About bidding for a property in the Netherlands

The bidding process for a property is relatively easy if you use a real estate agent. He or she can help you to place a good bid, based on the market value and not on the asking price. It is not done to bid on more than one house at the same time.

If you place a bid and your bid is accepted, the seller (or the seller’s agent) will usually negotiate exclusively with you. If your bid is not what the seller expected he or she will decline the bid and you are free to make another bid. The seller can accept other bids if your bid is declined.

Bidding for a property the process

In this overheated market, the seller often arranges for a tender. That means that all interested buyers have one change to present their best bid before a certain closing time. After that closing time, the seller will pick the best and will proceed with the buyer who has won the tender. Bidding is not only about the price. The preconditions are also important for a seller. Flexibility, % percentage of restrictions on finance and also knowing you actually can pay for the house are things sellers will be happy with.

Your bid has succeeded

If you won the bid: HURRAH!!!, but not too loud. A verbal agreement or email confirmation is not binding for the seller and buyer. It is a gentlemen’s agreement and in The Netherlands, it is common to shake hands and stick with it, but … only a signed purchase agreement is legally binding. So, make sure you will sign the purchase agreement asap and keep your fingers crossed!

After signing a purchase agreement the seller has to keep his or her fingers crossed because the buyer has a 3 working days consideration time. We call that a cooling off period or in Dutch: “3 dagen bedenktijd”. During that period the buyer may cancel the agreement without any reasons or costs.

WARNING: Do not bid without restrictions of finance if you cannot afford it. If you need more information, please feel free to send us an email

At How To Buy A House we regularly hold events in the Netherlands for expats who are thinking about buying a home in the Netherlands. Check out our home page for the event’s agenda.

We also have an active Facebook community group where you can ask any questions you may have about buying a home in the Netherlands. Feel free to join our Facebook group.