Buying Real Estate in the Netherlands(Guide)

Taxation Researcher | January 12, 2023

How to buy a property in the Netherlands? What is the purchase process like? How high are realtors´ and lawyers´ fees in the Netherlands? What about other property purchase costs?

In this article we will cover an overview of what you can expect when purchasing real estate in the Netherlands. We cover the costs, taxes, process and some of the legal aspects.

How difficult is the property purchase process in the Netherlands?

There are no restrictions on foreign ownership of property.

Netherlands, houses, waterfrontThere are no restrictions on foreign ownership of property.

The process of purchasing a home in the Netherlands involves a price agreement between seller and buyer (facilitated by the agents or makelaars of course), and the signing of a temporary contract (voorlopig contract) that will cover all aspects of the sale and protect involved parties during the process. A 10% down payment is then paid to the seller after which a copy of the signed contract will be sent to a notary public (notaris) where the transfer of ownership will be completed. Consequently, the registry of the property will be done by the notaris at the Public Registry Office or the Kadaster.

Sales of real property are generally subject to transfer tax, which is levied on the selling price or the market value of the property. The transfer tax is generally levied at 6%, but it is levied at 2% for individuals purchasing private residences.

If the property is newly constructed (or less than two years old) the transfer tax is replaced with the 21% VAT.

It takes an average of four days to complete all five procedures needed to register a property in the Netherlands.



What are the costs like when purchasing a property in Netherlands?

Transaction Costs

Who Pays?
Transfer Tax 2.00% buyer
Legal Fees 1.00% - 1.50% buyer
Registration and other Fees 1.00% - 1.20% buyer
Real Estate Agent´s Fee 1.00% - 2.00%
1.00% - 2.00%
buyer
seller
Costs paid by buyer 5.42% - 7.44%
Costs paid by seller 1.21% - 2.42%
ROUNDTRIP TRANSACTION COSTS 6.63% - 9.86%
See Footnotes
Source: Global Property Guide

Footnotes to Transaction Costs Table


The round trip transaction costs include all costs of buying and then re-selling a property - lawyers´ fees, notaries´ fees, registration fees, taxes, agents´ fees, etc.

Transfer Tax (overdrachtsbelasting)
Transfer tax is generally levied at a flat rate of 6% on the purchase price of the property or the market value of the property. Transfer tax is levied at a flat rate of 8% for individuals purchasing private residences.

Value Added Tax (VAT)
If the property is newly constructed (or less than two years old) the transfer tax is replaced with the 21% VAT.

Legal fees:
Dutch law mandates that civil law notary must be hired to perform the property registration process in Netherlands. Legal fees are negotiable. Some civil law notaries charge a percentage of the property value while some charge by the hour of work. On the average, fees are around €1,000 to €3,500 or around 1% - 1.5% of the property value, plus 21% VAT.

Real Estate Agent´s Fee
Real estate agent´s fee is generally around 2% of the property value.