FAQ Below you can find a collection of the FAQ. Is your question not among them? Call (020) 261 34 70, send us an e-mail or send us a message via the contact form.


1. When have I entered into negotiations?

You have only entered negotiations when the selling party responds to your offer by making a counter offer. However, you have not entered negotiations if the selling agent states that he will discuss your offer with the seller.

2. Can a real estate agent continue with viewings if there are already negotiations over an offer?

Yes, this is possible. Negotiations do not necessary result in a sale. Moreover, it could be that the seller wants to know if there is more interest in their property. In any case, it is permitted to enter into negotiations with more than one candidate at the same time. A real estate agent affiliated with the Dutch Association of Real Estate Brokers (NVM) must state this clearly though. Often the selling NVM agent will inform the interested parties that a property is ‘under offer’. As an interested party you may make an offer, but the real estate agent may only enter into negotiations with you when the negotiations with the first interested party have been completed. The NVM real estate agent does not inform about the amount of the offers. This could lead to outbidding.

3. When I offer the asking price, is the seller obliged to sell the property to me?

No. The Supreme Court has determined that the asking price must be seen as an invitation to making an offer. Even when you offer the asking price, the seller can still decide where they take your offer or not, or whether their real estate agent will make you a counter offer.

4. Can the seller increase the asking price of a property during the negotiations?

Yes, the seller can decide to increase or reduce the asking price. In addition, as the potential buyer you can also decide to reduce your offer during the negotiations. When the selling party makes a counter offer, your earlier offer becomes void.

5. How does the purchase come about?

When the buyer and seller agree about the most important issues (such as price, the delivery date and the dissolving conditions), then the selling agent determines the agreements in writing in a purchase deed. Dissolving conditions are an important subject here. As the buyer you do not automatically get a dissolving condition. For example, if you want a dissolving condition for financing, then you have to state this when making your offer. It is then also important that the parties are in agreement about additional agreements and dissolving conditions prior to the purchase deed being drawn up.

As soon as both parties have signed the purchase deed and the buyer has received a copy of this deed, the legal time period of three days comes into effect where you, as a private buyer may reconsider the purchase. Within this time period you may still renounce the purchase. If you do not do this, the financing will be completed and other possible dissolving conditions will no longer be an obstacle, then the transfer will take place at the notary on the agreed delivery date.

6. Is a NVM real estate agent allowed to change the system of selling during negotiations?

Yes, this is permitted. Sometimes there are so many interested parties that offer the asking price (or near to the asking price) that it is difficult to determine who the best buyer will be. In that case the selling agent – in consultation with the seller– may decide to terminate the current negotiations and adjust the offer procedure to then opt for, for example, a registration system. This gives all bidders an equal chance to make the highest offer. Prior to changing the system, the real estate agent must naturally first adhere to commitments made.

7. Is a NVM real estate agent permitted to ask an astronomically high price for a property?

After discussion with their NVM real estate agent, the seller determines the price for which he sells his property. The buyer can negotiate the price, but the seller ultimately decides.

8. What is an option?

In a legal sense, an option gives a party the choice to enter a purchase agreement with another party, by way of a unilateral declaration. Parties are then in agreement about the conditions of the purchase, but the buyer gets another week to consider it for example. This option is common when purchasing a new building. This is not the case when purchasing an existing property. The term ‘option’ is often incorrectly used here. Then it means that a selling NVM agent can make certain commitments to an interested buyer during the negotiation process. Such a commitment can for example mean that an interested buyer is given a few days to consider an offer. The NVM agent will try not to enter negotiations with another party in that period. The interested buyer can use this time to get a better insight into their financing or in the options of the property. You cannot demand an option; the seller and the selling NVM agent decide themselves whether certain commitments are made during a negotiation process.

9. Does a real estate agent have to negotiate with me first if I am the first person to call for a viewing, or the first to make an offer?

No. The selling agent determines the sales process together with the seller. If you are seriously interested in the property, ask the real estate agent what your position is. This can avoid disappointment.

