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For your information: I am a 27 year old Dutchie myself with a lot of expat friends.
You might come across some medium stuctured sentences. Let's say, my knowledge on the Dutch real estate market is far better than my English (feel free to send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org if the error is too big to ignore).
I share this guide, because I hate that expats are being exploited by my fellow country men, especially in the housing market.
Futher down this page, you will find some information on what it is we do (Mijn Verkoopmakelaar) and how that could be of use during this selling process.
Let's get started.
To estate agent or not to estate agent? That's the question.
Dutch people don't think much of estate agents. They have a pretty bad name. In part their critique is justified. Not all agent do really add value and it is really hard to distinguish the honest and the dishonest ones.
The involvement of an estate agent is not obligated. There is no rule or regulation that prohibits you to sell a property yourself.
Nevertheless, in almost 95% of the transactions a realtor is involved on the selling side of the transaction. Sellers in the Netherlands contract an estate agent, because it brings:
Speaking as a Dutchie, I would say that the most important reason that people involve an estate agent, is 'Funda.nl'. You have probably already heard about this. Funda is the most popular* housing website for properties in the Netherlands. It is our 'Rightmove' 'LeBonCoin' or 'Zillow'.
The connection with estate agents and Funda, is the following. Only estate agents can upload a house to the website. You as an individual can not.** So without the involvement of an agent, your property won't get all the exposure it could have.
**Usefull revelation: Funda.nl is founded and still owned by 1 of the associations of estate agents. That's why they require the involvement of an estate agent. More on these associations below.
In some countries it is custom to contract multiple agents, so there is a bit of healthy competition. In the Netherlands that almost never happens. Agents get exclusivity on the deal. So we are looking for 1 agent for the sale of your property.
To make all this a bit easier, hereby a short language course.
The Dutch word for realtor/estate agent is Makelaar or Verkoopmakelaar. 'Verkoop' means 'sell', so if you use ' verkoopmakelaar', you are referring to the agent that works on the selling side of the transaction. If you use Makelaar, you are always save ;).
Most estate agents in the Netherland offer both services on the buying side (aankoop) as well as on the selling side (verkoop). For the avoidance of doubt: they never work on both sides of the same deal, that's not allowed.
I will walk you through what to look for with agents, what to ignore and how to select the right one.
In the Netherlands everyone can call himself an estate agent. The title isn't protected (like a lawyer or doctor). Therefore it is important to keep on eye on the certifications of an agent. This is to make sure you don't end up with some useless hustler.
In this field of certifications there are a lot of badges and patches agents like to brag with. They are not that helpfull. That is why I going to skip all that and focus on the important distinction: their associations.
Estate agents are a member of one of the three associations:
With these memberships, there comes quality checks and education for the agents. If you are selecting an agent, you need to look for one of these logos on their websites. This is a great indicator for the quality and gives you a bit of assurance of a good outcome.
To make you understand the differences between these associations, the best I can do is making an analogy with Dutch supermarkets (I hope you are integrated well enough to recognise these):
NVM = Albert Heijn
Most expensive, probably good quality.
VBO & VastgoedPRO = Jumbo
Slightly better priced, comparable quality, but you have to search a bit.
The most surprising thing about selling a house in the Netherlands are the fees of agents. The Netherlands ranks among the cheapest countries for estate agents.
In 2020 we have researched 3,000 proposals that agents sent through our platform to potential sellers. The outcome: on average estate agents asks 1.3% (Avg. EUR 4.000), VAT included, for selling a property. That is way lower than most other countries.
If the potential buyer also hired a estate agent, that doesn't change anything to the fee. You make your arrangements with your selling agent and the buyer makes their arrangements with their buying agent. These two are totally unconnected.
Most Dutch people invite between 2 and 4 different estate agents to their property. The agents will walk through the property and will give your their estimate of the value of the house. They will also tell you how much they charge for their services and make a pitch on why they are great and the rest is not.
Sometimes they also share with you what they think the asking price for the property should be. This could deliberately be higher or lower than the expected selling price. This could be part of the selling strategy an agent applies.
Based on their proposals, their marketing strategy and their estimation of the selling price, you decide on who you work with.
