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The Ultimate Guide to Buying Property in The Netherlands

Buying property in The Netherlands

As a first-time homebuyer in The Netherlands, there’s a lot to consider. What are the local rules regarding the purchase of a home? How much mortgage can you get? How do you make an offer for a house? And what legal documents need to be drafted? In this article, you’ll get an overview of all the steps required to purchase a home in The Netherlands. 

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Step-by-step guide to buying an home

Below, you’ll find a step-by-step explanation of what to expect when buying your (first) home in The Netherlands. This guide is written for the purchase of existing properties. The process for buying a new construction home involves different steps. 

Is this your first home purchase (in this country)? Or are you already feeling overwhelmed by the thought of everything that lies ahead? If so, we recommend finding a real estate agent. It not only increases your chances of finding and buying a suitable property while making the process much more pleasant and less stressful. 

It’s important to note that real estate agents often get a bad name in The Netherlands. Just like in other countries, this usually stems from unfair practices. However, they can be a crucial asset in finding the perfect home. For example, they have exclusive early access to newly listed properties - before they are listed on property sites. Aside from that, they have a great understanding of our property law and can be vital in identifying any malicious practices. That’s why we’ve selected the best real estate agents in the country, so you don’t have to! Learn more about how our service works.

Find a real estate agent for your purchase

Our website is not fully translated, but our (English-speaking) team is ready to help you through the whole thing in case you need help. You can reach us by phone or WhatsApp at 020 244 2790 or send an e-mail to

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Step 1: Assess your financial options

Before you start searching for a new home, you’ll want to determine the price range for your search. You can finance a house in The Netherlands using the following methods:


It’s likely that you don’t have the full purchase amount for a new home in your savings account, especially as a first-time buyer. In such cases, a mortgage is usually necessary to cover the cost of the purchase. Your maximum mortgage amount depends on factors such as your income, expenses, and credit history. Schedule a meeting with a mortgage advisor to calculate how much you can borrow and what your monthly repayments will be. You can find an independent mortgage advisor, which can provide you with multiple mortgage options from a range of banks in The Netherlands. An alternative is to go to one of the banks directly. The fee of a mortgage advisor usually lies within the range of €1.500 and €3.000. 

Personal savings

Do you have a substantial amount of savings in your bank account? You can use this money towards the purchase of your home. This could be savings you've accumulated over the years or, for example, a gift from a family member or an inheritance. Investing your own money has the advantage of reducing the overall costs of your mortgage, resulting in lower monthly expenses. However, always exercise caution when using a significant amount of personal savings. It's important to ensure you have enough money left for the expenses associated with buying a property. These costs include notary costs, taxes, fee for the mortgage advisor, and potential renovation costs. 

The exact amount you can contribute and how much you should reserve for additional costs depends on your specific situation and the home you wish to purchase. It's wise to collaborate with an experienced real estate agent or financial advisor who can assist you in determining the right amount of personal funds to invest. You will also discuss this with your mortgage advisor. 

Proceeds from the sale of a previous home

If you're not a first-time buyer and you sold your previous home at a good price, you can use the potential profit (equity) to finance (a portion of) the purchase price of your new home. Additionally, you can use the proceeds from your previous home for other purposes, such as funding renovations or reducing your mortgage interest rate. Seek professional advice in this scenario as well, and use the proceeds wisely based on your specific situation.

Buying a house without a mortgage

If you have sufficient financial resources, you can also consider purchasing a house without a mortgage. This way, you become the direct owner of the property, and your monthly expenses decrease. On the other hand, you may lose out on certain tax benefits and deductions associated with having a mortgage. It's advisable to seek guidance from a financial advisor who can help you weigh the pros and cons for your particular situation.

Step 2: Determining the total costs for home purchase

When buying a house, in addition to the purchase price, you need to consider several additional costs. The standard costs, also known as "closing costs," typically include property transfer tax, notary fees, and appraisal costs. These amounts can be substantial and are usually paid by the buyer (in the case of “kosten koper”). If you are purchasing a house "vrij op naam", then the selling party is responsible for covering these expenses.

