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How to buy a house in The Netherlands

Buying a house in the Netherlands can quite be a difficult journey. Cooperating with a real estate agent may simplify and shorten your search for a house. When you choose to cooperate with a real estate agent, you will no longer have to worry about administration work. This can save you a lot of time and frustration. An estate agent will also help you find potential houses within your wishes and will come along with the viewing of the houses or will do it for you. Estate agents are professionals and can safe you from unexpected pitfalls. Alongside estate agents can make a realistic valuation of the house with a rational substantiation.

We have made a list of 7 thing to look for choosing a real estate agent. If you want to read, click here.

Additional costs when buying a house in The Netherlands

Real estate agents charge brokerage in return for the accompaniment of finding your house. Brokerage fees are mostly a percentage of the purchase price of your new house. Real estate agents use a no cure no pay regulation, which means you don’t have to pay for the estate agent until the contract for your new house is signed.

We made an overview of the costs of buying a house with the use of a real estate agent included.

Costs of buying a houseCost including VATExample (House € 300.000,-)
Transfer tax2% of pruchase price€ 6000,-
Mortgage adviser€ 2500,-€ 2500,-
Application for NHG0,7% of purchase price€ 2100,-
Notary€ 1000,-€ 1000,-
Taxation€ 450,-€ 450,-
Architectural inspection€ 375,-€ 375,-
Mover€ 1250,-€ 1250,-
Real estate agent€ 2200,-€ 2200,-
TotalDepending on purchase price€ 15875,-


In addition, there are various options in terms of costs of a real estate agent. Buying a house yourself will not cost you any additional money, but it will cost you a lot of time. Moreover, you are not familiar with the sales brokers, while a real estate agent often knows the sales brokers. Another pro of a real estate agent is that he or she has experience in negotiating. Want to know the tasks of a real estate agent in The Netherlans? Click here!

How to buy a house step-by-step

Step 1. Decide if this is the best moment to buy a house in The Netherlands

Many people want to buy a house in the Netherlands. This comes along with advantages and disadvantages. You have to make a decision if you are willing to take this step. An important question when buying a house is: “Can I afford buying a house?” and “Is it the right moment to buy a house?”. If the housing market is under pressure, having patience is probably a good choice. You also have to decide if it fits your future plans.

Step 2. Decide if you should sell your current house first

When you already have a house, you must first decide whether you should sell the current house first. Most people sell their home at the same time they buy another home, or around this period. If you don’t do this, take a good look at how the housing market moves. When house prices rise quickly and you sold your house first, you run the risk of not having enough money for your new house. The same applies the other way round, if you expect the house price to fall and you first sell your current home, then you have leeway to buy the new home. If you want more help deciding if you should sell your house you can read this page.

Step 3. Set an appointment with a mortgage advisor

How much do you want to spend on your new home? This depends on two things. First; how big your savings are and second; how much mortgage can you get. The first step is that you have to talk with a mortgage advisor to see what kind of mortgage is suitable for you. The first meeting with a mortgage advisor is in most cases free of charge, so make sure to check it out! A mortgage adviser has sorted this out hundreds of times and can help you quickly. Hereby you know exactly the amount of your mortgage and at what mortgage interest rate.

Step 4. Decide where you want to live in The Netherlands

Before you buy a house, you should do research where you would like to live in the Netherlands. When you have decided in which place you want to live, it is useful to find a number of neighbourhoods in the specific city that suit your preferences. Set requirements for yourself on what kind of facilities there should be in the area of these neighbourhoods. For instance, should there be a primary school nearby? And should the shops be within walking distance? Ask yourself these kinds of questions and write them down. The search for a suitable neighbourhood goes hand-in-hand with your budget. It is recommended that you know your budget before looking very specifically for a neighbourhood. Afterwards you can research what the house prices are in a particular neighbourhood.

Step 5. Find a real estate agent that fits you

Ask yourself if you need help from a real estate agent. Still not sure? Click on your preferences in the tool here on this website. Based on your preferences, we compare the best real estate agents in each city. Decide for yourself whether you want to contact 1 or 2 brokers. After the preferences have been noted, we select the real estate agents based on your wishes. These real estate agents will contact you so you can decide which real estate agent can help you the best with the search of your perfect home. This is completely free and without any obligation.

Step 6. View potential houses in your neighbourhood

The real estate agent is now familiar with your housing requirements and has drawn up a search profile for you. The real estate agent will send new houses to your mailbox. By your unique searching profile, you will profit from  receiving new houses every day by email. The new properties in these emails will not be posted online until a few days later. When a potential new house for you comes by, just ask the real estate agent if he is able to make an appointment for you. If you’re not able to view the house yourself, ask the real estate agent to go for you.

Step 7. Make an offer on the house you are interested in

Have you fallen in love with a house? Then discuss the value of the particular house with your real estate agent. The real estate agent advises you on the value of the house. If you want to offer more yourself, it is your own choice. The buying agent will advise with an objective opinion. When you find it worth more yourself, it is often based on emotion. Your real estate agent will place the offer and conduct any negotiations with the other real estate agent. The moment your offer is accepted, you bought the house!

Step 8. Contact your mortgage advisor

Because you already know your mortgage, you need to inform your mortgage advisor about your decision to buy a particular house. The mortgage advisor can then ensure that a mortgage loan can be taken out.

Step 9. Take out mortgage

Taking out mortgage needs to be done before you move in your house. The purchase is finalized when the mortgage lender transfers the money to the seller and the key transfer has taken place. The mortgage advisor will help you to complete this as quickly as possible.

Step 10. Making the purchase agreement and signing it

You (the buyer) and the seller of the house will have to agree a number of things. For this particular reason, two deed are drawn up. The first one is the purchase agreement, which contains agreements about the purchase and sale of the house. In the purchase agreement, mentioning such things as the transfer date, what the buyer wants to take over, the deposit and what the resolutive conditions are.

This purchase deed must be signed by both parties. After that, both parties have a statutory cooling-off period of three working days.

During the legal reflection period, the seller and buyer may unilaterally dissolve, this can be done without giving any reason. There are no consequences for this.

The second deed is drawn up when the statutory reflection period has expired. This will happen when the required funding is available. A draft version is first sent for both deeds, so that you can go through this with you real estate agent. It is the duty of the real estate agent that the agreements are carefully checked and amended if necessary.

Tip 11. Complete the purchase of your new home

When the statutory reflection period has expired, the resolutive conditions apply. When everything is completed, the deed of delivery can be signed. Before you sign this, you go through the house together with the real estate agent and the seller. This way it can be checked whether everything has been left as agreed. You are only the owner of the house when the deed of delivery has been signed and the notary has registered the deed of delivery in the land registry. The bill of settlement is also processed during the signing of the deed of delivery. After you have become the new home owner, you can immediately move or renovate your belongings if necessary. Take into account applying for the correct permits for a major renovation.

Need help with all the steps of buying a house in The Netherlands from A to Z? Click here HuisAssist


Plans to buy a house in The Netherlands? We developed a tool designed to compare the best real estate agents for you everywhere in the Netherlands. It can save you a lot of time and costs. Make sure to fill in your wishes in the tool!

If you consider to live in The Netherland, but you don’t know how to do it. Here is a list of 7 common mistakes expats are making.

In case you are leaving The Netherlands as an expat and you don’t know if you should rent out your house or sell it. We have made a page on this topic as wel. Make sure to read it.

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