Buying a home is a thrilling step, and as you explore the Dutch real estate scene, understanding why identity verification matters is crucial. Let’s dive into this in a friendly and accessible way, tailored to your quest for a new home.

We’ve enlisted the expertise of Merel Drechsel , general manager at Handelzeker, to explain the law in simple terms. Handelszeker, a leading company in the Netherlands, assists professionals, including real estate agents, in risk and compliance investigations, as well as ID verifications.

As you set your sights on your dream home, know that real estate transactions, especially those with substantial sums, are closely monitored under the Dutch Wet ter voorkoming van witwassen en financieren van terrorisme (WWFT). Real estate agents follow robust Customer Due Diligence (CDD) procedures to ensure a secure process.

Why Your Identity Matters:

  1. Keeping Money Clean: Identity verification helps agents prevent money laundering activities, ensuring your home purchase funds are clean and legal.
  2. Preventing Financing of Terrorism: Confirming your identity in the real estate process contributes to stopping funds from falling into the wrong hands for potential terrorist activities.
  3. Ensuring Legal Compliance and Reputation: Following legal frameworks safeguards agents and maintains the industry’s reputation, assuring a smooth and trustworthy home buying experience.

The Key Role of Identity Verification

In this adventure, a pivotal part of CDD is confirming your identity. Your real estate agent will request and verify your ID, typically a passport. Your agent may also ask to make a copy of your passport. However, it’s important to note that, according to Dutch law, it is not mandatory to keep that copy.

The agent can simply note down all the necessary info. According to Dutch law (WWFT), specific details like the Citizen Service Number (BSN), passport photo, and MRZ code71 are not obligatory.

A Word on Document Exchange Between Agents

Sharing personal documents among real estate agents is strongly discouraged. Why? Channels like email and WhatsApp, often used for document exchange, can be vulnerable to data breaches. In alignment with both GDPR and WWFT, Handelzeker suggests avoiding the exchange of identification document copies.

Also, if you buy a home, the deal is formalized in a purchase and sales agreement. This agreement starts with all the personal data of you and the seller. The seller’s agent can use this data to conduct an investigation on you.

Securing Transactions Without Document Exchange

Instead of sharing sensitive documents, your agent can provide necessary personal information to fulfil client investigation requirements. This ensures compliance without compromising your confidential details in case of a security breach.

Understanding Payment Methods

Wondering who needs to know how you’ll pay for your new home? Your agent has an obligation to ask about the source of your funds to ensure transparency and legality.

You are not required to disclose every financial detail to everyone. Although the seller’s agent may ask about your funds, you don’t need to submit documents or sign papers. The notary will carry out a comprehensive investigation throughout the process, guaranteeing a secure and seamless path to homeownership. The buying agent only needs to relay the information you shared when queried by the seller’s agent.

If any warning signs or suspicious activities are identified, the transaction must be reported to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).

In Conclusion

As you set out to purchase your new home, remember that the Dutch WWFT is more than regulations – it’s a commitment to your safety and the integrity of the real estate market. Real estate agents, by verifying your identity, actively contribute to creating a secure and trustworthy environment for your exciting home buying adventure. It’s a collaborative effort for a successful and fulfilling experience in finding your dream home.

The WWFT has different verifying methods for individuals with other professions, such as a Politically Exposed Person (PEP). Explaining these methods if you have a different profession or if you come from a sanctioned country goes beyond the scope of this article.

For more information, you can contact Merel; she can precisely guide you on what is required and what is not.