26 July 2023
How to make an offer on a house? Get pre-approved
Egle Kemezyte
Growth Marketer
Let's say you found your dream home; the next step is submitting your offer to the seller. But how does it work, where do you start, and what do you consider when placing a winning bid?

Mortgage re-approval

Before placing a bid, get a mortgage pre-qualification from our mortgage experts. Good preparation is the key to boosting your odds of success. After finding a property you wish to purchase, the most critical question to address is: 'Can I afford it?'.

While "pre-approval" does not exist in the Netherlands, the closest you can get is a personalized mortgage calculation based on factors such as your income, bonuses, and savings. Organizing your finances before placing a bid increases your chances of accepting the offer. Our mortgage specialists offer a signed letter demonstrating that we have assessed your financial situation (maximum mortgage), strengthening your position in the bidding process.

Benefits of acquiring a pre-qualification letter:

  • Once you find a suitable property, you can swiftly make an offer.

  • Your borrowing power allows you to bid.

  • Home sellers often favour buyers with a clear and verified financial situation.

Types of bidding strategies in NL

Before placing a bid, the seller's real estate agents inform you which bidding strategy the seller will use. There are different approaches on how to bid on a house. In the common terminology, you can encounter the following bidding strategies:

  • Negotiation bidding method, as an interested party, you can present your initial bid verbally or in writing. If you opt for an oral bid, following up and confirming it in writing is prudent. Once you receive a counteroffer, the negotiation process begins. As a bidder, you can also submit a final offer immediately, requesting a response from the seller before a specified date and time.

  • In case of sale upon registration, negotiation is not allowed. All bidders have the opportunity to make a single ultimate final bid. This bid must be submitted in a sealed envelope before a specified date and time to the selling estate agent or civil-law notary. However, email submissions are becoming more common nowadays. While this bidding method may appear straightforward, various guidelines, rules, and conditions often come into play.

  • In some cases, you are allowed to bid online. Through a digital platform like NVM Online Bieden, you have complete visibility of all bids made during the bidding process, allowing you to adjust your offer as necessary and any resolutive conditions you may have. Moreover, you can enable automatic increments in your bid each time you get outbid while always maintaining control by setting a maximum amount.

Making an offer: your bidding amount 

Your initial offer must strike a delicate balance - intriguing enough to captivate the seller's attention, yet not excessively high to leave no room for further negotiations. To determine the opening bid, consider three key factors:

  • Assess your room for negotiation: if the house has garnered significant interest, your negotiating room is limited, and it could be advisable to start with a higher opening bid. Conversely, if the property has been on the market for a while, you may have more room to negotiate, allowing you to begin with a lower opening bid.

  • Set your maximum price: determine the full price you will pay for the house. This value reflects the worth of the property to you and can be either above or below the asking price, depending on your assessment of its value.

  • Establish your ideal price: considering an excellent price is a reference point during negotiations. It helps you stay focused on what you hope to achieve and guides your actions.

The offer doesn't include only a monetary offer on the house. Besides the purchase price, it's essential to incorporate resolutive conditions into the preliminary purchase contract.

What is included in resolutive conditions?
  • Obtaining a mortgage takes time and involves multiple steps, such as selecting the mortgage type, receiving a mortgage offer, and getting the property appraised. To account for this, it is essential to include a condition in the purchase agreement stating that it is "subject to securing financing." This condition allows you to cancel the purchase if you cannot secure financing by a specified date. Make sure to state the mortgage amount in this condition for clarity explicitly.

  • Conducting a property survey is always a wise decision. You can cancel the purchase if unexpected technical defects are discovered during the inspection.

  • Not all property defects pose significant issues, as some can be fixed by yourself. However, the repair costs can escalate significantly when there are numerous defects. To safeguard against unexpected expenses, include a condition in the agreement stipulating that you no longer wish to proceed with the purchase if the repair costs exceed a specified amount. The building survey report will provide the necessary information on the estimated repair costs.

  • Once you have reached an agreement with the seller on the property's transfer date, it's essential to include this date in the purchase contract. If the seller fails to have the property ready by the agreed-upon date, you can cancel the purchase and start claiming.

Make your offer more personal

Make your offer more personal by including a personal note with reasons you want to buy a property and pictures. While the bid amount and any resolutive conditions remain crucial, a charming and thoughtful approach could prove decisive, especially when competing with equally matched offers.

Include a pre-mortgage qualification letter

Include a signed mortgage letter that confirms you can finance the property and strengthens your position in the bidding process. The seller can be sure you can afford a mortgage, and the sale process can move smoothly without surprises. Contact our mortgage specialists to request a mortgage letter.

What's next when you submit the offer?

Once you have made the offer, you can only wait for the sales broker to discuss the proposal with the owner. The following reactions are possible:

  • You can receive a counter-proposal. Now the real negotiation begins. Review the counter proposal and either accept it or present a new offer to reach your ideal price (or lower). Make sure to familiarize yourself with the negotiation rules that apply.

  • Your bid is rejected. Unfortunately, it didn't work out this time. Decide whether you want to make a new, potentially higher offer and see if there's still room for negotiation.

  • Your opening bid is immediately accepted. Congratulations! The seller has agreed to your offer, and the purchase deed can now be drawn up. However, you still need to arrange some things before the process is complete. Make sure to read up on the next steps that need to be taken.

Are you looking for a mortgage pre-approval?
Schedule a free call with our mortgage specialists
Meet the team
Sezer Yilmaz
Egle Kemezyte
Growth Marketer
Robin Uijtdehaage
Client Director & Financial Specialist
Lisa Grondsma
Financial Specialist