Buying a house has never been an easy process anywhere, but it has been especially difficult to do so in the current Dutch housing market. Mie-Lan Kok introduces some of the issues facing the housing market in the Netherlands as well as a modern solution to improve the buying process.

In recent years, the Netherlands has been dealing with an overstrained housing market, with regular negative news from the Dutch real estate sector. There were several complaints about deliberately inflating prices, favouritism and sellers acting out of self-interest.

The housing market, along with Dutch politicians, have asked real estate associations to take measures to resolve this issue. As of January 1, 2023, affiliated estate agents will use an online bidding system via a bidding log. This bidding log should prevent abuses in the real estate business and make the home-buying process more transparent.

Bidding logThis system offers buyers the opportunity to buy a home via a digital platform. Through this log, all potential buyers can see which bids have been made and, if necessary, check the sales process. All interested buyers will use one, standardised form for their bid, giving every person an equal opportunity.

Reliable brokersThe various sector organisations such as the VBO, NVM and Vastgoedpro use two platforms, each with their own quality brand which guarantees a fair bidding process. Both independent quality brands enforce the rules and monitor the buying process. In this way, everyone knows that they are dealing with a reliable estate agent.

All of the real estate agents on the platform meet the training requirements and are in a register that automatically subjects them to disciplinary law. This provides an extra guarantee of quality and certainty for the consumer. Keep in mind however that estate agents who are not affiliated with one of these broker associations are not obliged to work in this way.

How does the bidding log work?The bid form can be found on the website of the selling estate agent. In addition to the purchase price and the delivery date, you must also indicate whether you want to add any (dissolving) conditions to your offer.

Before you can actually place the bid, you must tick the agreement that you hereby declare that you have taken note of the documents belonging to the house and that you have viewed the house.

After that, the bid goes directly to a so-called “safe”. All data remains there and only becomes visible to the selling estate agent when the end time of the bid has passed. However, if it concerns an opening bid, it will be sent directly to the estate agent.

At the end of the registration period, the broker and seller will compare the bids received and contact the bidder they prefer. This does not have to be the highest bidder but can also be the bidder with the most favourable conditions. Furthermore, there is always a right of award by the owner when selling a home.

Some of the “favourable conditions” that brokers look at are:

subject to financing the property with a mortgage amount subject to whether that your current home will be sold before a certain date subject to the costs out of the technical inspection not being raised to a certain amount View the bidding logThe log is only shared afterwards when the purchase is final. This is only visible to prospective buyers. A number of standard points can be found in the bidding log. All bids are shown (anonymously) with the date, the amount of the bid, the day of transfer and any conditions. After the buyer has been chosen, and the dissolving conditions have expired, the winning bid will be displayed.

Benefits of the bidding logThanks to the bidding log, the sales process of homes can also be controlled for the first time. In the event of a dispute, the consumer therefore has the burden of proof.

In the past, consumers were completely dependent on the information provided by the selling agent in the event of abuse. Because all actions within the sales system are automatically logged, there is no longer room for adjustments by third parties. This way, parties cannot tamper with the data and all processes will become more transparent.

Buying your first house in the Netherlands? The Milan-Kok Estate Agency specialises in helping expats find their dream home. Their agents are property professionals with expertise, especially in the Amsterdam area.

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