In addition to these standard costs, you may also encounter additional expenses such as real estate agent fees, costs for a mortgage advisor, and fees for a bank guarantee. 

Step 3: Finding a suitable house

Now that you know your maximum budget for a property, it's time to start the search for your ideal home. There are several ways to do this, as outlined below:

Property Websites

One of the most popular methods for finding a new home is by using property websites. The most well-known property website in the Netherlands is Funda. Here, you can find the largest selection of homes for sale in the country. By using filters, you can narrow down your search to find a property that perfectly matches your criteria. 

Tip: If you create a Funda account and set up a search, you'll automatically receive the latest property listings in your inbox every day. Other well-known property websites include Pararius and Jaap.

Real estate agent

In the current housing market, people often struggle to find a suitable property within their desired price range. And when they finally get excited about a property, it can be challenging to schedule a viewing due to a full appointment calendar for property visits.

Are you also facing this problem? Then it's a smart move to hire a real estate agent. They are often among the first to know about new properties coming onto the market, a lot of times even before they are listed on Funda. This gives you a better chance of scheduling a viewing. Additionally, real estate agents have local market knowledge and can keep you informed about new construction projects and other relevant developments.

Find and compare real estate agents in The Netherlands

Our website is not fully translated, but our (English-speaking) team is ready to help you through the whole thing in case you need help. You can reach us by phone or WhatsApp at 020 244 2790 or send an e-mail to

Vind een aankoopmakelaar

Open house day

A special opportunity to view homes is the “NVM Open house day”, which is organized twice a year. During this event, you can visit participating homes without an appointment and have a chance to speak directly with the owner, giving you a better understanding of the property and the neighborhood. Participating homes are listed on Funda.

Step 4: The property viewings

Have you found a house that excites you? Then, contact the selling real estate agent as soon as possible to schedule a viewing. Your real estate agent can assist you in this process. Once the appointment is set, go well-prepared and create a checklist in advance with your housing preferences and requirements. This will help you avoid forgetting important questions or aspects to investigate during your visit.

Items to include on your checklist may involve checking:

  • Cracks in walls and signs of moisture and mold.
  • The condition of the paintwork.
  • The state of the frames and windows (check for double glazing, good insulation, and any leaks or drafts).
  • The condition of the central heating system and kitchen appliances.
  • The condition of the plumbing fixtures, such as faucets, toilets, and showers.
  • The condition and layout of the garden (ensure sufficient privacy, for example).

Ask the real estate agent about any potential defects and thoroughly inspect the property since, as a buyer, you have an obligation to conduct due diligence. Also, inquire about the property's energy label and possible sustainability measures, as these can impact future costs. For instance, what type of heating system does the property have, and how is it insulated?

If the seller agrees, it's useful to take photos. Property viewings often go by quickly, and this way, you can review the property again at home. If the property isn't decorated to your taste, try to see past that. Focus on the space, natural light, and the overall condition of the house.

Don't forget to explore the neighborhood before or after the viewing. Are all the amenities that matter to you present? Do you feel at home? If you have questions about the neighborhood and its amenities, ask the selling real estate agent. Add these questions to your checklist in advance as well.

Step 5: Determine and submitting an offer

Once you've found your dream home, it's time to submit an offer on the house. However, before you do that, you'll need to determine your ultimate offer and bidding strategy. If you're not well-versed in recent housing prices, if this is your first home purchase (in The Netherlands), or if you're not confident in negotiating, we strongly recommend enlisting the help of a real estate agent. They have knowledge of local housing prices, excel in negotiations, and will work with you to devise the right bidding strategy.

It's crucial to establish your maximum offer in advance to avoid getting caught up in a so-called “bidding war”. To determine the right offer, it's wise to request the recent sale prices of comparable homes in the area from “het Kadaster” beforehand. This way, you'll have insight into the value of the property and, if applicable, how much people typically bid above the asking price in the current market. If you have a real estate agent, they will research this for you and provide guidance.