10. Is the commission of the real estate agent included in the ‘purchasing costs payable by the purchaser’?

No. The ‘purchasing costs payable by the purchaser’ include the costs that the government connects to the transfer of a property. These are the real estate transfer tax, the notary costs for drawing up the deed and the costs for registering it in the registers. In addition, the buyer must bear in mind the (notary) costs for drawing up and registering the mortgage deed. If the selling party has deployed a real estate agent to sell the property, then the seller is liable for those costs. After all, the selling real estate agent is looking after the interests of the seller, and not yours as the buyer. For this reason, it is usually sensible to use a real estate agent yourself. The buyer is liable for paying the commission of the buying agent.

11. Why do you need a buying agent?

A buying agent only works in your interests. Where you may instantly be in love with a property, the buying agent will keep a rational perspective; will it maintain its value, does it require much maintenance, how is the foundation and what is the deal with the Owners’ Association? Just a few issues that a buying agent bears in mind. On the basis of this he provides advice to buy a house or not, and for which price. The buying agent subsequently knows exactly what to look for during the negotiations, the purchase agreement and the delivery of your new house. Another benefit is that a selling agent rather sells to a buying agent than a private individual, because he/she has more trust in them. Working with a buying agent therefore has its benefits.

12. How much should I offer in excess of the asking price?

In the current Amsterdam property market, it often occurs that you have to bid in excess of the asking price to have a chance of getting the property. But whether you have to overbid and by how much completely depends on the property. There is no clear answer to this. For each property we will assess with our client what it is worth and make a proper estimation of a successful offer. The point is not simply to make the highest bid, but a good one. Everyone can pay too much, but we do not want you to be left with debts when you want to sell your house again.

13. Where do I begin with the search for an owner-occupied property in Amsterdam?

Everyone who considers buying a property has a sniff around on Funda. And in addition to being fun this is also very important. However, a serious search starts with a mortgage meeting. The market in Amsterdam moves very fast, so after finding a property there is often no time to check out the financial details. We often work with Joachim Nobel. This financial specialist works in a very flexible way and has good references. With his information you know exactly what you can spend, and what price you are looking for in your search.

14. What is my property worth?

Do you have an owner-occupied property and are considering to sell it? We will happily visit you for a non-binding discussion. This way we can become acquainted and take our time to view the property. After our meeting, we will carry out an extended valuation and develop a sales strategy. After this, it is up to you to whether you wish to sell the house using our services.

15. Why should I choose Makelaar Bert?

It is crucial to choose a real estate agent that suits you. Our style is personal and accessible, and our main objective is that you are satisfied. We score extremely well on review websites such as wieisdebestemakelaar.nl, and do our upmost to get a good rating from you. Call, app or mail us so we can tell you what we can do for you.

16. Do you also see the renovation potential of a property, or should I hire an architect for this?

We certainly see this. We always tell our buying clients that they must primarily pay attention to the potential of a property. Is it large enough? Then there are many options. We always look at how areas can be better divided, where we focus on the added value. But naturally also on the quality of living. All our real estate agents have fully renovated their own properties themselves, and have been in the industry long enough that their knowledge and insights are absolutely of added value to our clients. The only advice we do not give is about the costs. This depends strongly on someone’s personal preferences, style and materials.

Practical examples

Recently we have given advice to move the kitchen to the living room, to convert the old kitchen into a bedroom. These days, many people want an open kitchen and at least two bedrooms. This kills two birds with one stone. We also often see very large bedrooms and a small living room. Sometimes it is better to switch spaces. Do you have daylight in the bedroom, but not in the living room? Then you could opt to switch these.

17. Do you have knowledge about the municipality’s future zoning plans?

We always pay attention to the zoning plan and request this as standard when buying a property. This is important for the view, but also with regards to the infrastructure, for instance. This is why we will always check this.

18. What are the risks for me during the purchase process if I do not work with a real estate agent?

We have compiled the most important risks for you:

  • You often pay far more for a property without a real estate agent.
  • Your chances of success are way less if you work without a buying agent, because selling agents prefer to sell to a colleague.
  • The selling agent only works with the interests of the seller in mind, so it can be that his/ her information is incomplete. Starters do not know what they should ask and the real estate agent will never mention the negative things. It can be that you buy something that gives you an unexpected surprise. Examples are a poor maintenance level, foundations that subside, a view that will soon change or an inactive Owners’ Association that has not saved anything while much maintenance is on the horizon.
  • There is always a high level of emotional involvement during the process of buying a property. This is logical. It is our job to remain rational at all times. We look at what a property is worth and if something is a good investment.
  • In addition, negotiations can often become emotional, certainly when you really want a particular property. A real estate agent has carried out hundreds of negotiations and knows how to get the best feasible deal.
  • Most people do not see a purchase deed every day. And as a layman all these legal terms can be rather gibberish. A buying agent will therefore free you from a lot of stress and uncertainly.

