Can you trust the bidding and the home sale system in Norway?

Av: Dato: English

When I am working with my home buyer costumers from different countries, they are often wondering if we can trust the various actors and the transparency of the process.

The question is wise, and I totally understand it.  The process is quite complicated with a lot of different people and systems involved.  And maybe you have bad experiences from your own home market.

I like to put some remarks on this issue.

All in all, the home buying sale process in Norway is safe and transparent.  Of course, the realtor is trying to get you to pay as high price as possible.  The seller is his client, and he is paying his fee.

But according to the law the realtor is also obliged to take care of the buyer’s interest.  And make sure that the adds, sales material and oral information are correct.  The realtor is together with the seller, responsible to give all known information about the property, before the bidding round.

Read:  Be aware of new regulations for home buying in Norway

The last twenty years the home buying market and the real estate business has become more and more regulated.  This is based on a wish from the authorities to create a safe home buying process.  But it has also been necessary because of some professional short cuts the realtors have taken to promote their own interests. You know, when profit is in the picture, people always want to take advantage of it.  Within in the law or on the edge of the low.

The Norwegian “Finanstilsynet” is responsible for the supervision and control of the real estate agents

We also have the consumer authority and other  complaint bodies where consumers, seller and buyers can complain if they experience bad practice. And of course, we have the the court system.

So, on the formal side everything is in order.

But when it comes to whom to trust in the home buying process, many buyers tend to not put totally trust in the realtor.  Because he is the seller’s representative, and his priority is to get the highest price The realtors in Norway have to fulfil the Bachelor grade in Real Estate and have work practice before they can take independent sales assignment.  So, they know what to do, and what laws to follow.  But because of the competition among the realtors and the hunt for the highest price, some buyers experience bad customer care on their behalf.

This unbalance between seller and buyers need in the home buying process, is the reason why I started as a home buying consultant.

One important thing in the end:

Fake bids

Many of you are anxios about this. Understandable, especially when we practise the principle of auction and  bidding rounds administrated by the realtor.

Fake bids are luckily no longer an issue in Norway.  All the bids must be registered in a journal by the realtor. If you buy the property, you will receive the bidding journal with all the bidders name, time of the different bidders and amounts.  If you are only participant, but not a buyer you can ask for the same journal but without names.

Also, the realtor is obliged to check the bidders financing in their bank.  In that way he will know that the bidder is a serious one that are able to pay for the property.



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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
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.


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