Where do I find a good real estate agent?

The better question is, do I need a real estate agent when buying a house? At Van Bruggen Adviesgroep we think you do. Especially if you are an expat. The Dutch housing market can be complex and has been under high pressure since a few years. Especially in the main cities such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht, Eindhoven and The Hague it can be a real challenge to find a suitable home. Local expertise is an essential key to success.

Anybody can call himself a real estate agent in The Netherlands. You need no permit, education or other requirement. Our advice is to choose an agent who is a member of a national organisation such as NVM, Vastgoedpro  or VBO.

So, what does a real estate agent cost and what can he or she do for you?

The assignment usually starts with the search for a home and ends with the transfer of ownership at the notary. In this case, the real estate agent performs the following work:

  • Search for a home.
  • Determine the property value.
  • Conduct research into the home, for example into legal restrictions.
  • Plan and coordinate appointments, open houses, showings, and meetings with clients and other real estate agents.
  • Negotiate the price
  • Advise on the purchase agreement
  • Assist the transfer of ownership at the notary

In addition to a full mediation assignment, an intermediate form is possible. You then do a part yourself, for example plan and coordinate appointments, and you outsource part to the agent, such as determining the home value and negotiating the price.

Costs of a real estate agent

A real estate agent asks a fee (sometimes called commission) for the work he performs. This fee is negotiable. The fee can be a percentage of the purchase price or a fixed amount. Always request a quote from multiple real estate agents so that you can compare. And check carefully whether the quote is with or without 21% VAT.

Always make clear agreements with your real estate agent. Agree upon at least the following points and put them down in writing.

  • What activities will the agent perform.
  • Amount of the fee you have to pay.
  • Extra costs in addition to the fee.
  • Penalty for withdrawing the contract.