Even in this tight housing market, stay alert for risks you do not know anything about when buying a house in The Hague. Protect yourself by including resolutive conditions in your offer. If you don’t this it could easily cost you a whooping €35.000. This not a small amount to lose and can jeopardize your future to becoming a homeowner in the near future. And you just can’t blame anyone else this time – it’s self-inflicted. This could be the consequence when you decide to work without a buyer’s agent. Remember that the seller’s agent is not there to have your best interest in mind, they are representing the seller after all. Fair enough.
An increasing number of home buyers ignore the resolutive conditions when making an offer on a home. With this they hope to increase their buying opportunities in this tight housing market. When the buyers are queuing up, sellers prefer to choose a candidate with the fewest conditions. However, resolutive conditions are there for a reason and that is to protect you. When drawing up the preliminary purchase contract, consider what risks you can and want to run. Are you running the risks or are the risks running you? – You decide.
After signing the preliminary purchase contract, you have a three-day cooling-off period to cancel the purchase without any reason. After that you run the risk of a fine of ten percent of the purchase price. With an average home price of €350.000, this is a hefty fine of €35.000. You do not have to pay this fee if you cancel the purchase on the basis of resolutive conditions in the preliminary purchase contract.
Most common resolutive conditions
Let’s shine a light on the most common resolutive conditions when buying a house in The Hague. First of all you can see resolutive conditions as a disaster protection. Although you must clearly demonstrate that you really cannot meet the conditions. Otherwise you still owe the seller a fee. These are the most common conditions:
· Reservation of financing. In case you can’t get a mortgage anyway.
· Architectural or structural reservation. When it appears that there are unforeseen defects in the home and the repair costs are relatively high.
· Reservation of National Mortgage Guarantee (NHG). If you want to take advantage of a mortgage with NHG but cannot be provided.
· Reservation of sale of owner-occupied home (No-Risk clause). If you want to avoid double housing costs.
Then, we strongly recommend that you are providing clear and defined conditions. This prevents them from being misinterpreted or misinterpreted afterwards. For example, in the case of a construction reservation, indicate the amount up to which you find repair costs acceptable.
Lesser Known Terms
The above are conditions that are relatively common. But in some situations these conditions can also be useful:
· When you want to change the zoning plan of the house
· When you want to radically renovate the house
· When you need a housing permit
Resolutive conditions for sellers
As a seller, you can also include resolutive conditions in the preliminary contract. For example, you can include in the contract that the sale will not go ahead if the bank does not co-finance a residual debt with the purchase of the next home. Sellers can also use the No-Risk clause. In this way they reduce the risk that they will find themselves without a home after a sale.
Certainly, in this market you have little or just no chance if you cover every risk with resolutive conditions. The fewer ifs and buts, the greater the chance that a seller will do business with you. Even now it is wise not to be rushed and to throw all reservations overboard without further ado. With a fine of €35,000 or sky-high repair costs, you are further away from your goal of owning your own home than you ever could image.
Make an offer they can’t refuse but don’t get yourself in trouble by skipping the important and vital resolutive conditions! Ask yourself: Are you running the risks or are the risks running you? Don’t let the pressure of a heated market get the best of you. It’s highly recommendable to hire a buyer’s agent in any market to protect you from you. Buying a house in The Hague should be a pleasant experience for everyone involved. A real estate deal is a good deal when everyone is happy.
Karola Grünenbaum, director Stark Real Estate