Don't lose money in Luxembourg

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

Understand the Compromis de Vente

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 Luxembourg

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

When it comes to buying real estate in Luxembourg, 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 Luxembourg. We want to help you avoid the same experience.

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

What is the Compromis de Vente in Luxembourg?

In Luxembourg, the property purchase agreement, locally known as the "compromis de vente" or "sales agreement," is a crucial document in the real estate transaction process.

This agreement outlines the terms and conditions of the property sale, including the price, description of the property, and any conditions precedent (such as obtaining a mortgage).

The "compromis de vente" is legally binding for both the buyer and the seller. Once signed, it commits both parties to the transaction. This agreement acts as a guarantee for both the buyer and seller, ensuring that the terms agreed upon are legally enforceable.

For international buyers or non-residents, the process and the agreement remain largely the same.

However, it's important to be aware of potential differences in tax implications or additional administrative steps required for non-residents.

For instance, non-residents may need to secure additional documentation or may be subject to different tax rates.

Typically, the "compromis de vente" is signed relatively early in the purchasing process. This is usually after the buyer has viewed the property and decided to proceed, but before the final deed of sale is prepared and signed. Signing this agreement is a significant step as it marks the point where the transaction becomes legally binding.

Regarding the deposit, it's customary in Luxembourg for the buyer to pay a deposit upon signing the "compromis de vente." This deposit, often around 10% of the purchase price, serves as a security measure and is held in a notary's escrow account until the final deed is signed.

The process in Luxembourg might differ slightly from other countries, especially regarding the legal formalities and the role of the notary.

In Luxembourg, notaries play a central role in real estate transactions, ensuring that the process adheres to legal standards and that all necessary documents are correctly prepared and filed.

In contrast, in some other countries, the involvement of a notary might not be as extensive, or different legal professionals might be involved.

Get the full checklist for your due diligence in Luxembourg

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

due diligence Luxembourg

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

In Luxembourg, the property purchase agreement, known as the "compromis de vente," must adhere to certain requirements to ensure its legality and effectiveness.

The governing law for these agreements is primarily the Luxembourg Civil Code, which sets out the requirements for real estate transactions.

A property purchase agreement in Luxembourg should contain several key elements:

Key Element Description

Identification of the Parties

Full names and details of both the buyer and the seller.

Description of the Property

A detailed description of the property, including its location, size, and any pertinent features or fixtures.

Purchase Price

The agreed-upon price for the property.

Payment Terms

Details on how and when the payment will be made, including any deposit required.

Conditions Precedent

These are conditions that must be met for the sale to proceed, such as obtaining a mortgage.

Date of Possession

When the buyer will take possession of the property.

In addition to these mandatory clauses, the agreement may include additional clauses based on the specifics of the transaction. These could involve warranties regarding the property's condition, any agreed-upon repairs, or specific arrangements for the handover of the property.

The agreement can also include various conditions or contingencies. Common examples are financing contingencies (if the buyer needs a mortgage) or sale contingencies (if the buyer needs to sell their current property). These contingencies provide a legal framework for what happens if certain conditions are not met.

In Luxembourg, the "compromis de vente" must be authenticated by a notary.

The notary plays a crucial role in ensuring the legality of the transaction, verifying the identities of the parties involved, and making sure all necessary documents are in order. The notarization of the agreement gives it a higher degree of legal certainty.

Real estate agents in Luxembourg can assist in the preparation and negotiation of the "compromis de vente."

While they play a significant role in bringing the buyer and seller together and in the negotiation process, the legal aspects, especially the drafting and authentication of the agreement, are typically handled by a notary.

What's the signing process like?

In Luxembourg, the signing process of the property purchase agreement, or "compromis de vente," follows a structured procedure to ensure the legality and clarity of the real estate transaction.

The agreement is bilateral and must be signed by both the buyer and the seller.

Both "the buyer" and "the seller" can indeed be several people. For instance, a couple or a group of investors can jointly purchase a property, just as a property can be sold by multiple owners.

The buyer and seller must provide personal identification documents, such as IDs or passports.

The seller needs to provide documents related to the property, such as the title deed, recent property tax statements, and any relevant certificates (e.g., energy performance certificate). The buyer typically needs to provide proof of financing, like a mortgage approval if applicable.

The signing process begins once the buyer and seller agree on the terms of the sale.

The notary then drafts the "compromis de vente," incorporating all agreed terms and legal requirements. After the draft is prepared, both parties review it. This process can take a few days to a couple of weeks, depending on the complexity of the transaction and the availability of the parties.

Once both parties approve the draft, a signing meeting is arranged. This meeting usually takes place within a few weeks of the initial agreement.

Traditionally, both parties are required to be physically present at the notary's office for the signing.

However, remote signing may be possible, especially in light of recent advancements in digital notarization processes. This would depend on the current legal framework and the policies of the specific notary handling the transaction.

There is no strict legal deadline for signing the "compromis de vente" after agreeing to a sale, but it's typically done as soon as possible to secure the transaction.

