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A step-by-step guide on selecting estate agents in the Netherlands

Are you planning to sell a house in the Netherlands? Choosing the right real estate agent is an important first step in the sales process. You want an agent with the right expertise in your area and price range. Of course, having a good rapport with them and being on the same wavelength regarding the sales strategy and asking price is crucial. This page explains what to look for when choosing a real estate agent. This information is especially useful for those not from the Netherlands and looking for guidance on comparing agents. Make the most of it!

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The step-by-step plan for choosing a real estate agent

It's time to get started. With this handy step-by-step plan, you'll find an agent who will quickly sell your property. We explain each step in detail and how to proceed.

Step 1: Create a long list of potential agents

To begin, let's explore which estate agents you should consider.

First, we will create a comprehensive list of potential estate agents. Here are some effective ways to gather their names:

Look out in the streets

One of the easiest methods is to observe the 'For Sale' signs in your neighborhood. This will give you an idea of which firms are actively working in your area.

Search for agents on Google

Next, turn to Google. However, remember that search results can be skewed by advertising budgets, meaning the top results might not necessarily be the best agents but those who have paid the most for visibility. Sometimes, less competent agents invest heavily in advertising to attract clients. So keep scrolling and find competent agents through your own research.

Ask friends and family

Word-of-mouth recommendations from friends or colleagues can be valuable. Even getting one or two names can be helpful. However, be cautious, as individuals typically have experience with only one agent and might not have a broad basis for comparison.

Find agents on Funda

Funda, the largest housing website in the Netherlands, is another great resource. It provides a list of active agents in your city. By simply clicking on available houses, you will find the agent responsible for the sale, and you can contact them. However, note that Funda favors 'NVM' estate agents due to its ownership by one of the estate agent associations, which may introduce some bias. While Funda is excellent for generating a long list, it might not be the best tool for making a final selection, as it does not rank agents based on performance or customer satisfaction.

Use Mijn Verkoopmakelaar to find the best agent

We can assist you in this part of the process. We have developed a tool to help with your search. Below, you can fill out a form with your postal code and upload a few interior pictures of your property. This will notify estate agents in your area about your plans to sell, allowing them to respond if they are interested in selling your house. They will provide you with their strategy, fees, and an estimate of the achievable selling price (so make sure the photos give a good and fair impression).

While our website is not fully translated, our English-speaking team is ready to assist you throughout the process if you need help.

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Step 2: Make a shortlist and filter out agents who are not a good match

Before you approach the entire long list of estate agents you gathered, you can already narrow it down based on certain criteria.

Franchise or independent

In the Dutch real estate market, franchises are not as popular or reliable as in other countries, like the US, where big franchises like RE/MAX or Epcon dominate. In the Netherlands, the best estate agents are almost always part of small local firms with a significant local market share. We advise removing franchise agents from your list as they are of lower quality.

Associations of estate agents

In the Netherlands, anyone can call themselves an estate agent since the title isn't protected. Quality is privately regulated, and most estate agents are members of one of the three major trade associations, listed from highest to lowest quality:

  • NVM: Most expensive, generally the best quality.
  • VBO: Slightly better priced, comparable quality, but you may need more research.
  • VastgoedPRO: If you’re lucky, you can find good quality at a significantly lower price. It's crucial to check the agent's certifications to avoid less reputable agents.

These memberships involve quality checks and ongoing education. Look for these logos on agents' websites as a quality indicator and assurance of a good outcome. You can recognize the membership to one of these associations through the following logos:

The trade associations for estate agents

Additional certifications

Agents may have various certifications in addition to their trade association memberships. However, these badges and patches are often not very helpful. Focus instead on the major associations and other key characteristics, as this says more about the cooperation with the agent and the quality that they will provide. We advice to focus on the agents with membership in one of the major associations and leave agents with other certifications off your shortlist.

For more information and advice, please read our tips for selecting the best real estate agent below.

Step 3: Evaluate your shortlist and invite agents

Most Dutch people invite between two and four different estate agents to their property. Which agents you choose to invite is up to you. For more tips on how to choose which agents to invite, please read more further on this page.

The invited agents will tour the property, assess its condition and unique features, and provide an estimate of its value based on their market knowledge and experience. During their visit, you will discuss their fees and strategy, including the expected selling price and asking price.

