Introducing Maud Osinga, a rising star in the world of real estate and a junior agent at Lauteslager Makelaars Utrecht. As part of one of the largest offices in Utrecht, Lauteslager boasts a team of experts, each bringing their unique expertise to the table.

We are pleased that Maud has given us some insights into the Utrecht real estate market. Our conversation was so packed with valuable information that we’ve distilled it into 2 informative articles. Stay tuned as Maud shares her expertise, guiding you through the nuances of buying a home, and making your journey to homeownership smoother and more informed. Prepare for Part 1!

Who is Maud?

I am a graduated Assistant agent, a.k.a. Makelaar! As an Assistant Real Estate Agent, my responsibilities are diverse and very exciting. I assist our clients in one of the most significant decisions of their lives – buying or selling their homes. Whether it’s conducting property research, coordinating viewings, or handling paperwork, every day presents new challenges and opportunities for me to learn and grow.

What is the customer journey like when buying a house in the Netherlands?

It all starts with a budget, so you must know your numbers. At the beginning of your house-hunting journey, it is advisable to consult with a good mortgage advisor so you have a realistic picture of what is possible within your budget. If all is clear, we can get to the first step:

  1. Defining your housing needs: You must have a realistic picture of what is possible within your budget in different districts or villages.
  2. Making appointments: When you find a property that meets your criteria, you can contact the selling office to schedule a viewing appointment. Go and see what is on market!
  3. Giving purchase advice (optional): If you find a house that captures your interest, a purchase agent like myself will offer buying advice. This advice assesses the structural condition of the house, provides an estimate of its real value based on nearby sales transactions, and considers environmental factors that may impact its (future) value.
  4. Putting in an offer: Working with a purchase agent, you’ll determine the opening proposal amount and any conditions. Common reservations include financing, further technical inspections, potential soil contamination, research on the property’s destination and surroundings, and any obligations to the municipality. Additionally, a proposed transfer date will be suggested.
  5. Taking care of the administrative processing: Once your offer has been accepted, the verbal agreements are documented in the purchase agreement, and the various attached legal documents are thoroughly examined. A purchase agent will ensure that you have all necessary documents, and they are checked properly. If everything is handled well, you will sign the purchase agreement.
  6. Taking care of a final inspection and going to the notary: The final ownership transfer occurs at the notary’s office. Before the notary appointment, a final inspection of the property is conducted to confirm its condition. If everything is satisfactory, you can sign with confidence. If there are discrepancies, they will be addressed before finalizing the transaction.
  7. If the keys are handed over, you are the owner of the home, congratulations! Now it is time to relax and enjoy your new home!

What is the benefit of hiring a good real estate agent when buying a house in Utrecht?

Well, first: Expertise and Experience! A purchase agent possesses extensive knowledge of the real estate market, local prices, and trends. Their experience enables them to make realistic assessments and guide you in making well-informed decisions. Second: Negotiation Skills! A purchase agent is very important when starting a negotiation. They can get the best possible price on your behalf and secure favourable terms, potentially saving you money. Also, with Access to Exclusive Information pre-market, we can save you time, we are objective, we know the local market and we have a huge network of professionals around us. Last but not least: Legal Protection! A purchase agent understands the legal aspects of real estate transactions. They can advise you on contracts, clauses, and other legal matters, providing better protection.

What is the bidding process like?

The process of selling a house typically involves setting an initial asking price, listing the property, receiving offers from interested buyers, and engaging in negotiations. The negotiation phase may include counteroffers until both parties agree on the terms of the sale. Upon acceptance of an offer, due diligence and inspections may occur, potentially leading to further negotiations. The sale is finalized through the completion of paperwork, and the closing involves the legal transfer of ownership and the exchange of funds. Specifics can vary, and the assistance of a real estate professional is often valuable in navigating the process.

I need a mortgage so I need a valuation – can you explain in simple terms what a valuation is and why do I need one?

A bank requests a valuation report as part of the mortgage approval process. This report provides the bank with independent information on the current market value of the real estate serving as collateral. It enables the bank to assess collateral risk, determine the loan amount, comply with regulatory requirements, and ensure protection for both the borrower and the bank. In summary, the valuation report is an essential tool for risk management and property valuation in real estate financing.

Can every company evaluate my house?

No. A valuation report can be conducted by certified valuators affiliated with a recognized appraisal institute, such as the NWWI (Dutch Property Value Institute). These valuators have the necessary training and certification to provide an accurate estimate of a property’s value following prevailing standards. Additionally, in some cases, desktop appraisals are utilized. A desktop appraisal involves assessing the property’s value based on available data and information, without the appraiser physically visiting the location. This method is often employed for relatively straightforward appraisals or refinancing purposes.

In the case of the NWWI, this institute ensures the validation and verification of appraisal reports to guarantee quality and objectivity. It’s important to emphasize that conducting an appraisal is a specialized task that should be carried out by qualified professionals.

Is it mandatory to evaluate my house? Why/why not?

Property evaluation or appraisal is not mandatory in all situations, but it is commonly required or recommended under specific circumstances. These include obtaining a mortgage for home purchase, determining an asking price when selling or buying a home, refinancing a mortgage, estate planning, insurance purposes, and property tax assessments by local authorities.

What are the consequences if the valuation does not meet the purchase price?

If a discrepancy does occur, for instance, if the appraisal is lower than the purchase amount, it may be necessary to compensate for the difference with personal funds. In that case, you may need to inject additional financial resources on top of the mortgage financing to complete the transaction.

Would you like to include anything else?

Yes, very much 😉 At Lauteslager Makelaars, it’s not just about homes, it’s about the connection! Our real estate agents are known for their professionalism with a touch of warmth. A good relationship with your real estate agent is crucial because, let’s face it, choosing a home is not an everyday affair.

Ready to delve deeper into the world of home buying with Maud Osinga? If you’re eager to connect or seek further guidance, a single phone call is all it takes to schedule a meeting with Maud. Stay tuned for our next instalment next week, where we’ll unveil even more invaluable tips and tricks to empower your home-buying journey.