The key transfer takes place on the transfer date. This is the date buyers, and sellers include in the preliminary purchase agreement when the property is transferred from sellers to buyers.
On this date, the seller is obliged to transfer the title of the property to the buyer, and the buyer is obliged to pay the remaining purchase price. A notary performs this process. Then, when everything is in place, the buyers get the keys to the house! If the home has many owners, it can't hurt to change the locks for new keys.
It is recommended to only agree with a proposal to have the key transfer after the transfer date. In some scenarios, it is imaginable that you buy a fully furnished house with residents on the transfer date while you want to live there yourself. In that scenario, the residents could proclaim themselves as house renters and be protected by rental law.
When is the key transfer?
The key transfer can occur after any mortgage loan from the buyers has been green-lighted and, thus, when payments can be made for the house. But even if the buyers pay cash, you can usually not expect the key transfer as early as next week.
When the house is not occupied and not full of furniture, the key transfer can take place quite early. In that case, it is in the sellers' interest that the keys are handed over reasonably early. The occupants must first move out when the house is occupied with furniture. Again, when they move depends on their new address. On average, 2.5 months between signing the preliminary sales agreement and the key transfer.
When is the key transfer planned?
When making an offer, you should include something in the offer letter about when you expect to be able to move into the property. Usually, a sentence like 'delivery by mutual agreement' is typical, but it is recommended to give a deadline.
This can be along the lines of 'Delivery in consultation, but no later than four months after signing the purchase agreement.' The key transfer date doesn't have to be set immediately, then. However, when drawing up the preliminary sales agreement, it is advisable to agree on a date for the actual key transfer. This is important because a notary takes care of this "transport" of the property. This, in turn, is tied to working days Monday through Friday. Weekends and national holidays are excluded. So to be able to determine the key transfer, a designated notary is needed. Typically, buyers choose the notary, and buyers can request a quote for notary services before making the final choice.
What can you expect from the key transfer itself?
On the day of the key transfer, buyers and sellers have an appointment at a notary's office at a set time. There, the "transport" of the property takes place or home transfer.
Before that time, buyers can view the property again and inspect that nothing has been broken or fundamentally altered between viewing, inspection, and delivery. This is called the final inspection. Then, at the notary office, the preliminary sales agreement is transferred to a formal sale deed.
Any clauses in the preliminary sales agreement under which the sale can be canceled will expire. The notary reads the deeds. This is done in the Dutch language. An official interpreter should be present if someone is not fluent in Dutch. The notary office can arrange for an interpreter.
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