How to make a good offer on a house in the Netherlands

    Planning to make an offer on a house you like? You better read that!

Making an attractive offer on a house for sale is not only determined by the offer’s price but also by the terms you offer. When deciding to make an offer, the best way of it is to step into the sellers’ shoes and think of their situation - what would make your offer more appealing than others’ with the same or even higher purchase price.

 

1st step - Assessing the house's price

Buying a market-priced house gives you more certainty to be able to obtain the maximum amount of mortgage you are aiming to. Here are 3 ways you may use while looking for houses to buy in the Netherlands:

1. Price/m2 scale - A good deal is largely based on its price. In order to compare 'apples to apples', you may use a basic scale often used in real estate of price/m2. While comparing houses based on that scale, make sure you compare houses in the same layout and maintenance condition.

 

2. House value - A great way to know that the house is well-priced and whether is using these following websites to have a better insight into the house's value: 

  • Kadaster Woningrapport  - a housing report that contains the last transactions that were executed in the house's surroundings. This data gives you accurate insight into the purchase prices in the area.   

  • Calcasa - an automated platform to carry out a cheaper and independent valuation on a house. 

  • Funda Woningwaarde - using the well-known real estate website, you can free fill-in the house's address and see the price range it lays in.

3. Estimating the renovation costs - In case the house in question may involve some maintenance works, you may use a quote from a contractor to have an idea of the costs in advance. 

Note, use the house viewing to check for damages and maintenance issues that you may address later, to have a more accurate calculation of the final purchase price.

2nd step - House viewings

 

From the moment of finding the listing to the moment of sending the offer; this is the best opportunity for your professional buying agent / yourself to retrieve as much data as possible. It starts at the house’s viewing, which you pre-examined, know all the details, and prepared questions. Then you have the opportunity to ask the selling agent about the house. Not less important is to ask about the sellers. 

Examples for questions that could assist you to realize the sellers’ position: 

 

  • Why do they want to sell the place?   Try to see how eager they are to sell. Maybe they already bought another home and they need to repay their bridge loan quickly.  

  • Is it an owner-occupied or rental property?  Owner-occupied are usually more maintained than a rental property. The more maintained the less recovery and unforeseen issues.  

  • For how long did they live here/own the place?  The longer they stayed the more confident you may be that it is a good area for long-term households. 

  • Any issues we need to know of?  The selling agent is obliged to disclose, to the best of his knowledge, issues, and details on the house. 

  • How long is the listing on the market?  The longer the listing is on market the more flexible the sellers may be, either with the price or with their terms. Use it! 

3rd step - Making an offer

 

Once you decided that you found your dream home, the next step is submitting an offer. Unlike what many think, to make an offer appealing a buyer may use more than just a high purchase price. Of course, it is the easiest way, however, offering good conditions might save you money and put you higher on the seller's priority list.

To explain that, consider, for example, a seller who offers his detached house for € 500,000 k.k.:

  • A offers € 520,000 with financial conditions of obtaining € 520,000 (100% mortgage), whereas B offers € 510,000 with financial conditions of € 255,000 (50% mortgage). Although A's offer higher in € 10,000, it is still more likely that the seller will choose B's, as he knows that the chances of the bank to grant only around half of the house's value are higher than granting its whole amount. 

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