Fees of agents

During their visit, agents will explain their fees and present their case for why they are the best choice. They will detail their services, marketing strategies, and the advantages of working with them. One of the most surprising aspects of selling a house in the Netherlands is the relatively low fees charged by estate agents. The Netherlands ranks among the cheapest countries for estate agent services.

Based on our research of 3,000 proposals submitted through our platform, we found that the average fee charged by estate agents in the Netherlands is 1.3% of the property's selling price, which amounts to approximately EUR 4,000, VAT included. This fee structure is significantly lower than in most other countries, making it cost-effective to engage an estate agent to sell a property in the Netherlands.

Expected selling price vs. asking price

During the property visit, agents will provide their opinion on the asking price for your property. The asking price is the initial price at which the property is listed on the market. Agents may suggest an asking price that is deliberately higher or lower than the expected selling price, depending on their sales strategy. For instance:

  • Higher asking price: Some agents might suggest a higher asking price to leave room for negotiation. This can create a perception of higher value and allow buyers to feel they are getting a good deal when they negotiate the price down.
  • Lower asking price: Alternatively, an agent might recommend a lower asking price to attract more interest and generate multiple offers. This strategy can create a competitive bidding environment, potentially driving the final selling price above the initial expectations.

These strategies are part of the agent's plan to maximize the property's market appeal and achieve the best possible selling price. During your consultations, it's important to discuss these strategies in detail with each agent to understand their rationale and decide which approach best aligns with your goals.

Step 4: Choose an agent that suits you

In the Netherlands, it's customary to contract just one estate agent, unlike in some countries where multiple agents might compete. Here, agents get exclusivity on the deal. So, you will need to choose a single agent for the sale of your property. Make your decision based on their proposals, marketing strategies, and their estimated selling price. This will help you determine which agent is the best fit for your needs.


Ready to get started?

  • Receive proposals from multiple real estate agents
  • Get clarity on costs upfront
  • Choose based on performance and results
  • Over 3000 people went before you
  • Free & without obligation

Find a real estate agent
  • Independent
  • Without obligation
  • Free
  • Fast

Read more about the housing market and real estate agents in your city

The best tips for choosing the right agent for you

Finding the best real estate agent to sell your house can be difficult. This is why we collected some tips that might be useful.

Tip 1: Always compare several real estate agents

Many people choose the closest real estate agent or one they know through others. While this is understandable, it is not always the smartest move. The fees, terms, expertise, sales strategy, and estimated sale prices of real estate agents can vary significantly. Therefore, it is worthwhile to compare agents. With the advent of the internet, this has become incredibly easy, so it’s wise to take advantage of it.

Talk to multiple agents to discover your real needs

Select a few agents that align with your needs and preferences. Consider the services they offer, as well as their fees and sales strategies. Always engage with multiple real estate agencies to understand what is important to you and which agency is the best fit.

Initially, you might think you want the cheapest agent (with partial services), but through conversations, you might realize that selling a house involves a lot, and you prefer a full-service agent. Or you might not feel completely comfortable with an agent who seems perfect on paper.

Compare agents easily from home

Did you know we’ve made comparing agents even easier for you? Register your property for free on Mijn Verkoopmakelaar and provide some details. The best local real estate agencies will then respond to your property. You’ll quickly gather their fees, sales strategies, expected sales proceeds, and a text or video introduction.

You decide if and with whom you want to meet. Does that sound good? Learn how it works, or register your property directly. There's no time to waste!

Tip 2: Discuss Costs and Terms

Did you know that agent fees can vary by up to €1700? Therefore, it’s smart to compare the prices of different agents. Check what services are included and review the terms. For instance, one agent might refund the fees if the house is sold, while another might not.

The commission (the agent's fee) can also vary significantly. A commission difference of half a percent can quickly amount to thousands of euros.

Other terms can also differ, such as what happens if you withdraw the sale (if you no longer wish to sell the house) and the financial consequences of doing so. Make sure you are well-informed about the possibilities when working with a particular agent.

Easily compare agent fees

With Mijn Verkoopmakelaar, you can easily compare agent fees. In the responses you receive from agents, you’ll get a direct overview of the fees. The quoted fees are always the total amount you have to pay. Agents cannot charge additional costs later.

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Tip 3: Discuss the Expected Sales Proceeds

The expected sales proceeds are the agent's estimate of the minimum and maximum amount the property will fetch in the current market. Before choosing an agent, it is important to discuss the sale price you both expect.

Are you on the same page?

