Are you looking for a house to buy in Utrecht? Then you probably know that the housing market is seriously overheated. Realtor and valuer Wim Bentum answers the 5 questions most frequently asked by buyers about the negotiation process in today’s market, and gives an extra tip.
The realtor asks a ‘ridiculously’ high price for a property. Is that allowed?
The seller determines the price he will sell his house for, in consultation with the realtor. The buyer can negotiate the price, but the seller decides. That applies to everything that the seller regards as important. So the seller decides the terms on which he sells his house.
If I make an offer, am I then in negotiation?
No, you are only in negotiation if the seller makes a counter-offer. The selling realtor may also just carry on with viewings while negotiation is taking place. Because the first bidder is often not necessarily the best one.
Can a realtor change the way a house is to be sold (the bidding system) while negotiations are going on?
That’s possible. Either party can end the negotiations. Sometimes there are so many people interested in a property, all offering the asking price or nearly the asking price, it is difficult to determine who the best buyer is. In that case the selling realtor, naturally in consultation with the seller, may decide to break off the ongoing negotiations and change the bidding system. Of course, if he has made a commitment he has to honor that first. The realtor may then choose, for example, for a tender process. All the bidders then have an equal chance to make the highest offer.
If I offer the asking price, is the seller bound to sell the house to me?
There is a lot of misunderstanding about this question. The highest legal authority, the Supreme Court, has determined that if you offer the asking price from an advert, you are making an offer. So, the asking price is regarded as an invitation to make an offer. The seller can still decide whether he wants to accept your offer or get his realtor to make a counter-offer.
Can the seller raise the asking price of a property during negotiations?
The answer is ‘Yes’. If the asking price is just an invitation to make an offer (see the previous question), then the seller may decide to raise or lower the asking price. During negotiations, parties often make offers and counter-offers. If a potential buyer makes an offer which is different from the offer that the seller has made previously, then that previous offer by the seller expires. So even if parties are ‘getting closer to a deal’ in the offer process, the seller may suddenly decide to raise his counter-offer and the buyer may in turn decide to lower his offer.
In this overheated housing market it is advisable to engage a purchasing realtor. A purchasing realtor supports you with the purchase of your house. From looking for a property to negotiating and handling the completion.