What are the penalties for a walk-away buyer?

Av: Dato: English

As you hopefully know the bid on a property is binding in Norway.  There are no regrets. But what will happen if you walk away after giving a bid?

I got this question from a reader of my blog:

Thank you for your cool articles on boligdama.no
I keep hearing about the biding process being binding. Where can I read about the penalties for a walk-away buyer? If you could point me towards a website or Norwegian legislation(even if not in english), that would be great!

Thank you and keep up the great work!

Best, Jon


It is a very good question, and I am glad that Jon asked.  Because it is quite common knowledge in Norway how this work, I didn’t think about explaining this to my English speaking readers.

It is a violation of the law to walk away from the purchase deal

Because the bid is binding it is a violation of the law for the buyer to walk away from the deal or purchase.

This is according to the Norwegian “Avhendingsloven” or the Disposal /Alienation Act)

Which sanctions or demands will the seller have if the buyer breaks or walk away from the purchase or fails to fulfil the agreement that is done by the bid: 

  1. Demand that the buyer fulfils the agreement
  2. Cancel the purchase
  3. Claim compensation for failure to fulfill the agreement
  4. Held back the take over of the property to the buyer
  5. Demand payment of default interest (when paying the purchase to late)

This is a private law matter.  But this law, “Avtaleloven” has a very strong position in the Norwegian legal system. The government will not come after you if you break a deal like this.  But the other part in the agreement, the seller, can take you to court if you don’t fulfil your obligations made through your bid.

The outcome of these regret/walk away cases will vary.

If it is just a matter of pure regret, the seller will, with assistance from the real estate agent, insist on the fulfilment of the purchase.   And maybe go to court.  Where you probably will lose and have to pay the legal costs for both parts.

If the seller agrees to sell it again through his real estate agent, he will most likely claim compensation for extra cost.  Or maybe he has to sell to a lower price.  Then you will be responsible for the gap between your bid and the new sales price.

In some cases the buyer might have trouble to fully finance the purchase.  This should not really happen, because the realtor are obliged to check this before he approves the bid on behalf of the seller. In these cases the seller often approves the buyer to walk away.  But he will make reservations that he will claim compensation if he has to sell it again to a lower price. And for additional costs for the resale.

And then the “party” maybe continues:
The seller claims the realtor for not doing his job when checking the finances…….

Most Norwegians are aware that the seller has a very good case if the buyer walk away from the sales agreement (after the binding bid). Despite of this we have some cases of regret and attempt to try to withdraw from the purchase.

So, please be aware!

Don’t give a bid if you are not certain that you really want the home:

You will either be forced to go through with the purchase, and maybe sell the home yourself, or pay compensation for any loss that may arise for the seller.


Kommentarer (0)

Be aware of new regulations for home buying in Norway from 1.1.2022

Av: Dato: English

From 1.1.22 a new regulation is being introduced in Norway.  The seller, and the realtor, will be obliged to give more detailed information about the technical standard of the home in the sales material.

The seller may be responsible for incorrect and missing information to the buyers.  He or she has this responsibility also today, but so far court decisions have only made the seller liable for damages if the damage or misinformation amounted to at least 5 percent of the value of the home.  This is a lot of money, and therefore the seller has been imposed to give compensation to the buyer only in a few cases.

In the new law the limit for compensation is decreased down to NOK 10.000.

For this reason, the seller must be much more careful to give ALL the information about the property. He must , through the realtor, order a condition report from a technical expert or surveyor.  The government has made a regulation of how this inspection must be implemented and the contents of the condition report.

The purpose is better protection of the buyer.  This is a good thing in my opinion.

Be aware of the new rule about buyers’ duty to inspect !

As a home buyer  you must be aware that the new law has a rule on the buyers’ duty to inspect before giving a bid.  If you miss some information in the sales material or the technical report, or miss other information given on the viewing,  you cannot complain after the bid has been accepted by the seller.

So, the duties goes both ways in the new law!

My concern as a home buying concultant is to protect the buyer.  I am therefore prepared to help my customers to examine the new technical reports carefully and warn them about risk elements.

