Buying or selling a property

Legislations and practices involving property acquisition differ from country to country. In Belgium, negotiations between seller and buyer are of great importance. A simple purchase offer countersigned by both parties equals to sale. It is therefore advisable to collect all the essential information before committing to the purchase.

Buying or selling a house in Belgium is submitted to an official procedure involving the mandatory use of a notary and the payment of a number of taxes.  When you buy/own a property in Brussels, you have to pay taxes. The tax rules for buying, selling, gifting and inheriting property are complex. You will find more information about this topic on this SPF FINANCES webpage “Selling – buying”.

It is not necessary to hire a lawyer, as is the case in other European countries. However both parties will need to choose their own notary, independent of the location of the premises. Many notaries speak English and sometimes even other languages. There are small notary firms but also larger ones, made up of associated notaries with numerous partners at your disposal. All notaries in Belgium are authorised to sign deeds of sale for the three regions. A notary in Brussels is therefore perfectly able to help you in the purchase of property in Wallonia, for example. The notaries will initially be in charge of drawing up the provisional sales agreement, which will be followed, within four months at the latest, by the notarial deed of sale. You can consult a database with all Belgian notaries. It is also good to know that the first consultation with a notary is always free of charge and that you will only pay his fees upon completion of the transaction. The notary's fees are calculated in accordance with a set scale and are therefore the same for all public-notaries in Belgium. Contrary to lawyers, one notary is no more expensive than the other!

The Belgian real estate market (including taking out a Belgian mortgage) is open to foreign citizens, even if they are non-resident. Nevertheless, resident and non-resident buyers in Belgium will be submitted to different taxes. 

If you are renting out your property, even awhile on house-sharing websites such as Airbnb, you have to declare any income on the Belgian tax return as explained here.

Find more info here.