When you withdraw from a purchase, in some cases you can make use of your right of withdrawal. This means that you can return your wares or withdraw from the purchase agreement. It also applies to big purchases like homes or cars.

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What is the right of withdrawal?

When shopping in physical stores, the store itself decides, whether to grant right of withdrawal or not. They also determine the time span for it to be valid. The right of withdrawal is also referred to as the right of return. When purchasing something online, you have a right of withdrawal of 14 days.


Right of withdrawal is part of a store’s or vendor’s terms of trade.


When making a purchase, this constitutes a binding agreement and as a customer you are not entitled to the right of withdrawal from a purchase. Many stores offer it as a service to their customers, nonetheless.


The right of withdrawal should not be confused with warranty, which entitles a customer to receive their money back within the first 24 months, if a product has a defect or breaks without the customer’s fault.


Guidelines for the right of withdrawal

If the seller has special guidelines for making use of the right of withdrawal, these have to be made clear before the purchase.


Special guidelines can be that the product has to be returned in unopened original packaging, within a specific time span or other special reservations included in the purchase contract.


However, the product always has to be handed back unused and undamaged (if it is defect, you have to make use of your warranty instead), so it can be resold as new.


Right of withdrawal for real estate purchases

If you buy a home, you can withdraw your offer of buying it. If you withdraw from the purchase, you have to send a written notice to the seller before they have accepted the purchase offer. This is also valid, when seller and buyer have entered into a binding purchase agreement.


The buyer has six work days after agreeing to a real estate purchase to withdraw from it. This ensures that the buyer always has an additional weekend to think about it. If the buyer signs the purchase agreement first, the deadline starts the day the seller receives the signed purchase agreement.


Withdrawing from a real estate purchase is not free of charge, however. If the buyer withdraws, they have to pay a compensation equal to 1 % of the real estate’s purchase prize. The sum has to be paid by the buyer and received by the seller within the six-day deadline. If not paid on time, the buyer is bound to the purchase, even after withdrawing from it in writing.


Types of real estate

Whether you are covered by the right of withdrawal, is dependent on the type of real estate. Right of withdrawal applies to the following types of real estate:


  • One- and two-party houses
  • Condominium
  • Apartments
  • Summer houses
  • Undeveloped plots, where the buyer is to buy their home
  • Equities or other types of agreement granting the right to occupy a home


The following types of real estate are not covered by the right of withdrawal:


  • Real estate bought at an auction or foreclosure
  • Agricultural real estate
  • Timeshare-apartments
  • Cooperative real estate that has yet to be built


Right of withdrawal for car purchases

When buying a car, you are fundamentally not covered by right of withdrawal. It is not guaranteed because the bill of sale in a car purchase is binding. This means that you can not withdraw from your car purchase after signing the bill of sale. Hence, it is important that you as a buyer make sure that everything is written into the bill of sale. You also have to make sure, that the dealer has given all relevant information on the car, before the bill of sale is signed.


You can not withdraw from a car purchase, unless you have ensured to make reservations for another relevant party to first approve the purchase. Therefore, as a customer you can not demand to cancel the car purchase, unless the car has a deficiency. Instead, try talking to the car dealer to see if you can find common ground and reach a solution together.

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Disclaimer: This overview is for informational purposes only and cannot be counted as legal advice.