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Selling Property in Belgium: Our Real Estate Guide

July 29, 2022
While it's great to own a property in Belgium, it may be time to sell it. Perhaps the place is no longer for you. Or you plan to purchase a new one. Or you simply need the money. Whatever your reason, there may come a time when you have to put your property in Belgium for sale. With that said, the process isn't a walk in the park. There's a lot you need to do, from paying the required costs to sprucing up the home to get it ready for the buyer. This real estate guide will show you the basics of the process.

Selling Property in Belgium: Our Real Estate Guide

What Are The Costs of Selling Your Property in Belgium?

Homeowners often forget that when they decide to sell their properties, they'll need to prepare a huge budget for it too. If you're looking to put your property in Belgium for sale, know that you'll have to pay a few costs. There's the capital gains tax, for instance, which is imposed on the profit you earn from the sale. Your notary fees are to pay for all the legal work your lawyer will do throughout the process. And if you hire a real estate agent, you'll need to pay their commission too. Not to mention other services you may need as well like valuation surveys, repairs, renovations, and the like.

Should You Sell Your Property Privately in Belgium?

Although selling your property in Belgium through real estate isn't required, there's no denying that it can certainly help. By hiring a real estate agent, you get to benefit from their many services and even their wide network too. It's no surprise that many homeowners seek their help when they want to sell their homes. However, if you don't have the extra cash to pay for their commission, consider selling your property on your own instead. It can be a little challenging, sure, but there are some benefits too. You get to keep more of your profit for yourself and you can stay on top of the process all throughout!

Selling Property in Belgium: Our Real Estate Guide

How Do You Make a Property Valuation in Belgium?

When you sell your property in Belgium, conducting a valuation is very important. It's oftentimes the first step of the process. A valuation is when you get your property checked out to determine its true value. Usually, if you hired a real estate agent, this is already part of their many services. But if you chose to sell your property on your own, you can always hire a third-party company to do it. Many times, the buyer also conducts their own valuation especially since many financial institutions require it for the mortgage application.

How Do You Survey Your Property for Selling?

As the seller, you have to take note that buyers will look into various aspects of the property before they decide to buy. Some of them, you can't control like the location, the nearby facilities, the neighbors, and more. What you can work on, however, are the working windows, the overall structure & layout, space for storage, and even baby safety. You'll only discover if any of these needs fixing if you conduct a structural survey of the property before you put it up for sale. This is to ensure that your place is in tip-top shape for the potential buyer/s.

Selling Property in Belgium: Our Real Estate Guide

How Do You Market Your Property in Belgium?

When you put your property in Belgium for sale, you'll also have to market it. How else can you attract potential buyer/s, especially when you're selling it on your own? These days, the best way to market your home is to have it listed in a property portal. Some of the most popular property listing websites get tons of visits each month, both from local and foreign buyers. If you can register your property in any one of them and provide high-quality photos and videos as well, then there's a good chance it will pique the interest of a willing buyer.

What is The Process of Notarizing Your Property in Belgium?

Among the many people that you'll need to hire to sell your property in Belgium, you'll have to be careful with your notary the most! Why? Because it's their job to legalize the process altogether. Only when you get your documents notarized will they be legally binding. These include your purchase commitment contract, the deed of sale, and other paperwork you need for the process. And if your notary also works as your solicitor, they'll also serve as your legal representative. It's even possible that, if you're not in Belgium yourself, you'll give your notary the authority to sign important documents on your behalf. That's why you need to hire a trustworthy professional for the job!

Selling Property in Belgium: Our Real Estate Guide

What Documents Do You Need To Sell Your Property?

According to Engel & Völkers, you will need a few important documents to sell your property in Belgium. They include the title deed, lease documents (if applicable), a Building Energy Performance (PEB) certificate, a Soil certificate, an Electricity inspection certificate, a Fuel oil tank certificate, documents relating to land use, documents relating to joint ownership (if applicable), and a Post Intervention Dossier (PID). More often than not, your notary will help you get them since they'll be coming from important government offices. And you'd do well to prepare all of these documents before you start marketing your property for sale.

How Do You Set Up the Sale & Purchase Contract?

The sale & purchase contract, more commonly known as the 'purchase commitment contract' here in Belgium, is one of the most important documents in the sale. It essentially binds both parties—you, the seller, and the buyer—to the sale. This contract will include details of both parties, information regarding the property, the agreed final price, the date & time of when it was signed, and sometimes, the payment schedule for the buyer. Upon signing, you will be legally required to follow through with the sale until the end. And if you choose to unceremoniously back out of the agreement, you'll be liable to pay double the amount of the deposit the buyer paid you.

Selling Property in Belgium: Our Real Estate Guide

What are The Legal Issues in Selling Your Property in Belgium?

It shouldn't surprise you that selling your property in Belgium will come with a few legal issues. And as the seller, you won't have to face a lot of them anyway. Firstly, if you can prove that you are, in fact, the legal owner of the property, then you're good to go. Let your notary check in the registry if you are listed on the title deed. Once confirmed, then you're free to sell the property as you please. You also have to keep your end of the deal once you've signed the contracts. Lest you want to get into legal trouble and face huge penalties!

How Long is The Process of Selling Your Property?

The length of time it will take for you to sell real estate in Belgium will depend on various factors. There are certain parts of the process you can't control, after all. But what you can do to make sure that you don't prolong the process unnecessarily is to prepare the documents beforehand. More often than not, it's this part that takes up a lot of time. And if you can get all your legal paperwork done prior to putting your property in Belgium for sale, then it will only take around two to three months to sell it.

What are The Best Tips for Selling Property in Belgium?

Finally, some important tips for selling your property in Belgium. Firstly, handle all the small repairs yourself. If you spot anything that needs fixing that you can do on your own, do it! This will save a ton of money. You'll also want to meet the buyer in person. Though it's not required, you'll feel more comfortable if you get to know the buyer yourself. After all, the property they're planning to buy was once yours. It will do your conscience good if you're sure that you're leaving it in the right hands!

Selling Property in Belgium: Our Real Estate Guide

You need to understand that selling your property in Belgium is a lot more complicated than you realize. Only when you know what to do will you be able to do it successfully and without getting into trouble.

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