What You Need to Know About the Belgium Real Estate Market

The buying process in Belgium is quite complicated, and this will influence the total cost of your home purchase. In line with other European Union countries, many costs are included as part of the sales price. However, there are still some costs which have to be paid by the buyer or seller. These include: taxes (stamp duty), notary and registration fees, transfer tax, mortgage arrangement costs and other expenses connected with transferring utilities etc.

Costs for buyer

Here is a brief summary of the main costs you may incur when buying a property in Belgium (https://www.bluehomes.com/Immobilien-Belgien/B/de/debut.html):

– Notary fees, transfer duties and registration fees – typically 11% of the purchase price. These have to be paid by the buyer. Other related fees include mortgage arrangement costs, utility connections/disconnections and any legal advice that might be needed during the sale process. These tend to be paid by either the buyer or seller, depending on an agreement between them prior to exchange of contracts. Some lawyers’ fees are charged as a percentage of the purchase price plus other fees relating to their services. In this case it will be up to you and your lawyer to decide if these should also be included in the final purchase price.

– Real estate agent’s fees are typically around 6–7% of the total purchase price, but can vary according to the type of agency agreement you have with your real estate agents. For example, some agencies charge a percentage of the total annual rental value of the property while others may charge a percentage of the purchase price.

– Costs for exchanging contracts will be charged by your solicitor or notary – these tend to be between €150 and €350 per contract that is signed. There are standard costs payable on completion (or exchange) which include fees for extra work required e.g., an international transfer tax, registration duties on donations/transfers under inheritance laws etc. professions do not legally make use of commission structure.

– Under Belgian law, all offers to purchase must be accompanied by a deposit of at least 5% of the total purchase price. This amount is usually transferred to the seller’s solicitor on exchange of contracts and becomes non-refundable if you pull out of the sale after this point.

The buying process in Belgium is quite complicated, and this will influence the total cost of your home purchase.

– Stamp Duty (known as transfer tax in Belgium) is calculated at 1% for homes costing between €50,000 and €500,000, 2% on homes selling for €500,001 – €1 million and 3% above €1 million. Stamp duty has to be paid by the buyer when they sign the deed of conveyance at notary’s office or registry office during closing procedure.

Costs for seller

Here’s a brief summary of the main costs you may have to pay when selling your property in Belgium:

  • Notary fees, registration fees and transfer tax – typically 7% of the sales price. These have to be paid by the seller. Other related fees include mortgage settlement costs, utility connections/disconnections and any legal advice that might be needed during the sale process. These tend to be paid by either the buyer or seller, depending on an agreement between them prior to exchange of contracts. Some lawyers’ fees are charged as a percentage of the purchase price plus other fees relating to their services. In this case it will be up to you and your lawyer to decide if these should also be included in the final purchase price.
  • Real estate agent’s fees are typically around 6–7% of the total purchase price, but can vary according to the type of agency agreement you have with your real estate agents. For example, some agencies charge a percentage of the total annual rental value of the property while others may charge a percentage of the purchase price.
  • Costs for exchanging contracts will be charged by your solicitor or notary – these tend to be between €150 and €350 per contract that is signed. There are standard costs payable on completion (or exchange) which include fees for extra work required e.g., an international transfer tax, registration duties on donations/transfers under inheritance laws etc.. Some professionals do not use a commission structure, but instead charge an hourly rate.
  • Under Belgian law, all offers to purchase must be accompanied by a deposit of at least 5% of the total purchase price. This amount is usually transferred to the seller’s solicitor on exchange of contracts and becomes non-refundable if you pull out after this point. Stamp duty has to be paid by the buyer when they sign the deed of conveyance at notary’s office or registry office during closing procedure.

Costs for buying with investment credit

Warning: This information refers only to provisions that are currently in force – for more detailed explanations please contact your bank or independent professional advisor. When buying with investment credit (leaseback) you will have to take out a loan to finance the purchase of your property. This means that you will have to take out two loans – one for the purchase of your house/apartment and another one for the infrastructure (e.g., hall, garage).

Your bank will require tax returns in order to assess your creditworthiness when applying for an investment credit. If you are employed, they will base their decision on your salary over the previous 12 months. However, if you are self-employed or running a business, they will usually cover the last 2-3 years’ turnover figures when making their assessment.

You must provide proof that at least 70% of the rent produced by the property is paid to you under Belgian rental law (if applicable) and that you will hold the property for at least 5 years after receiving the investment credit. If your business is based outside Belgium, you can provide details of turnover figures and tax returns instead. However, if there are insufficient funds in your account to service all repayments then your application might be refused or additional security may be required (for example, a second loan).

You will usually be charged interest on the amount of money borrowed to finance both properties. This could be done either by adding it to the monthly repayment figure for your main property or by charging interest only on it – this depends on what suits you best. You should check with your bank which option they use as well as what rate of interest is payable and how often this changes (e.g., annually).

The bank will also charge a stamp duty on the credit agreement that should be included in the final purchase price of both properties (leaseback and secondary property), although this is tax deductible. You can ask your accountant to check what rates apply where you live and work – rates typically range from 2% to 4,5%. The total amount of interest and stamp duty payable should therefore not exceed 8% of the purchase price. .

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