The way you submit an offer on a house depends on the bidding method chosen by the seller. Negotiation is the most common method, where you, as the buyer, make an initial offer, and the seller can counter with a counteroffer. In the case of a sealed-bid sale, the seller will request your best and final offer without negotiations. Online bidding allows you to digitally submit an offer and make adjustments afterward. Homes can also be sold through an auction (public sale).

Step 6: Negotiations

Entering into negotiations, you'll want to be well-prepared. If you're wondering what to keep in mind, the following tips will guide you:

  • Negotiation strategy: Determine your negotiation strategy in advance, possibly in collaboration with your real estate agent. Take into account the market conditions and the seller's situation. For example, has the seller already purchased a new home? Has the house been on the market for a while? Or is there a lot of interest? These factors can all influence your negotiation position.
  • Price: Naturally, the price of the house is a crucial negotiation point. Ensure that your offer is realistic based on comparable homes in the area and the condition of the house.
  • Resolutive conditions: Clearly outline resolutive conditions so that you can withdraw from the sale at no cost if, for instance, you cannot secure a mortgage or if serious defects are discovered.
  • Written offer: Always submit your offer in writing. This creates a legally enforceable document that serves as the basis for further negotiations.
  • Professional advice: Consider hiring a real estate agent. They have experience in negotiation and can advise you on the best strategy to acquire the property on the most favorable terms.

By following these tips, you can navigate the negotiations process with confidence and increase your chances of securing the property under favorable conditions.

Step 7: The purchase agreement and the statutory cooling-off period

Once negotiations are concluded, and your offer is accepted, the purchase agreement is drafted. It's essential to carefully review this agreement and understand everything it contains before placing your signature. The purchase agreement includes all the terms and conditions applicable to the purchase, including the price, completion date, resolutive conditions, and any movable items.

It's advisable to seek the assistance of a real estate agent or legal advisor so that you fully understand the legal implications before signing the purchase agreement. After signing the purchase agreement, you have a statutory cooling-off period of three days. During these days, you can withdraw from the purchase at no cost and without providing a reason.

After you've signed the purchase contract, the official process begins. Typically, a deposit is made or a bank guarantee is provided, depending on the terms outlined in the contract.

Step 8: The resolutive conditions (structural inspection and financing)

Once the purchase contract is signed and the cooling-off period has passed, it's now time to review the resolutive conditions. Common conditions include:

  • The structural inspection contingency: If you have arranged for a structural inspection, it is conducted to assess the condition of the property. This inspection aims to uncover any hidden defects, and the inspector will document all findings and provide a report with recommendations for repairs and maintenance.
  • The financing contingency: This is the point at which you take action to secure your financing. You submit a mortgage application to the lender (possibly with “Nationale Hypotheek Garantie” applicable). They assess your eligibility based on various factors, including your financial situation, income, expenses and credit history. To ensure that the purchase price is reasonable in relation to the market value, the lender sends an appraiser to assess the property.

If everything goes smoothly, the purchase proceeds. However, if issues arise (such as failure to secure financing or discovery of hidden defects), you can cancel the purchase without penalty.

Step 9: Property transfer

During the property transfer, several steps are followed. First, a final inspection is conducted to ensure that the house is in the condition as agreed upon in the purchase agreement. Utility meter readings are recorded, any defects are identified, and, if necessary, repair agreements are made.

Next, it's time to go to the notary's office, where you and the seller are present, along with your real estate agent(s). At the notary's office, the deed of transfer (transportakte) is signed, officially transferring the legal ownership of the property. From that moment, you are the true owner of your (first) home in The Netherlands! Simultaneously, the mortgage deed is also signed, which contains the agreements with the lender.

Regarding insurance, a building insurance policy is often required to cover the property. Additionally, it is highly recommended to obtain liability insurance, which provides financial protection in case of damage to the property or accidents on the premises. These insurance policies help safeguard your financial interests as a homeowner.

Find and compare real estate agents in The Netherlands

Our website is not fully translated, but our (English-speaking) team is ready to help you through the whole thing in case you need help. You can reach us by phone or WhatsApp at 020 244 2790 or send an e-mail to

Vind een aankoopmakelaar

Find the best local real estate agents for your purchase:

Read more about the housing market in The Netherlands:

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