Houses in Belgium
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The real estate in Belgium has the reputation of being fairly cheaper than its neighbours. Expat.com gives you some useful advice on what you need to know before purchasing a property in Belgium.

Real estate in Belgium

Most expats choose to rent while living in Belgium. However, some are attracted to the idea of investing in real estate because of the advantages of ownership. Indeed, the Flat Country offers cheaper properties than its neighbours. However, Belgium too experienced an increase in prices in the real estate market since 2013.

Good to know:

Three-quarter of the Belgian population are property owners.

Is real estate purchase accessible to foreigners in Belgium?

Foreigners can invest in property in Belgium. However, some conditions apply regarding taxation depending on whether you are a resident or not. Don't forget to ask for further information depending on your situation and residential status.

The hunt for real estate properties in Belgium

Most of the properties on sale would have a sign outside the house or on the balcony. These signs are usually of orange colour and display 'on sale' or 'te koop' on it.

You can also look for properties online. Many websites are dedicated to real estate sales and rentals.

You can also ask for help at rental agencies, but remember that this service comes at a price. Agency fees vary from ⬠250 to ⬠1,000 and sometimes more.

Some properties are sold at auctions. They are publicly advertised in newspapers with details of the sale.

Formalities when buying a property in Belgium

Three phases: the bid, the sales agreement, and the deed.

The bid

The bid, also called 'koopintenties' is a similar concept to a job offer. With this document, sellers engage in selling the property but can withdraw their offer at any time. The buyer has to pay a small down payment, which is not refundable in the case of the seller withdrawing the offer.

This document is not mandatory for the purchase. However, many real estate agents prefer to have one.

The sales agreement

Also called 'verkooncompromis'. This document displays all the details in the sales contract. At this point, buyers have to pay nearly 10% of the total amount on a trust or to the notary. This amount cannot be given to the real estate agency or the seller. The buyer then has four months to pay the rest of the amount and conclude the sale.

The deed

The deed or 'notariële akte' is the document vouching for the ownership transfer. It has to be made in the four months following the sales agreement by a notary. During these four months, the property has to be inspected by an architect or a surveyor. The sale is also registered during this time.

Fees that apply when buying a property in Belgium

In total, nearly 22% of the price of the property will go into the different fees related to the sale. Those fees are as follows:

  • Registration of the sale: 10% (Flanders) and 12.5% of the purchase price in other regions (for properties more than two years ago).
  • VAT: 21% of the purchase price (only for properties built less than two years ago).
  • Notary costs: vary from 0.2 to 4% of the purchase price. The percentage is pre-determined by law, depending on the sale amount.
  • Deed of sale: between ⬠800 and ⬠1000
  • Agency fees: between 0.2 and 0.6% of the purchase price
We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.