A buyer and seller of a property meet in 2018 in court because of the purchase of a house. On 5 July 2017 there is an oral agreement about the purchase of a house and the buyer makes use of the reflection period at a later date. The discussion that takes place is whether the reflection period starts after signing the purchase agreement by just one of the sellers or whether both sellers have to sign.
If the cooling-off period ends later, buyer would be too late to be able to invoke the cooling-off period.
The sellers are separated and one of them lives in the United States. On 6 July 2017, the seller from abroad received a proxy by e-mail that he would like to work on the sale of his house. However, it is regulated by law that there is a requirement for writing a house for sale. This will later become relevant in the lawsuit.
On 12 July 2017, the buyer reports to the seller by SMS with the following question:
“Hello Linda, I’m sorry to interrupt: my mortgagor asks for signature from the co-vendor. is it true that you are the only seller? Greetings, [defendant] ”
[Claimant] responded to this message the same day:
“Day [defendant], there is an appendix where my ex gives me the power of attorney. He now lives in the USA but by chance he is in the Netherlands on Friday and will he also be able to sign a proxy and a deed that you need? Gr ”
In the meantime, the signature has been placed by the other seller in the meantime. Then the purchase will take a completely different turn. The buyer will send the following mail on July 17, 2017:
“With this I use the legal cooling-off period and draw my signature on the purchase agreement for the [address] in [place].
I received the agreement signed by all parties on Friday, July 14, 2017.
That means that I can use my reflection time, ending on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 to 11:59 pm. ”
Whether Or Not A Fine Is Due
From that moment on buyer and seller stand opposite each other. The seller does not agree with the cancellation of the purchase without paying a fine. The buyer’s position is that the cooling-off period starts after signing the purchase agreement on 14 July 2017. The date of the previously signed purchase agreement from the beginning of July is the starting point for the legal reflection period for sellers.
The Buyer takes the position that he has made timely use of the statutory cooling-off period. He also indicates that the actual purchase agreement deviates from the draft contract while he has asked the selling agent by e-mail whether these copies corresponded to each other. He states that he has signed it blindly and that it later appears that the salesman’s power of attorney from the United States was missing in the draft sales agreement.
Ultimately, the judge is of the opinion that the buyer only has to count with the start of the legal cooling-off period from 14 July 2017. From that moment on he had a purchase agreement signed by both sellers. As a result, the sellers in this agreement have it checked. Ultimately, the cooling-off period starts after signing a complete purchase agreement.
It is therefore advisable to always record the purchase of a property in writing and to take into account obligations from that moment on. A professional sales broker should know this and will initially have both salesmen sign.