Once signed, the contract is binding until the final deed of sale is signed and the property is transferred. This period varies but is usually a few months, depending on factors like mortgage approval and the notary's schedule.

The notary handles the registration of the agreement with the local authorities. This registration is crucial for the legal transfer of the property.

The notary ensures that all taxes and fees related to the transaction are correctly calculated and paid.

Once the "compromis de vente" is signed, it is legally binding. Any amendments to the contract after signing require the agreement of both parties and typically the involvement of the notary.

Major changes might necessitate drafting a new agreement.

The timeframe for completing all necessary paperwork and approvals varies. It generally takes a few months from signing the "compromis de vente" to completing the sale.

Factors influencing this timeframe include the speed of mortgage approval, any conditions stated in the agreement, and the efficiency of administrative processes.

Don't sign a document you don't understand

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

property purchase agreementLuxembourg

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

In Luxembourg, understanding the financial aspects of a property purchase agreement is crucial for a smooth real estate transaction.

Let's break down the key elements.

When you sign the sales agreement, or "compromis de vente," you're typically required to pay a down payment. The typical down payment percentage for a property sale in Luxembourg is around 10% of the purchase price.

In addition to the down payment, there may be upfront fees such as notary fees and administrative charges. These fees are usually a percentage of the property's purchase price and can vary based on the complexity of the transaction.

The down payment is usually made to a notary's escrow account, not directly to the seller. This ensures the security of the transaction. The payment is typically due upon signing the agreement or shortly thereafter, as stipulated in the contract.

In Luxembourg, property transfer taxes are applicable and must be considered. The exact amount can depend on the location and type of property.

These taxes are usually a percentage of the property's value and are paid at the time of the final sale, not at the signing of the sales agreement.

The down payment amount can sometimes be negotiated with the seller, but this is not always the case. It largely depends on the seller's flexibility and the property's demand. If the sale falls through under certain conditions, such as a failed inspection or financing contingency explicitly mentioned in the agreement, the down payment may be refundable.

The specifics of this depend on the terms outlined in the sales agreement. It's crucial to have these contingencies clearly stated for the down payment to be refundable.

Generally, the down payment should come from your personal funds. However, specific arrangements can sometimes be made to use a mortgage loan for this purpose, depending on your financial situation and the lender's policies.

In Luxembourg, a notary usually handles the legal aspects of the payment process.

A real estate agent can assist with negotiations and ensure that all financial aspects of the agreement are clear to both parties.

Upon making the down payment, you can and should request a receipt or confirmation of payment. This is usually provided by the notary.

For the buyer, apart from the property transfer taxes, there might be additional tax implications depending on their specific financial situation.

For the seller, there are tax implications related to capital gains, depending on how long they owned the property and their overall financial circumstances.

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 Luxembourg.

In Luxembourg, like in any real estate market, there are risks and potential pitfalls associated with the property purchase agreement, commonly known as the "compromis de vente."

Understanding these is key to navigating the process effectively.

Both the buyer and seller can theoretically withdraw from the agreement, but this comes with consequences.

The ability to withdraw depends on the specific terms outlined in the agreement. For instance, if there are contingencies like financing or inspection, a buyer may withdraw if these conditions are not met.

Luxembourg does not typically have a statutory cooling-off period for real estate transactions as found in some other jurisdictions. Once the "compromis de vente" is signed, it is legally binding.

If a buyer cannot secure financing and this was stipulated as a contingency in the agreement, they can usually back out without penalty.

However, if there is no such clause and the buyer still backs out due to financing issues, they may lose their deposit or face legal action.

If one party fails to fulfill their obligations as outlined in the agreement, the other party can seek legal recourse. This could mean forcing the completion of the sale or seeking damages.

Penalties depend on the specifics of the contract and the nature of the breach.

The most common penalty for withdrawing from a legally binding agreement is the forfeiture of the deposit.

Additionally, the aggrieved party might seek further compensation through legal channels.

In some countries, there's a cooling-off period allowing buyers to reconsider their decision without penalty. This is not the case in Luxembourg.

The role of the notary is more pronounced in Luxembourg than in some other jurisdictions, providing an extra layer of legal oversight.

Potential risks include misrepresentation of the property's condition, unexpected legal issues with the title, and unexpected changes in the buyer's financial situation.

It's crucial to conduct thorough due diligence on the property and ensure all contingencies are clearly outlined in the agreement.

If disputes arise, they are typically resolved through negotiation, mediation, or, as a last resort, legal action.

The notary can often act as a mediator in disputes, especially those related to the interpretation of the contract.

If defects are discovered after signing but before the final sale, the buyer can potentially negotiate repairs or compensation, or even withdraw if the defects are significant and were not disclosed.

The specifics depend on the terms of the contract and the nature of the defects.

Disputes can arise over property boundaries, defects discovered post-signing, or discrepancies in the property's description. These are often resolved through renegotiation, monetary compensation, or adjustments to the terms of the sale.

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.