When does your agreement to buy a house become official?

A verbal agreement is an official agreement, but since 2003 you can only buy a house with a written contract. This is noted in article 7:2 of the Dutch Civil Code (Burgerlijk Wetboek). Everything that has been verbally agreed between buyer and seller regarding the sale of the house must be written down in a contract. So in case of any misunderstandings both parties can always refer to the signed contract.

Nowadays, houses in Utrecht are often sold by ‘deadline’. The buyer is selected when all bids have been received by a given date and time. After the buyer’s bid has been accepted, there are still some steps to take before celebrating. The deal is only official after both parties have signed the contract.

Does this then mean, the verbal agreement of your dream house isn’t worth anything? No. It’s worth something, but between the verbal agreement and signing of the contract (usually around one week) anything could happen. Both parties are legally able to cancel the verbal agreement without having to provide any reason. This is for private individuals, when there’s a business entity involved, different rules apply.

If you have any questions or need help, feel free to reach out to us at info@jagervastgoed.nl