Purchase Agreement

The purchase agreement is a written agreement between the seller and the buyer. In the purchase agreement, you lay down the conditions and price under which a buyer becomes the owner. Verbal agreements are usually just as binding as written agreements. The exception is the purchase of a house. For that - if you are a private buyer - you need a written purchase agreement. Without a written purchase agreement, the purchase is not valid. 


Once you put your signature to a purchase agreement (often called a "preliminary purchase agreement"), you are bound by the purchase. So there is nothing "provisional" about the purchase agreement. At most, the term "provisional" indicates that the house has not yet been delivered, is not yet in your name. After signing the purchase agreement for a house, as a private individual you still have three days to think about it. During that period, you can still cancel the purchase without penalty or cost.

After that, you are committed to the sale. Often a seller will still agree on resolutive conditions for financing. If during that period you do not succeed in obtaining financing for your dream home, you can dissolve the purchase agreement. You will then have to appeal to the resolutive condition(s) in good time and with evidence.

If you want to abandon the purchase after the expiration of the legal cooling-off period and the resolutive conditions, it is difficult. It often means paying fines and/or damages to the seller. So before you sign a purchase agreement, you need to know what your financial options are. If you do not purchase (you waive the purchase), the resulting fine and possible damages can cause major financial problems. It will have cost you a lot of money and you still don't have a house.

In practice, the purchase agreement is drafted by the real estate agent. We can also draw it up for you. The notary, as an impartial third party, monitors the interests of all parties; the notary provides the necessary expert guidance and advice in the legal field. As a buyer, you will receive well-considered advice on what to look out for, for example, provisions (such as easements) that may hinder the buyer, the consequences of buying a rented house, and so on. As a seller, you get advice on your obligations to the buyer.

As a buyer, what should you look out for?

  • What information does the seller need from you?
  • What do you expect from the house? For example, do you want to start a home office or a business?
  • Can you use the house as you expect beforehand?
  • Do you know what condition the house is in? Does it still require expert advice, such as a building inspection?
  • Does the cadastral boundary match the actual situation?
  • What restrictions "stick" to the house; are there easements such as right of way?
  • What are houw financing options, which financing best fits your situation?
  • Are you buying the house with underlying land? Or is that land leased by the municipality?
  • Will you pay the deposit in cash or use a bank guarantee?
  • Are you sure the soil under the house and yard are not contaminated? What risks are you running, including financial ones?
  • Can you take advantage of grants from the state or municipality?
  • Is National Mortgage Guarantee possible?
  • Does your partner also have to sign the purchase agreement and deed of transfer?
  • Who pays the transfer fee? The buyer (freehold) or the seller (freehold)?
  • Have you arranged all insurance in a timely manner?

Online test

The Royal Notarial Association also has general information available: information buying or selling a home.

To be well prepared to buy or sell a home, online tests are also available for the seller and buyer:


Want more information or have questions? If so, please contact us.

We are happy to help.