Finding a house in the Netherlands without paying too much for it is a huge feat nowadays. Steven van Wel, the co-founder of Walter Living, knows all about it — and as a result, he decided to launch a service that helps prepare the best offer on your home.
Back in 2015, Steven began the tricky process of trying to buy a house in Amsterdam.
“I hired a buying agent in Amsterdam to purchase a new house, and it was a less than perfect experience. There was not much information or guidance, and in the end, I felt I’d paid too much for the house.”
Sound familiar? Or like a situation you would like to avoid? Steven “decided to take that knowledge and apply it” — and that’s where Walter Living comes in.
So, what is Walter Living? Simple. It’s a service that looks at the property you hope to bid on and analyses it against relevant housing data and trends. Combining this data with their expert knowledge, they help hopeful homeowners calculate a winning bid.
They gather and examine the data
As Steven says, “we don’t focus on fiction but facts. We prefer data over gut feeling.” But what exactly does this data consist of? What is taken into consideration when calculating the highest bid? Let’s talk about it.
🏡 The condition of the home
The first thing Walter Living checks is the home’s condition. Is it a fixer-upper or a turnkey apartment? This plays a role in how much you should bid.
After all, if you need to carry out renovations before moving in, you will need to set aside some money — and not spend it all during the bidding process.
📐 Look at living area x price per square meter
When we say that Walter Living is all about numbers, we mean it. They will take into account factors such as the living area of the house and break down exactly how much you would be spending per square meter.
READ MORE | How to calculate a winning offer for your Dutch dream house
Sometimes it’s difficult to determine whether or not a house is worth overbidding on, but once the price is broken down in these terms, you see where your money is going — and in turn, if it’s worth dishing out some more.
💶 The list price vs. the purchase price
Walter Living’s rich database has gathered the selling prices of 380,000 houses in the Netherlands and the list prices of many homes.
By comparing the list prices (the initial asking price) to the purchase prices, you can make a more educated guess as to how much a similar home will sell for. Are the sellers asking too much for this property? Or should you aim to bid above the current asking price?
📈 The current trends in bidding
Walter Living have been gathering and analyzing data for the last four years. This means they understand market developments over the past few years and can apply these trends to your bidding strategy.
How do they use this data?
Using its Automated Valuation Model (AVM), Walter Living will combine all of the above factors to predict the selling price of your hopeful home. This is where you need to begin if you will come up with a bidding strategy.
How can you use this data?
Ok, you get it, data is great, but you know why? It helps you come up with the perfect personalized bid!
You can do this in two ways:
🧑🏻🔧 Option one: you do it yourself
Using Walter Living Plus or Walter Premium, you can get a clear picture of the home value and even use their gathered data to make a report that compares similar homes based on their address and the market.
Using Walter Plus, you can then use this information to calculate your potential bids yourself.
Think of Walter Plus as the service that provides you with the data and the tools to process it. You gain insight into the selling prices of similar homes at similar addresses and insight into the current market trends and how this may determine your next move.
Or you can make use of Walter Premium and enjoy automated bidding strategies!
Walter Premium takes it a step further: they provide you with the data and crunch the numbers to offer three tailor-made bidding strategies. Then, it’s up to you to decide which one to opt for!
🧑💼 Option two: you let Walter do it all for you
Then there’s Walter All-in-one. Through this service, in addition to the benefits of Walter Premium and Walter Plus, you will be assigned a personal Walter Expert.
As a purchase broker and data analyst, your Walter Expert will walk you through the entire process and advise you on which bid and resolutive conditions are best for your situation. They will even represent you. They contact sellers or the agent directly and act on your behalf.
And is it worth it? Definitely. You will only pay the fees once Walter-All-in-one has curated a winning bid for you.
Good to know: A whopping 77% of Walter-All-in-one customers make a winning bid within just 45 days of signing up for the service.
Your Walter Expert calculates three amounts for each house
If you choose to work with Walter All-in-One, your expert will calculate three amounts for each house you want to bid on.
- 1. The desktop appraisal value
They keep it simple with the first amount. This is the appraisal value or the home’s actual market value. Walter calculates this in the same way as an appraiser, looking at recently sold comparable homes.
If you need a mortgage to finance your home, this is an important number to keep in mind.
- 2. The best offer for the house
Unfortunately, in the current climate, you often pay more than the market value of a house.
That is why Walter analyses the bidding behaviour in the neighbourhood and, based on this data, they calculate a reasonable offer for the property you want to bid on.
- 3. All in One
Sometimes there’s that one crazy person in the bidding process who is willing to pay a lot more — and Walter Living gives you the option to be that person.
We’re talking about the third amount that your Walter Expert will suggest to you. This amount will be well above the market value, but it also means that your chances of emerging from the bidding ring victorious are significantly higher.
In addition to the amount of the offer, your expert will also discuss the bidding terms with you. They will repeat this process until you have made the winning bid. Whether this takes a week, several months, or even a year.
The main thing for you to do is decide: will you go with the madness or will you opt for a more conservative offer?
Making the decision can be challenging, but that’s precisely why Walter Living offers services such as Walter-All-in-one. So take a deep breath, trust the experts, and secure yourself that dream home!
Have you ever curated your bidding strategy in the Netherlands? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!