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Moving on in the Netherlands... the Makelaar

By Clogsandtulips @clogsandtulips
Moving on in the Netherlands... the MakelaarMakelaar is Dutch for realtor. In the Netherlands, you can hire one makelaar to help you buy and one to help you sell. You can choose whether you want both or just one or the other. Or you can do the whole thing yourself.
Should you decide to have a buying and a selling makelaar, please be aware that they are not the same person or from the same office. You have a verkopende makelaar who helps you sell and an aankoopmakelaar who specializes in helping people buy. This way you avoid realtors pushing you to buy based on their/their company's interest instead of yours.
In selling, a makelaar brings a host of benefits. Only via a makelaar can you get your home listed on the online realty giant Funda (the website where the majority of homes are listed and most potential buyers are looking). They also arrange visits, give tours, and act as the middle man between you and the potential buyer. You also get your property listed in brochures and other marketing literature covered by the makelaar.
If you don't want to deal with a makelaar, you can always opt to sell your home yourself. Makelaarsland is one of the options out there for sellers wishing to sell without the assistance of a makelaar. You save yourself the cost of a realtor, but you have to arrange all visits, give all tours, advertise, and orchestrate all communication with potential buyers yourself.
For those wishing to use an aankoopmakelaar, Aankoopmakelaar Tarieven (in Dutch) allows you to compare all aankoopmakelaars in your region by quality and cost. An aankoopmakelaar is not necessary in the Netherlands, but for those who don't feel comfortable finding a home on their own, this is a great alternative.
We decided not to go with an aankoopmakelaar and have had no issues whatsoever. We're actually going to make a bid on a house in the next week or so and have everything under control and feel comfortable with our plan of attack. Very few people I know buy or have bought a home using an aankoopmakelaar.
As far as finding a good verkopende makelaar, we found ours using the same tactic I used to find our veterinarian, doctor, dentist, and midwife. We asked around for recommendations. Grada Jager came up more than once when we asked for ideas and we decided to give them a try as well as another top agency in Utrecht. We were far more impressed with the representative from Grada Jager. As soon as he walked out the door, my husband and I turned to each other and said, "that's the one!"
Our makelaar, Bob, is familiar with the area, charismatic, enthusiastic, attentive, efficient. He's in and out in a flash, took excellent photos for our Funda page, and represented us really well. We've also had a few encounters with Grada herself, who is larger than life, but very professional and together. And the team at Grada Jager seems to work -- we sold our apartment after 7 months and 3 visitors.
Have you worked with a makelaar in the Netherlands? An aankoopmakelaar? Or have you gone through a self-service like Makelaarsland? What was your experience? Have any recommendations?
Photo: Clogs and Tulips
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