If you do not master Norwegian, I will warn you to buy a property without help to translate and interpret all the written material.  This is and will still be,very complicated, even for Norwegians.

Because as I have told you before the bid is binding in Norway.

Kommentarer (12)

Successful purchase after corona break

Av: Dato: English

Erik from The Netherlands contacted me already in December 2020. He is half Norwegian, and he and his family wanted a connection to Norway by purchasing a holiday home.  After mapping their preferences, we found out that Sjusjøen area was the best location for them to enjoy Norwegian nature all year round.

So far, so good, we were ready to cooperate and start the search.  But it turned out to be quite difficult for two reasons:

  • Corona restrictions, they were not allowed to travel to Norway to look at the properties
  • The market for cottages turned crazy. Everyone wanted to buy cottages in the pandemic, and the bidding rounds were extremely “hot”.

Therefore, we decided to take it slowly and wait for better times.

After the summer break, in late august, some cottages were put on the market.  Mainly simple
cabins that were accessible by car only in the summer, but also a few solid all year cabins. The Dutch family had been made aware of the website where all Norwegian properties are advertised finn.no (link to finn.no eiendommer til salgs) and send a link to Boligdama.Where a modern cabin of 96 square meters was announced. I had a nice location and plot in the end of a cabin field.

The buying process went fast 

Due to our experience from last year, we presumed that the cottage easily could be sold after the first viewing a short week later, so we knew that we had to act quickly.Boligdama checked all the sales material and formalities about the property and if the asking price was realistic.  The family got a digital viewing and Erik decided to travel to Norway and look at it the same weekend.  Luckily it was OK to travel with the vaccine certificate. At the viewing he got a very good impression of both the cottage and the Sjusjøen.

The bidding strategy 

When arriving at home we had a digital meeting and discussed the bidding strategy.It turned out that our family were the only bidders even if some other people had viewed the property.   It seems that Norway maybe is back to normal, that means that sale of cottages is a bit slower that ordinary house sales.

The negotiations with the realtor ended below asking price, which by the way was quite in line with current market prices.

Happy ending, happy people:

Congratulation with a successful purchase

What does the family think about the buying process


We are grateful that we found Boligdama to help us with our purchase. She helped us nail down the ideal area that fits our needs, but more importantly she walked us through the entire process and gave us the confidence to act quickly when we finally found our dream cabin.

The process in Norway is quite different from what we are used to, so having local help with tons of experience was a must for us.

We can’t wait to get the keys and enjoy the cabin with our friends and family!

Thank you Boligdama for your help!



Kommentarer (0)

News about the Norwegian Housing market from Boligdama

Av: Dato: English

To my English speaking followers. 

Here are som update about the Norwegian Housing market and some advice how to deal with the market.

The last months we have seen a little bit less increase in housing prices.  Most experts are predicting a flattening of the prices after the summer.  In Oslo the prices have decreased the last months, it seems that they have reached a peak and are heading for a correction.

As the Corona situation is getting better and better and the economy improves, the interest rates will be increased.  That has a great impact on cooling down the housing prices.  Therefore, we can assume that it will be a more buyer friendly market during and over this summer.

You can find more detailed statistics here.

The buying process in Norway is quite special

As told, the bid is binding and there are no regrets.

And the buyer has a lot of responsiblity on his shoulder, by examining all matters within and around the property before the bidding.

This is quite challenging when you do not know the language and the laws and regulations.

Therefore, I wish that you will seek help before you bid on any property in Norway.

Read more about the bidding round and why you should be careful here.

Wish you a very happy summer

With this nice greeting from a recent customer.

“We found you very helpful indeed and your clear advice was immensly calming and good to have. If you need to have anyone, say how good you were, send them to me.

Thank you for the booklet, which we will keep to our side these next months”  S.Rosenthal.

It seems like the Corona situation is calming down here in Norway and we can look forward to at quite normal summer and autumn.

This is really good news.

Please do not hesitate to contact me during the summer if you have any urgents questions.

Take care

Best wishes

Trude Larsen


Kommentarer (0)