Purchasing process of real estate

Bonaire is a part of the BES islands (Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba), and therefore the law of this country applies. This law finds its base in the legal system of the Netherlands, but is not completely similar.

Obviously before you can buy a property you need to find it. With that Bonaireal Estate gladly assist you. Once you have identified the property that you would like to buy, the purchasing process begins.

Listing prices

1. When the price is fixed, there is no negotiation possible on the price. In those cases you may be able to negotiate when the date of transfer will take place and any other details you would like to be included.

2. When the price is marked as an asking price, it means that you are invited to make an offer on the property, however the seller is not obligated to accept your offer, even when you offer the asking price.

Offer item

An offer usually contains the following items: the price, the date on which you would like to take possession of the property, a specification of what is included (inventory wise), the currency in which you would like to pay and any contingencies that you would like to include, such as financing and results of a technical inspection.


1. A contingency for financing will have to include a definite maximum amount that you would need to borrow, and any other conditions that are important to you. These parameters need to be in there so that you can proof beyond doubt that you were unable to obtain the financing, so that you have the right to receive back your deposit on the property. The proof will have to be written and signed by 2 renowned financial institutions, stating that they were unable to provide you with the financing for this amount under these conditions.

2. A contingency for the results of a technical inspection will also need to be defined precisely. This should be in terms of only when major structural problems will be found by the inspector, you will have the right to dissolve the agreement without a penalty.

Under the law of the BES this whole process can take place verbally: nothing has to be in writing. Once the seller has accepted your offer, or you have accepted the sellers offer, there is a deal, that is binding for both parties. Bonaireal Estate will then draw up the purchase agreement, which will reflect the price and other details and contingencies that were agreed upon. Furthermore the rights and obligations of both buyer and seller will be laid down in this agreement. This document will be signed by both, seller and buyer, and the buyer will need to wire a down payment of 15% of the purchase price within 10 to 14 days of signing this agreement to the escrow account of the notary here on Bonaire.

The notary will then prepare everything for the actual transfer of ownership. All outstanding government fees and taxes for the property will be gathered and the notary will perform a title search to make sure there are no liens on the property. You will receive notification of the notary how much exactly you will need to pay before the date of transfer. On the date of transfer you will be invited to the notary’s office to sign the official deed of conveyance. If you are unable to be present yourself, you can sign a power of attorney for one of notary’s coworkers.

Costs involved with buying a house

  • Notary costs dependent on purchase price;
  • Transfer taxes, 5 % of the purchase price or the registered value if this is higher;
  • Research for liens, recording, registration;
  • Settlement property tax and long lease yearly payment;
  • Total amount of closing costs approx. 6.5 % of the purchase price or the registered value if this is higher;
  • Closing costs are almost always for the buyer.
2008©Copyright Bonaireal Estate  | Disclaimer



The notary

The notary | Bonaireal Estate
  • What does the notary do when you have decided to buy a house on Bonaire?

You can read it on this page. Of course you can contact us for further information.

More information

  • Costs involved with buying a house on Bonaire. Read more...
  • Prices mentioned on our site are asking prices and buyers costs, unless mentioned at the object differently.
  • We have some companies c.q. establishment licenses in portfolio for adoption. In a personal conversation we can give you more information.