How to calculate a winning offer for your Dutch dream house 

Let’s paint a picture: you’ve been on the hunt for a home in the Netherlands for months, and your dream house has just popped up. You manage to get yourself into viewing, and you’re in love — but now you need to place an offer. 

And you’re completely lost. Should you underbid? Should you offer the asking price? Should you overbid? And if so, by how much? 

What to consider when calculating your bid

These are all excellent questions, but the best thing to do is set your sentiments aside and channel your inner maths-nerd. Yep, it’s time to gather data. But where do you even begin? 

Your maximum mortgage

Before you do anything, you need to know your borrowing power. The last thing you want is to place a bid, only to realise the bank isn’t willing to lend you that amount!

Calculate your potential mortgage, making sure to take your current debts (if any) into account. Once you know your borrowing power, you can consider just how much you are willing to overbid on any potential dream homes. 

The value of the home 

We all love a beautiful canal house — but is the value of the home worth overbidding on? Image: Depositphotos

Another thing to consider is the home’s value versus the asking price. By value, we mean the result of an actual professional evaluation. You can have this carried out either by companies or housing experts such as a realtor. 

Alternatively, you can use an online valuation tool. This means you fill in the details of the house into an online form yourself. This is fast and easy but not as accurate. 

Once you have a valuation report, you’re going to want to look into the WOZ value. This is the house’s value as measured by the Dutch government to determine how much you should pay in tax and levies. You can apply to know the WOZ value of a house on the Dutch government’s website.  

The condition of the building

Ok, so now you have a good idea of the house’s value. So, is it worth bidding above this amount? That depends on aspects such as the condition of the house! Ask yourself: 

  • 🛠️ Is it a fixer-upper? 
  • ✨ Is it brand new? 
  • ⚡ How is the energy rating?
  • 📆 Is it due for any major works, like a new roof? 

This all plays an essential role in determining how much you should bid during the sale — think about it, you may need to invest in the house heavily in the future, which could affect how much you want to offer now. 

Sometimes, you may find that the house is being drastically overvalued. While we all have that dream of living in a quintessentially Dutch canal house, you need to be practical about its condition — are you willing to cough up the cash to make up for the extra energy costs? Or is the seller simply asking too much?

The final sale price of other houses in this condition/neighbourhood 

Determining the perfect bid also takes some detective-like sleuthing. For example, one of the best indicators of how much you should bid for a house is how much other houses in the area are selling for. 

Unfortunately, in the Netherlands, this isn’t so easy to do. If you want to know how much a similar home sold for, you’re going to need a Kadaster report. However, this is only available a few months after the sale (and we all know how much of a difference a few months can make to housing prices at the moment). 

Another alternative is to contact the property’s selling agent and ask them straight out — but there’s only a slight chance they’ll tell you. 

An obvious one — the housing market

The Dutch housing market plays a huge role in how you should calculate your winning offer. Image: Depositphotos

Walking hand in hand with the current bidding trends in the housing market. The Netherlands has seen its housing prices rise substantially over the past two years. As a result, people are not only overbidding more often (in the third quarter of 2021, a whopping 86% of houses sold were overbid on), but they are also facing higher asking prices. 

Today, a home seeker in the Netherlands will have an average of just 1.4 houses to choose from, which makes buyers feel the pressure to win when putting in an offer. However, you shouldn’t let the current state of the Dutch housing market drive up your bidding price too much! Remember to consider the value of the home. 

The time that you actually have to bid

If there’s one thing you need to know about an overheated housing market, it’s that when it comes to calculating your bid, you don’t have that much time to crunch those numbers. 

In the Netherlands, the time between a house being put on the market and selling is 24 days on average. Therefore, the best thing you can do for yourself is to gather any data that is possible to gather before you view a home, such as the average selling price of similar homes in that area and your maximum mortgage, for example.

Good to know: In the Netherlands, once you place an offer on a home and it’s accepted, you have what is called a three-day “cooling-off period.” This means that you can retract your offer with no legal or financial consequences within this time period. 

Three ways to calculate your bid when buying a house in the Netherlands

Now it’s time to calculate your winning offer. There are three ways you can do this in the Netherlands. Image: Depositphotos

Ok, you have considered all of the above information — but how does one go about actually calculating their exact bid? There are three options: 

You do it yourself 

The first option is to consider all of the above considerations and come up with a bid yourself. Perhaps you see that the house’s condition is excellent, and similar homes in the area were snapped up quickly. Then, you might make the decision to overbid when placing your offer. 

You get an expert involved 

If the task feels like something you would rather have an expert handle — fair enough! Housing experts such as mortgage advisors and real estate agents are often also trained appraisers. 

Using these skills, combined with their knowledge of the current housing market, you’ll be given an expert estimation of how much you should bid on your dream home.  

You make use of an algorithm 

The next step is to leave the maths to a calculator. However, to do this, you’re going to need to gather a lot of data: the selling prices vs. the purchase price, the average house price in your area — and more! 

By analysing the data, you can give yourself a very accurate estimate of just how much you should be bidding to win your dream house. Thankfully, some businesses can provide you with access to this data and even help you calculate it. 

How have you found the bidding process in the Netherlands? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Sarah O'Leary 🇮🇪
Sarah O'Leary 🇮🇪
Before becoming the Senior Editor of DutchReview, Sarah was a fresh-faced international looking to learn more about the Netherlands. Since moving here in 2017, Sarah has added a BA in English and Philosophy (Hons.), an MA in Literature (Hons.), and over three years of writing experience at DutchReview to her skillset. When Sarah isn't acting as a safety threat to herself and others (cycling), you can find her trying to sound witty while writing about some of the stickier topics such as mortgages and Dutch law.

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