Google, friends, funda and a bit of shameless self-promotion
Google makes sense of course. The thing is that the search results are dominated by the most paying estate agents, instead of the best ones. Most of the time the agents that spend a lot on advertising, ran out of work because they are not the best.
Well, I don't have to explain this one: ask a friend or colleague. The hard thing is finding someone who have experience with multiple agents, so they can actually rate them properly.
Funda, remember, the housing website? They can provide you with a list of active agents in your city. Important to know: they favor the 'NVM'-estate agents, they don't base their selection on ratings or results.
This is the part we can help you a bit. We build a tool to help you with your search. You can fill in the form (postal code & street number) and upload a couple of pictures of the interior of the property. By doing this estate agents in the area will get notified on your plans to sell and can leave you a response if they like to sell your house.
They provide you with their strategy, their fee and their estimatie of the achievable selling price (makes sure the photos give a good and fair impression).
Our website is not fully translated, but our (English speaking) team is ready to help you through the whole thing in case you need help.
After you picked 1 agent, that agent will provide you with a contract for their services. When you have signed that contract, the actual selling process begins.
The agent will send a professional photographer to your property. During that visit, he or she will also make the floor map. Don't make any illusions: most agents outsource the making of photos to 1 of the 3 companies that make almost all the photos on Funda.nl.
The agent will ask you to fill in some forms about the house: stuff you changed, problems like leakages, etcetera. He will write, partly based on that, a marketing pitch about your place.
All that information combined will be published on Funda.nl and other channels to attract potential buyers.
As a result, potential buyers will contact your agent to plan viewings. A good agent will combine the viewings as much as possible. This way it is less time consuming for you and the agent.
Your role during the viewings is limited to:
The necessary amount of viewings will be around 5-15, depending on the location. On average it takes 29 days (data from 2020) to get to a signed conditional buying agreement.
So, considering the whole process of preparation and the legal work: selling a property in the Netherlads will take around 2 months from start to finish.
After a potential buyer viewed the house 1 or 2 times and is willing to buy it, he or she will make an offer.
An offer will be in 70% of the case be conditionally. The most used conditions are on:
A good estate agent will negotiate on yur behalf to get the best conditions and price.
Upon agreement, your selling agent will draft the preliminary contract. This contract is legaly binding, and will contain the above stated conditions.
In Amsterdam, a notary will make this agreement. The reason for this custom is the complexity of Amsterdam real estate.
If everything is put int the agreement, you sign it.
By law a buyer has 3 days to think about this contract, before it becomes a contract.
Afterwards the buyer get 3 weeks (or whatever period is stated in the offer) to fullfill the conditions. When the mortgage is approved, the bank will provide a written bank gaurantee for the buying price.
After the conditions are fullfilled, both you and the buyer go to the notary. This notary will draft the deed of transfer. When both parties sign this document, your house is sold. The notary will transfer the selling price to you, minus the fee for your selling agent.
The transfer tax is due by the buyer. Profit you make on the sale of the property, won't be taxed. More on the taxation, you will find here:
Hopefully, this was of any help.
If you still have to select an estate agent, you can fill in your postal code and answer the follow-up questions.
The agents in the area will study your property and leave you a proposal. They know they are in competition with other agents, so they will makes sure their fee is competitive.
We keep track of their performance, so that you are ensured of a good outcome.
Long story short:
If you experience any issues (language for example) using the platform, feel free to contact us! We are here to help you in English with a Dutch accent ;).
Compare local estate agents
The involvement of an estate agent is not obligated by any rule or regulation. So you are free to sell a property all by yourself.
Nevertheless, in almost 95% of the transactions in the Netherlands a realtor is involved on the selling side of the transaction.
NVM is 1 of the 3 associations of estate agents in the Netherlands. Throuhg their membership estate agents get education and quality checks. The other 2 associations are called Vastgoedpro and VBO.
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.
On average estate agents in the Netherlands take a 1.3% (Avg. EUR 4.000) commission, VAT included. That is way lower than most other countries.
This fee is for the selling agent on the transaction. The agent on the buyer side is paid by the buyer of the property.
Here you can fill in your postal code. You compare pre-screened agents on their pricing, past results and their strategy for your property.
Auteur Antoine | Laatst gewijzigd op 24 november 2021