Don't lose money in Denmark

We've created a guide to help you avoid pitfalls, save time, and make the best long-term investment possible.

Understand the Købsaftale

Last updated on 

All sources have been thoroughly verified for credibility. Furthermore, a local real estate expert has reviewed and approved the final article.

real estate Denmark

Everything you need to know is included in our Denmark Property Pack

When it comes to buying real estate in Denmark, making sure you fully grasp the property sales contract is essential.

Indeed, not fully understanding the document you will sign can lead to financial losses, including the forfeiture of deposits, payment of penalties, unexpected costs, legal expenses, and potential poor investment decisions.

We've heard countless stories of people making costly mistakes when signing their property agreement in Denmark. We want to help you avoid the same experience.

We'll give here a very brief overview regarding the property sales contract in Denmark ; if you want a full checklist, please check our property pack for Denmark.

What is the Købsaftale in Denmark?

In Denmark, the property purchase agreement, locally known as a "købsaftale," is a crucial document in real estate transactions.

This agreement outlines the terms and conditions of the property sale, including details about the property, the agreed-upon price, and any other conditions or clauses pertinent to the sale.

It's legally binding once both the buyer and the seller sign it, making it a critical point in the buying process.

The "købsaftale" acts as a guarantee for both parties.

For the buyer, it ensures the commitment to sell the property at the agreed terms. For the seller, it secures the buyer's intention to purchase.

This mutual commitment reduces the risk of either party withdrawing from the deal unexpectedly.

Regarding the specific regulations for international buyers or non-residents, Denmark doesn't impose many unique restrictions.

However, it's advisable for international buyers to be aware of local property laws and tax regulations, which might differ from their home country. It's often recommended to seek legal advice or consult with a real estate agent familiar with Danish property law.

In the purchasing process, the property purchase agreement is typically signed after an initial verbal agreement and once any pre-purchase inspections or evaluations have been completed. Signing this document marks a significant step towards finalizing the sale.

A deposit is usually required in Denmark, often amounting to about 5-10% of the purchase price. This deposit is paid upon signing the "købsaftale" and serves as a financial commitment from the buyer.

If the buyer fails to complete the purchase, they risk losing this deposit. Conversely, if the seller backs out, they may be liable to compensate the buyer.

Get the full checklist for your due diligence in Denmark

Don't repeat the same mistakes others have made before you. Make sure everything is in order before signing your sales contract.

due diligence Denmark

What should be included in the property purchase agreement in Denmark?

In Denmark, the real estate transaction process, including the property purchase agreement, is governed by the Danish Purchase Act ("Købeloven").

This law outlines the necessary elements and clauses that must be included in a property purchase agreement.

The agreement should contain essential details such as the identities of the buyer and seller, a detailed description of the property (including the address and land registration number), the purchase price, and the payment terms.

It's also required to include the date of possession when the buyer will take over the property.

Mandatory clauses in the agreement include details about the property's current condition, any legal encumbrances or easements, and information on energy performance certificates.

The agreement should also outline the terms related to the deposit, typically 5-10% of the purchase price, and the conditions under which the deposit may be forfeited.

Additional clauses can cover various aspects such as fixtures and fittings that are included in the sale, any special conditions agreed upon by both parties (like repairs that need to be made), and other specific agreements relevant to the particular transaction.

Conditions or contingencies are often included in these agreements. These can range from the sale being contingent upon the buyer obtaining financing, to stipulations on property inspections, and clauses that allow the buyer to withdraw if certain conditions aren't met.

These contingencies are crucial as they provide a level of protection for both the buyer and seller.

In Denmark, it's not mandatory for the property purchase agreement to be authenticated by a notary.

However, it is common practice to have a real estate agent or a lawyer involved in drafting and reviewing the agreement to ensure that all legal requirements are met and the interests of both parties are protected.

The real estate agent plays a significant role in the process, often acting as an intermediary between the buyer and seller and facilitating negotiations and the drafting of the agreement.

What's the signing process like?

In Denmark, the signing process of the property purchase agreement in a real estate transaction is quite structured and involves several key steps.

Both the buyer and the seller are required to sign the property purchase agreement. This agreement is bilateral, meaning it is a mutual agreement between both parties.

It's important to note that both "the buyer" and "the seller" can indeed be several people. For example, a couple buying a home together would both be listed as buyers, and similarly, if a property is owned by more than one person, all owners would be the sellers.

The required documents and information from both parties typically include personal identification (like a passport or national ID for individuals), proof of the property's legal status (such as a title deed), and financial details (proof of funds for the buyer and mortgage details for the property being sold).

The steps for signing the agreement generally follow this timeline:

Step Description

Preparation of the Agreement

The real estate agent or lawyer prepares the purchase agreement based on the terms agreed upon by both parties.

Review and Negotiation

Both parties review the agreement and may negotiate any terms if needed.

Signing the Agreement

Once all terms are agreed upon, both parties sign the agreement. This can be done in person or remotely. In recent years, digital signatures have become more common, allowing for remote signing.

Exchange of Copies

After signing, both parties receive a copy of the agreement.

There isn't a fixed deadline for signing the agreement; it depends on the negotiations and readiness of both parties.

However, once a verbal agreement is reached, it's common practice to move forward with the signing as soon as possible to secure the transaction.

The duration during which the contract is valid is typically outlined in the agreement itself. It remains valid until the conditions within are met, such as the transfer of ownership and payment completion.

In Denmark, registration of the property transaction is an essential step. This is done by submitting the signed agreement and other necessary documents to the Land Registry (Tinglysningsretten).