19. What are the risks with a sale if I opt for an online real estate agent?

Firstly, an online real estate agent does not start with a non-binding acquaintance meeting to get to know you and view your property, like we do. It is pleasant to get to know the real estate agent and discuss the options before you make a decision. The real estate agent views the property and can then create an extensive sales strategy. If you opt for us you will have a fixed point of contact that knows you and your property. With an online real estate agent there is only a telephone switchboard with people who know nothing about your property let alone the current property market in your neighbourhood. Our real estate agents are in the heart of our quickly changing market, are in constant contact with colleagues and therefore know exactly how the market is moving.

Disclosure obligation is where it often goes wrong with an online real estate agent. As the seller, you are obligated to disclose and as the seller you are legally liable for this. Your real estate agent will assist you with this, what it entails so that you do not run any risks. Our real estate agents have been trained on legal and architectural aspects and will therefore always be able to offer effective support.

We approach buying and selling on a ‘no cure no pay’ basis. For the selling, this means that in addition to the presentation costs you do not owe us anything as long as we have not sold your house. An online real estate agent does not care whether you sell your house or not.

The lines of communication are often far too long with online real estate agents. Certainly for the very fast-moving Amsterdam market. Our real estate agents are always directly accessible via their mobile telephones and interested parties do not have to leave their queries via a telephone switchboard.

With an online real estate agent you have to handle the viewings yourself (read more below for the disadvantages of this). But then you receive an offer – how should you respond to this, what is the best strategy? Imagine that you receive multiple offers, how should you proceed? Which conditions are favourable for you? In short, selling properties is a professional vocation. And when it concerns something as important as your house, you can better hire a professional.

20. Why should I not handle the viewings myself?

The sales pitch from many online real estate agents is that you might as well handle the viewings yourself. Of course, it is not hard to open the door yourself and show your house. But in practice there are many pitfalls when you do this.

In Amsterdam there is currently little offer and great demand. It could be that you get more than 60 interested people to view your property. We have a wealth of experience in having this proceed smoothly and how to receive the most favourable offer, where it can be quite complicated for a private individual.

Our experience is that the quantity of viewings is also less when the owner handles these. A viewing must be as low level as possible for the potential buyers. They have to feel free to state negative things about the property and open cupboards, etc. Viewers often feel less comfortable when a seller is present, which will not benefit the sale.

For yourself as the seller it can also be difficult because you are emotionally involved with your property.

You can be lucky and sell your property after just three viewings. It can also be that it takes you months and many viewing requests. Viewing in the evening is not favourable in view of the fact that the property cannot be seen properly in the dark. And most people do not have the time and the inclination to constantly do viewings in the daytime.

21. What happens when the time period of three days after signing the purchase deed is over, and I cannot finalise the financing?

If you have included a resolutive clause in the purchase deed that you are permitted to dissolve if you do not obtain a mortgage (a dissolving condition), then you have to show two rejections to the seller and the purchase deed can be dissolved. If you have not included a resolutive clause and are not able to obtain a mortgage? Then you have to pay 10% of the purchase price.

22. Imagine that at a particular moment I end the search for (or sale of) a house, am I charged anything by the real estate agent?

For the purchase of a property we work completely on the basis of no cure no pay, so you do not owe us anything if you end the engagement.

With the sale of your property you pay the presentation costs (photos, video, floor plan). These are costs that are charged by the supplier of the products that we then charge to our clients. You can terminate our service provision prior to the sale free of charge, most real estate agents charge cancelation costs because it can be that you have already been busy for a while and have incurred costs by viewings, etc. We want our clients to be able to easily dissolve when they want to. Fortunately, this does not happen often.

23. I am looking for a property in Amsterdam as well as in Haarlem, do I have to look for a separate buying agent in Haarlem?

We believe that you can better request local expertise in the city itself. Previously we also bought a lot of properties in Haarlem, but unfortunately this is no longer possible as the majority of real estate agents in Haarlem want to sell to a colleague from their city.

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