sale agreement to the notary accompanied by a copy of your passport or your driving licence.
Three-day cooling-off period
The legal three-day cooling-off period for the buyer commences once you and the seller have signed the sale agreement. This means that you can still cancel the purchase within this time.
Step 6: Financing your home
Once the sale agreement has been signed, you have to finalise your financing.
This is usually in the form of a mortgage. Your mortgage adviser can calculate precisely the amount of the mortgage you require based on the purchase price, any conversion plans, your own funds and the buyer's costs (the costs of the registration in the Land Register, the transfer taxes and your notary costs for the transfer). Your NVM broker can direct you to an independent mortgage adviser.
Once the financing is complete, the bank will send the mortgage documents to the notary. The bank will ensure that the amount of the mortgage is paid onto the notary's escrow account before the transfer date.
A valuation of the property is usually required to finance the purchase. You always require a valuation report from a registered valuer for this. Your purchaser broker is a registered valuer but is not allowed to draw up a valuation report for you because he is involved in the negotiating process. However, he can help you find another registered valuer.
Step 7: Go to the notary
If a date has been fixed to transfer the property, then you will need to wait until the notary has drawn up the transfer of title (deed of transfer) and the mortgage deed. You will usually receive a draft of the deed of transfer, a draft mortgage deed and a final statement from the notary a couple of days before the transfer.
Always check with your NVM purchaser broker whether all the details are correct and take time to read the deeds carefully. You will go through the following process on the day of the transfer:
• Immediately before the transfer you will inspect the property together with your NVM purchasing broker to check that it is being handed over in the agreed condition.
• After that you go to the notary and sign the deed of transfer and the mortgage deed.
• Subsequently the notary will ensure that the deeds are registered in the public registers at the Land Registry. After these registrations you will be the official owner of your new home. You will usually receive the keys immediately after the transfer.
The purchase process is complete. Congratulations! You are the owner of your new home! Of course your NVM broker will be there for you if you still have questions or if you need other services.
Use other services offered by NVM brokers
Most NVM brokers offer more services than you might think. In addition to the standard services for the purchase of a home, your NVM broker can also help you with things such as:
• Assistance with selling.
• Valuation of your (new) home.
• Taking out a mortgage (if certified).