How to make an attractive offer on a house

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

Making an attractive house offer 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 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 - Evaluating the house's price

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

1. Price/m2 scale - A good deal is mostly based on its price. To compare "apples to apples", you may use a necessary scale often used in real estate price/m2. While comparing houses based on that scale, make sure you compare properties in the same layout and maintenance condition.

 

2. House value - A great way to know that the house is well-priced is using the 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 the 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 lies in.

3. Estimating the renovation costs - If the house in question may involve some construction 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 place. 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 the right area for long-term households. 

  • Any issues we need to know of?  To the best of his knowledge, the selling agent has to disclose, the problems and details of the house. 

  • How long is the listing on the market?  The longer the listing is on the market, the more flexible the sellers may be, either with the price or 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 overbidding. Of course, it is the easiest way. However, offering the right 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 economic conditions of obtaining € 520,000 (100% mortgage), whereas B offers € 510,000 with financial provisions 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 getting its whole amount. 

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