Buying a house in a foreign country can be an exciting yet daunting experience, especially for expats. The Netherlands, known for its beautiful landscapes and vibrant cities, attracts many expats looking to settle down. However, navigating the Dutch real estate market without professional guidance can be risky. In this article, we will explore why it is crucial for expats to never buy a house in the Netherlands without the help of a certified purchase agent.

What is the role of a buying agent, also known as a “makelaar”?

A good buying agent (makelaar) provides comprehensive guidance throughout the entire process. They help you find properties, accompany you to viewings, ensure both you and the agent have seen a home before buying, handle bidding and due diligence, accompany you to notary appointments, and provide ongoing support. Experienced agents working with expats often offer English translations and have a good command of the English language, making it easier for you to understand home-related information and communicate effectively.

Is “Makelaar” a protected title in the Netherlands?

Anyone can start a real estate agency without qualifications, as it’s an unregulated field. However, certified agents have diplomas and knowledge of the home-buying process. It’s best to work with a local agent who knows the market, has a diploma, and can keep you safe even after finding a great deal. Not all certified agents are members of a Dutch trade body, as membership is optional.

Safeguarding your interests

Buying agents, or “makelaars,” are responsible for negotiating with the seller’s real estate agent on your behalf. They provide guidance on your offer and act as your main contact with the seller. Their primary role is to provide information, advice, and address any questions you may have. It is their responsibility to carefully investigate and review all relevant documents to ensure properties are in good condition and have no legal issues. This protects you from unexpected expenses and future legal disputes.

The Myth of Pre-Listings: separating fact from fiction

Real estate agents sometimes have access to properties before they are listed on larger¬†housing websites. However, this early access doesn’t always give sellers or buyers an advantage. It’s important for sellers to reach a wide audience to get the best price and conditions. Listing properties on bigger housing sites ensures maximum exposure and attracts a diverse range of potential buyers. In the case of higher-priced properties, hidden or pre-market homes are more common. When buying an expensive house, it’s essential to work with a certified and experienced agent who has up-to-date knowledge of available market options. Don’t be swayed by agents who claim that finding off-market properties is a significant advantage in your home search.
Having said this, sometimes, luck may be on your side ūüėČ

What should I do if I discover major defects after buying a home?

Experienced expat agent, Barry Burgemeester, has written an informative article that sheds light on important considerations before starting your home negotiations. With 19 years of exclusive experience in assisting expats with their home purchases, his insights can be valuable for you. We highly recommend exploring all the news articles available on his website and social media channels.

As How To Buy A House in The Netherlands we strive to make the process of buying a home stress-free and enjoyable. We will continue to publish articles like this to assist you. Take a look at our expat-oriented list, where we recommend companies that we have personally tested and approved as being expat-friendly.

Wishing you a successful and happy house-hunting journey!
HTBAH Team