The complete guide to buying a house in the Netherlands by yourself
'What's the added value I get from a buying agent?'
'Should I buy a house by myself? If so, how?'
'Is it possible to pick only certain services?'
The Dutch housing market has changed, and so do the way of buying a house today. Learn more:
Can I buy a house in the Netherlands without an agent?
First things first. Yes. In the Netherlands, a person is not obliged to hire a buying agent to acquire a house. However, hiring a real estate professional, who knows the market, could help you review the house's documents and inform you about irregularities or other details that you should know.
How does a house-buying process work?
If you are a single-handed person and decided to buy a house by yourself, it is possible. It requires you to be more attentive and knowledgeable about how the Dutch housing market works, and so it would be wise to be familiar with the market, carefully look into the house's documents, and know how to make an attractive offer that still protects your interests in case your mortgage is not approved. For that, you can find the steps below to get an insight into the home buying process.
What are the 5 steps for buying a house in the Netherlands by yourself?
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5 steps to buying a house by yourself
Following these five steps will help you be well-prepared to embark on house hunting. Consider using professionals for the crucial assignments or the ones you need extra support to avoid setbacks and ensure that your home-buying process goes by plan.
1. Creating a strategic plan
Many home-seekers start to look for a house without first defining their future home. Instead, they let the market lead their search based only on whatever it is has to offer within their budget. Let's not forget, the reason for buying a home is to set up a permanent place where you see yourself building your family's future.
Therefore, before you start searching for houses, writhe down the specs that your home and its surroundings have to include. Yes, in the current reality, you would need to compromise here and there. However, define the fundamental values that would be a deal-breaker, and the ones you could live with. Doing that will make the whole process and the outcome a whole lot better. To understand more, read the 10 steps to create a strategic plan.
2. Searching and finding a house
Finding a house today does not require a real estate agency. At this point, you should be able to make the searching process much shorter and more efficient. Since most of the houses for sale are publically listed online, the best way is to set your preferences in the search engines of all the big housing websites and wait until getting notified as soon as a new house comes up.
3. Viewing the house
The transition from seeing houses online to view them in person is crucial. This is where you actually see the differences from photoshopped pictures to real life. At this point, home-buyers may alter their preference or gain new insight into the area or sort of house they would ultimately like. As a prepared home-buyer who built a good strategic plan, it's now the time to follow your list and see that it meets the preferences you chose.
Remember, the selling agent might be nice and informative, but they have also experienced businesspersons whose interests are at the seller's side, not yours. Meaning, they will try to sell the place for the highest price and terms they can. If you know that the negotiation part is not your strongest, think of hiring a buying agent, just for the submitting-an-offer part. Either way, our advice is to never make an offer only based on whatever the selling agent said, without seeing that this price actually matches the house's market value.
4. Checking the documents
Every property in the Netherlands has its basic documents that tell its story. The most essential documents a seller attaches to the house for sale are an updated certificate of the definitive energy label, the list of matter (what's included and what leaves with the sellers), the questionnaire (declaring on past or current issues, and other useful information). Other documents, like the deed of transfer and soil condition, are useful and sometimes are not reachable by the seller, which means that the buyers need to look into it by themselves.
Remember, the interests of the selling agent rest with the seller, and the responsibility to check the house's condition and paperwork lie on the buyer only. Cases like Anti speculation clause that rests on an apartment, or ground lease have implications on the buyer who needs to be aware of it in advance. Therefore, it is important to assist a professional to check that you have the right documents and is all in order.
5. Making an offer
Many assume that making an attractive offer is only by offering the highest price. However, not necessarily. In order to place an attractive offer, basically in every field of life, you need to step into the seller's shoes. Think what would you have found as most appealing if you were the seller. This question applies to all cases, and its answer varies based on the case.
Here's one example:
In the same street in Amstelveen, there are 2 similar houses for sale. A well-maintained house for €500,000 and a run-down house for €420,000. Since the first house does not require extensive renovation works and assuming that the estimated asking price fits the market's value, it's most likely that the seller would prefer the highest bid, even if the buyer doesn't have cash at all. However, for the run-down house, to fence themselves from not getting enough mortgage, in case the taxation rapport turns to be too low, the seller would prefer to go with the one offered high enough, yet has the means to cover the difference between the taxation and the agreed purchase price, if needed.
Understanding that, could save you money and time, and prepare you when a good bargain comes up. Read more about how to make an attractive offer.
Do real estate agents find off-the-market houses?
As briefly mentioned above, nowadays, when most people search for houses online, websites like Funda.nl almost completely domain that marketplace. Naturally, since sellers will prefer having as many people as possible to compete with each other in the same crowded bidding process, off-the-market or silent deals do not serve their interests and therefore, are very rare. Why do we mention this obvious saying? Because of the fact that everyone has access to all the listings for sale in the market, real estate agents in the private residential sector have almost utterly lost their advantage of "locating" you a house. In most cases, they send you a link to a house they "found", which is a listing on Funda that they received from its search engine. Probably the same one that you got too.
If this is the case, should I hire a real estate agent?
Nevertheless, it doesn't mean that you don't need a real estate agent. It just means that their role has changed. We believe that the role of the estate agent in the private residential market is rather to support the home buying process and assist with supplementary services when required. As established, the finding part today has become less crucial, however, skills like negotiation, consultancy, research, and more, became even more important in this hard market, to ensure that the buyers feel secure to do the purchase procedure by themselves.
What is the best way to buy a house and still save some money by doing more by myself?
Nowadays, more and more services adopt the DIY approach of skipping middlemen and enabling the end-clients to do it by themselves. As part of this global trend, knowing how exhausting and expansive house hunting could be, we created a unique method that gives home-buyers all the tools to buy a house in the Netherlands by choosing only the fundamental services that they need.
Starting with the Guidance Package, home-seekers get an Agent assigned to help them create a strategic plan, defining the right house for them and consult them while they go to view houses. Once their house offer is accepted, the Agent will review their purchase agreement before they signed it, to secure the agreed terms correctly. This Package only costs €750 incl. VAT.
At any moment during the house search, you choose from a selection of additional services that your Agent can assist you with fine-tuning. For example, joining you to an important house viewing, contacting the seller to get an agent-to-agent connection to get a better insight of the offer, or reviewing the documents to get a second opinion. Paying per request only for the services you actually use.
Press here to learn more about our services and prices!