Will you use a buying agent for real estate in the Netherlands?

Or do you prefer to buy a house without help....

A buying agent helps you with the finding and buying of a house. 

When you need help with only one of the parts of this proces (say only with the negotiations) the buying agent is able to help you with only that part. 

Do it yourself
In the Netherlands you're allowed to buy a house without the help of a real estate agent. But the question is: are you able to?

Think about all the things you have to do yourself. And what you like or don't like to do...

Below you'll find some questions to get you going.

Where do you want to spend your time on? And what actions would you rather outsource? 

Are you able to search for a house on your own?
This doesn't have to be a problem (take a look at the internet sites, you'll find lots of properties there), it merely takes some time...

I've found my new home there too. But I've spend three years searching for it. I sseen all kinds of nice houses in different parts of the country.

I wanted a house that would fit me. I've spend most of the time researching whether or not the houses fitted my criteria. And the surrounding area, would that appeal to me. This took me a lot mor time than I anticipated. Searching for houses on the internet. Viewing the house. Getting to know the area... 

Do you already know in which location you want to buy a house? And how much time do you have available to visit all of the houses that appear newly for sale every day? And do you immediately know if the house is right for you? 

When you don't have much time for these things, you might be better off getting some help from a buying agent. 

Do you enjoy viewing houses without the help of your own buying agent?

Are you able to see right through the smooth talk of the selling agent? And do you know what to look for during a viewing? What to ask for?

At least take a friend with you to the viewing. 

You'll dicover more about the house that way. And it will come in handy afterwards, when you want to review the house with someone unprejudiced.

Do you like to negotiate on your own?
Have you been negotiating before? Especially involving big decisions and large amounts of money?

Will it be no problem for you to make the seller (or his agent) an offer? Even if you feel your offer doesn't have a chance of being accepted at all? And will you not feel rushed, even when the seller tells you you'll have to make a decision today?

Real estate agents are nifty negotiators.

When you're buying a house, they'll try to play your feelings. As soon as you're falling for a house, they'll tell you you're not the only one who's interested. This might make you pay a lot more than you intended (and there are many more tricks like that).

A buying agent will keep you grounded. He'll keep you from falling for the tricks of the selling agent. It's a kind of protection.

Doing the paperwork.

When you've finally closed the sale, do you know how to do the paperwork? 

What kind of contract has to be made? And what kind of clauses have to be in place? How does the notary come in to play?

When you know about these things, it's not difficult. 

So, if you know about the different clauses, the arranging of a purchase deed in the Netherlands, the settlement and everything else involved (building inspection, financing, notary, etc.), you might not need your own buying agent.  

Most people find it kind of difficult to buy a house. 

Compare it to buying a car. You don't do it that often, so you don't know what to look for. Especially second hand cars may have a lot of problems going on.

Help of an expert will come in handy. He will know exactly which problems could arise and what to look for.  And he'll have a daily practice on everything involving buying cars.  

He'll prevent you from bad auto body or worn clutch, because he knows what to look for. You wouldn't discover these yourself and that would have cost you lots of money afterwards.

Paperwork has to be in order as well, but how do you verify this when you never had to before?

When buying a house, a good buying agent will help you lot. He'll save you a lot of time and money.

Ofcourse you may do it yourself, without an agent. As long as you're knowledgeable, or have lots of time for research, you'll probably save yourself money. But is it really worth the hassle?

What will the buying agent do for you?
A real estate agent will be able to assist in all parts of the buying process. 

  • He'll send you the right offers, 
  • make appointments for viewings, 
  • go with you to the viewings, 
  • as an expert translate the beautiful sales pitches to normal language,
  • point out the not so beautiful parts of the house, 
  • research the legal stuff for you,
  • negotiate on your behalf, 
  • help you choose the right engineer,
  • helps choose the notary,
  • helps finding a valuer and  
  • assist you during the rest of the process.

How much does a buying agent charge
This differs per agent. There are no fixed prices. When you want to know an agents price, you'll have to ask them how much they charge for the specific services you require. 

A short query on the internet returns many different prices. The global rate is in between one percent and two percent of the purchase price, but fixed rates of 1250 euros are also common. 

When you feel these rates are too high, is it possible to negotiate them down?

In some instances that may be possible. A real estate agent is used to negotiating. So try it and you'll find out.

The taks he's going to help you with, will cost him (a lot of?) time and effort. He'll want to be rewarded for this labor. When you're able to find a good way of rewarding, which makes you and the agent both happy, an alternative renumeration may be possible. 

I'll give you some examples. 

  • Try no-cure no-pay (no results, no payment). Maybe he'll try harder this way. He'll hate to not get paid. 
  • Maybe it's an idea to try a performance based fee. When results are very good,  the agents gets a bigger fee. This might get the agent to perform better. 
  • You also might agree to pay more, relative to the price result of the negotiations. The more gets taken of the original asking price, the more you pay to the agent. 
  • When you do a lot of tasks yourself, the less time an agent needs to spend. This may help persuade him to work for a lower fee. 

How do you find a good buying agent?
Ask friends and acquaintances which agent helped them buying their house. This way you'll find out which real estate agents are trustworthy.

Arrange a meeting with the agent you'd most likely want to work with. Get to know him.  You'll have to trust him and be happy to work with him. He's helping you with possibly the biggest purchase in your life.

When you feel all is ok (and the terms and fees are ok as well) then you're good to go with that estate agent.

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