These guidelines are meant for guidance only and describe a straightforward purchase scenarios. However this information is not meant to replace proper legal advice, which we always insist you take.
There are no foreign ownership restrictions in acquiring Belgian property.
After deciding what property to purchase, buyer signs an agreement to purchase (compromis de vente or verkoopcompromis). This immediately commits the buyer to purchase the property. Buyer and seller are each represented by a legal counsel orotary. Costs for the services of the notary are fixed and state-agreed. These costs depends on the property.
In general, real estate can be acquired by simple agreement. Usually, a binding, private written contract (acte authentique or authentieke) is entered into subsequent to the notarized sales agreement. Such a contract is usually drafted by legal counsel and may contain conditions upon which the validity of the sale is dependent.
At this time, a deposit of usually 10% of the sale price is made, and placed into an escrow account until the notarized deed is issued. When both parties sign the notarized deed, keys will change hands. Sale should be registered with the official registry within four months of signing the deed, when duties of 12.5% of the sales price become due.
Steps in registering Property in Belgium
1. Parties hand in initial sale agreement to Notary and pay registration duties and notary fees
2. Notary obtains excerpt and plan from land register ("kadaster / cadastre") indicating the exact land register references
3. Notary obtains excerpt from the mortgage register in order to verify whether certain third party rights were granted over the property and copies of the transfer deeds over a 30-year period
4. Notary obtains zoning certificates from the municipality
5. Notary obtains tax certificates relating to the seller's tax position from tax administration (Inland Revenue)
6. The notary draws up the deed based on the agreement between the parties
7. The notary applies for registration with the Mortgage Register and a certified copy of the deed is sent to the buyer
Find detailed info on registering property in Belgium HERE.