Bid on a house? You must know this

Making an offer on a house or apartment is an exciting moment. Will it be accepted, will there be a counteroffer or will it be swept aside? Some tips to make it go as smoothly as possible.

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Written or oral

Let’s start with the price: the offer you want to make is often lower than the seller’s asking price. It is best to make this offer in writing to the notary or real estate agent, or to the seller. As a buyer, you have no certainty whatsoever with an oral offer. In practice, the seller will often not be satisfied with a verbal offer. Today, bids are even made via text message or whatsapp . In addition, you can make a written offer with certain conditions precedent, e.g. if it should come to light that no permit or no EPC can be submitted for a certain part of the house. If certain of those matters are not in order, the sales agreement will not be concluded. It is recommended to contact your broker/notary to report that there is an agreement on the price, but not on the other essential conditions. Ask for a full text, if necessary with suspensive conditions. This can be made in two or three days. The offer is only binding when accepted by the seller. Then there is an agreement .

Insert conditions and options

If you think that things will not go smoothly, it is possible to invoke a condition precedent or option.

Possibility 1: The condition precedent

Inserting a condition precedent can be included in both a written offer and the compromise. This often means that the sale only takes place if the buyer receives a credit or loan from the bank. This condition also contains quite sufficient details such as the term within which the financing must take place, the amount and also the way in which the seller is informed about this. To formulate such a condition correctly, it is recommended to ask the notary for help. In the end, if you don’t get a loan from any bank, the sale will be nullified.

Option 2: Take an option

A solution for doubters is to take an option. Such a commitment means that no one else may buy the property within a specified period (a week or two weeks). In order to persuade the owner to allow this option, an amount is deposited for this. In practice, taking an option rarely occurs.

Tip: When placing a bid, do not pay an advance, not even privately. Arranging an advance is usually done when the compromise is finalized. This advance is also a guarantee, an amount that is deducted from the authentic deed.

The seller decides

It is the seller who decides who buys his home and at what price. As long as the seller doesn’t sign anything officially, anyone interested still has a chance. This also applies if you have made a verbal offer.

What can happen?

  • The seller agrees. You can proceed to a sale or sale.
  • If someone goes over your offer, you can make a counteroffer.
  • If there is a lot of interest, the seller can even increase his price. Or of course it can be a trick to make you offer more.

Once you have made the offer and the seller has signed, there is a binding agreement.

It takes several days to go from the offer made to the signing of the compromise. That depends on the speed of the actors. If the civil-law notary or real estate agent can work quickly, this can be done in two to three working days.

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