You probably have a price in mind for which you want to sell the property. Ask the agent about their expected proceeds and check if you are on the same page. If not, ask the agent for their reasoning and consider it. Also, contact a few other agents to see what they expect the property to fetch. This will help you determine if your expectations are realistic.

Does the agent deliver on promises? We track it for you!

When you search for an agent through our platform, you don’t have to ask for the expected sales proceeds yourself. The agents who respond to your property will directly provide an estimate. We believe in transparency and track the ratio between expected proceeds and actual sale prices for each agent.

Under the 'Reviews' section, you’ll find 'Recently Sold.' Here, you can see the properties the agent recently sold and whether the proceeds were close to the initial expectations. This helps you determine if an agent delivers on their promises. If the initial estimate is not available, you can see if the property was sold for a higher or lower than the asking price.

Sales in your neighborhood are shown first. These are marked with 'Nearby'.

The estimate is based on the information you provide. The more information you provide, the better the forecast: photos and information about leasehold, maintenance, and renovations influence the estimate. During a visit, an agent can make an even better estimate of the possible proceeds. Therefore, it is wise to invite more than one agent for an introduction.

Tip 4: Choose an Agent You 'Click' With

Selling a property involves an intensive process with your agent. You will have a lot of contact and many things to arrange. Therefore, it is important to feel comfortable with the agent you choose. You are on the right track if they communicate clearly and match your personality.

Agent introduces themselves under ‘personal response’

When you choose an agent through our platform, you can easily do a pre-selection online. In the responses you receive, agents introduce themselves in text or video. This gives you a good idea of the agent and their office. You can find these introductions under ‘Personal Response’.

More about the agency under ‘about the real estate agency’

Under 'About the Real Estate Agency', you get more information about the agency and the background of the responding agent. Here you will find information about:

  • Staff: The number of staff at the agency. This gives an idea of the agency’s size. Larger offices are more likely to have someone available for viewings. Smaller offices tend to offer more personal contact.
  • Distance to your home: The distance in kilometers between your home and the agency. This helps you know if the agent is local and familiar with your neighborhood.
    Average Sale Speed: The average sale speed of the agent, based on all known sales through My Sales Agent.
  • Trade association: The association the agent is affiliated with (NVM, VBO, or VastgoedPRO). These organizations monitor their members' quality. Read more about this above.

Tip 5: Check the Reviews of Agents

It’s also helpful to look at reviews from previous sellers. These reviews indicate how well an agent performs and how satisfied their clients are. Look beyond the star rating and read the specific comments left by clients. These insights reveal what the agent excels at and how sellers experienced the process, giving you a better idea of their service.

Transparent reviews via Mijn Verkoopmakelaar

After each sale, users can leave a review about the agent on My Sales Agent. Agents have no influence over who is asked for a review. We independently request user reviews, ensuring that even less positive experiences are shared. This makes our review process more reliable than those found on the agent’s website.

Under the personal response from the agents, you’ll find the 'Reviews' section, where you can read about the experiences of previous sellers with the agent.


Compare and find the best real estate agents

  • Receive proposals from multiple real estate agents
  • Get clarity on costs upfront
  • Choose based on performance and results
  • Over 3000 people went before you
  • Free & without obligation

Find a real estate agent
  • Independent
  • Without obligation
  • Free
  • Fast

Read more about the Dutch housing market

Frequently asked questions about selling property in the Netherlands

  • What is the average broker commission in the Netherland?

    On average, estate agents in the Netherlands take a 1.3% (approximately EUR 4,000) commission, VAT included. This is significantly lower than in most other countries.

    This fee is for the selling agent in the transaction. The agent on the buyer's side is paid by the buyer of the property.

  • Is an estate agent necessary in the Netherlands?

    The involvement of an estate agent is not required by any rule or regulation. So you are free to sell a property on your own.

    However, in nearly 95% of transactions in the Netherlands, a realtor is involved on the selling side of the transaction.

  • What does 'NVM' mean?

    NVM is 1 of the 3 associations of estate agents in the Netherlands. Through their membership estate agents get education and quality checks. The other 2 associations are called Vastgoedpro and VBO.

  • What is the housing website

    Funda is by far the biggest housing website of the Netherlands. Every buyer in the Netherlands start their search here. Almost 90% of the properties for sale are included on the website.

    As a consumer you can not upload your property on Funda yourself. Only estate agents may upload properties to the website.

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