Buying property: Is a makelaar worth it?

I will give you information about makelaars and if they are worth it if you want to buy a house in the Netherlands.

If you read my previous article about How to buy property in the Netherlands ?, you know my boyfriend and I didn’t use a makelaar when we bought our house in 2019. IT IS NOT COMPULSORY.

I am going to explain to you why we didn’t and what they actually do (and not).

Disclaimer: I don’t have much information about the role of a makelaar in the selling process of a property (verkoopmakelaar). This article is mainly about aankoopmakelaar for expats looking to buy a place and wondering if they need such help.

What is a makelaar?

A makelaar is the term used in the Netherlands for a real-estate agent. He/she is there to guide you in the buying process.

In the Netherlands, know that there is no certification or diploma needed if you want to become a makelaar. It’s a bit of an unregulated profession.

What does a makelaar do?

An aankoopmakelaar is an advisor and guide when it comes to buying property.

He can help you find your dream property or can help you in the buying process after you have already found it.

He is there to conduct the negotiations on your behalf with the makelaar of the seller: he will advise you on your bid and be your point of contact with the seller. 

His job is mainly informative: to advise you and answer all your questions.

How much does it cost to hire a makelaar?

Well, that’s the thing with a makelaar… it’s expensive!!!

Most makelaars will take a commission that amounts to 2% of the price you will pay for the property. That’s a lot of money!!!! It is as much as the cost of the transfer tax you have to pay and you have to pay it at the same time. 

If you are paying €200,000 for a house, you will have to pay €4,000 to your makelaar.

It is usually debited from the 10% deposit you sent to the notary.

Sometimes, the cost can be decided in advance and be a fixed price. It is generally around €3,000-€5,000.

Do you need the help of a makelaar when buying a place?

You have to ask yourself a few questions to decide if you do need the help of a makelaar to buy property or not.

  • How much do you know about the buying process of property in the Netherlands?
  • How good is your Dutch?
  • How much time can you spare with getting informed?
  • How well do you deal with stress?
  • Where do you plan on buying property?
  • How much money can you spend on extra costs?

In my case, I was lucky enough to have a Ducth boyfriend who could deal with Dutch documents and go through information online. If your Dutch is B1-B2, this should not be much of an issue. If you struggle with Dutch, you can always ask a friend or read my article about the buying process.

After discussing with friends who used a makelaar, the main advantage of hiring one was this: makelaars have your back and a network. 

  • This means that your makelaar will aggressively negotiate and defend your bid.
  • They can let each other know about the bids on a property to help some buyers do an overbid and get the property in the end.
  • They can also match buyers and sellers before the property even goes on the market.

Example: Makelaar 1 knows Makelaar 2. Makelaar 1 is selling a house that would be perfect for the buyer A of Makelaar 2. Instead of publishing the house on, the makelaars will offer to buyer A to visit the house in advance and advise him on the bid to make (the money the seller wants). Voila! Done deal.

With our research and after talking to A LOT of people about hiring a makelaar, we decided it was not worth it and in the end I really stand behind this statement. It took us a lot of time to do the research, but we learnt a lot and it made us smarter in our buying process.


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