The registration solidifies the change of ownership legally and publicly.

After the agreement is signed, amendments can be made, but only if both parties agree to these changes. Any amendments must also be in writing and signed by both parties.

The typical timeframe for completing all necessary paperwork and approvals after signing can vary, but it generally takes a few weeks to a couple of months.

This timeframe includes completing financial arrangements, conducting any required property inspections, and completing the registration process.

Don't sign a document you don't understand

Buying a property in Denmark? We have reviewed all the documents you need to know. Stay out of trouble - grab our comprehensive guide.

property purchase agreementDenmark

How is the payment handled when signing a property purchase contract in Denmark?

Understanding the financial aspects of a property purchase agreement in Denmark is crucial for a smooth transaction.

When you sign a sales agreement for a property in Denmark, there are several financial considerations to keep in mind.

Firstly, at the time of signing the sales agreement, you're typically required to pay a down payment.

This down payment is generally around 5% to 10% of the purchase price. This amount serves as your commitment to the purchase and is part of the overall buying cost.

There are upfront fees and costs associated with signing the sales agreement. These may include fees for the real estate agent, legal fees, and possibly a fee for registering the agreement.

The exact costs can vary depending on the specifics of the transaction and the professionals involved.

In Denmark, the payment is usually made to an escrow account rather than directly to the seller. This account is often managed by the real estate agent or a lawyer involved in the transaction.

This approach ensures that the funds are securely held until the transaction is finalized and all conditions of the sale are met.

The due date for the payment is typically specified in the sales agreement. It's not always immediate upon signing the agreement; sometimes, it may be scheduled for a later date, particularly if there are conditions such as obtaining a mortgage approval that need to be met first.

Regarding taxes, there are property transfer taxes associated with the purchase of real estate in Denmark. These taxes are usually a percentage of the property's sale price and must be paid by the buyer. It's important to factor in these additional costs when planning your finances for the property purchase.

You can negotiate the down payment amount with the seller, although this is more the exception than the rule.

Most sellers have a standard expectation based on market norms, but like any aspect of a real estate transaction, it is subject to negotiation.

If the sale falls through, what happens to the down payment depends on the terms of the agreement and the reason for the sale's collapse. If it's due to a failed inspection or a financing contingency that was part of the agreement, you might be entitled to a refund.

However, if the buyer defaults without such conditions, the down payment might be forfeited.

Regarding financing, the down payment usually comes from personal funds rather than a mortgage loan. The down payment demonstrates your financial commitment and ability to proceed with the purchase.

An attorney or real estate agent plays a crucial role in handling the payment process. They ensure that the payment is correctly processed and that all legal requirements are met.

They can also provide guidance on the financial aspects of the transaction and ensure that your interests are protected.

When you make the down payment, it's advisable to request a receipt or confirmation of payment. This document serves as proof of your fulfillment of the agreement's financial obligations.

As for tax implications, both the buyer and seller have responsibilities.

The buyer, as mentioned, is usually responsible for property transfer taxes. The seller may have capital gains tax obligations, depending on the circumstances of the sale and their personal tax situation.

What are the potentials risks and pitfalls?

You might be interested in reading our article about the common risks and pitfalls surrounding a property transaction in Denmark.

In Denmark, the property purchase agreement is a legally binding contract, but there are specific circumstances under which a buyer or seller can withdraw.

The buyer has a cooling-off period, which is a short duration after signing the agreement during which they can cancel the purchase without a specific reason. This cooling-off period is typically six days, including weekends and public holidays.

If the buyer chooses to withdraw within this period, they are usually required to pay a nominal fee, which is a small percentage of the purchase price.

If a buyer wishes to back out after the cooling-off period due to an inability to secure financing, this depends on whether a financing contingency clause was included in the agreement. If such a clause exists and the buyer genuinely cannot obtain financing, they can usually withdraw without penalty.

However, if there's no such clause, the buyer might lose their deposit or face other penalties for breaching the contract.

If either party fails to fulfill their obligations as outlined in the agreement, the consequences can vary. The specific penalties should be detailed in the agreement itself.

Commonly, if the buyer defaults, they may lose their deposit or face legal action for breach of contract. If the seller defaults, they may have to return the deposit and potentially pay additional compensation to the buyer.

In the context of real estate transactions in other countries, there are differences in terms of how agreements are structured, the length of cooling-off periods (or their absence), and the specific legal obligations of the parties involved.

For example, in some countries, the cooling-off period might be longer, or there might be more stringent requirements for withdrawing from an agreement.

Risks and pitfalls associated with the agreement include misunderstanding the terms, failing to include necessary contingencies, and not thoroughly inspecting the property before signing. It's also risky if buyers don't secure financing in advance or if sellers don't disclose known defects in the property.

Disputes during the agreement are not extremely common, but they do occur.

Real-life examples might include disagreements over property boundaries, the condition of the property, or fulfillment of specific terms in the agreement. These disputes are typically resolved through negotiation, mediation, or, in more severe cases, legal action.

In Denmark, the process for resolving disputes or disagreements during the signing period often involves legal counsel. Parties may seek mediation or arbitration to avoid court proceedings. If a resolution can't be reached, the matter may need to be settled in court.

If the property is discovered to have defects or issues after signing, the buyer may have legal recourse if these defects were not disclosed or were misrepresented.

This depends on the specifics of the agreement and whether the seller was aware of (and failed to disclose) these issues.

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered financial advice. Readers are advised to consult with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions. We do not assume any liability for actions taken based on the information provided.