Bidding and buying on Bonaire
Although Bonaire is part of The Netherlands some laws regarding the purchase of Real Estate diverge from these applicable in The Netherlands (and Europe). Therefore we will explain the process of buying Real Estate on Bonaire stated below.
If a property is offered at a sales price (fixed price) there is no room for negotiation. If the property is marketed with an asking price you can negotiate on the final sales price. A seller does not have to accept your offer; even if the asking price is offered.
The process of making an offer up till the acceptance of this does; under the legislation for the Bes Islands (Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba), not have to be done in writing but can also be done verbally. Once either the seller or buyer accepts an offer an agreement has come into effect which is binding for both parties. The offer is accepted based on price, date of transfer and what is included such as furniture etc of which seller will provide a detailed summary. The broker will subsequently draw up the purchase agreement in which, apart from the agreed upon purchase price, all rights and obligations for both seller and buyer will be stated. The agreement will also state eventual reservations that are agreed upon.
If applicable the agreement can be subject to financing being arranged; clearly mentioning the amount required. If the buyer cannot obtain the financing he/she will have to hand proof that he/she has done all possible to obtain the financing. This notification shall be done well documented by registered letter from 2 renowned financial or banking establishments. Once the buyer has handed these letters the agreement will be dissolved.
NOTE: if a buyer made an offer subject to financing and the seller agreed there is a deal. If buyer is given the financing but at this moment decides not to proceed with the purchase the buyer owes seller a fine equal to the amount of the down payment being 15% of the purchase sum. The agreement can only be dissolved based on a legit ground which in this example is not the case. (unless agreed upon otherwise)
Another proviso can be a technical inspection. The purchase agreement can only be dissolved if this inspection reveals major structural problems to the property which will be described in detail by the inspector.
The purchase agreement will be signed by both parties and the buyer will need to wire a down payment of 15% within 10 to14 days after signing the agreement into the escrow account of the notary. Further details are taken down in the purchase agreement.
The notary is appointed by the Island Government and will take care of all legal settlements regarding the agreement such as the drawing up of the deed of ownership, do a thorough title search to rule out any liens on the property. The notary will provide both buyer and seller with a final statement .Buyer has to take into account that the closing costs are approximately 6% of the purchase sum; this amount consists of 5% transfer tax and furthermore notary costs, registration costs etc. Should either party not be able to be present in person at the moment of transfer all settlements can be carried out by power of attorney.