The government wants real estate agents to keep a log of how the bidding process goes for a property that anyone can check out after the house is sold.
This decision, said Interior Minister Kajsa Ollongren, “will remove the place for dishonest exchanges and everyone will know how the auctions went.”
Ollongren wants the industry to present the logbooks and says she will introduce a bill if it does not move quickly enough. The logbook is one of three measures the minister is considering to make the housing market fairer for buyers in today’s overheated market.
There is, the Minister said, a lot of uncertainty as to the exact rules for buyers, sellers and brokers. She now wants the sector to develop an improvement plan to be completed by the end of this year.
Ollongren also wants to ensure equal opportunities for buyers, so that those who wish to have the property inspected or who have yet to finalize the financial aspect of the deal are not excluded.
The current competition in the housing market means that potential buyers who want to ensure that the building is structurally sound, for example, are often excluded from the tendering process.
The owners association Vereniging Eigen Huis also called for more transparency. The absence of rules and agreements allows “many real estate agents to exceed the ethical limits of sellers,” according to the organization.
Henk Jansen, from Expat Mortgages, told DutchNews.nl that he supports any measure that increases transparency and benefits the buyer.
“I am in favor of whatever is beneficial to the buyer,” he said. “This is not about lower prices but more transparency and it is obvious that some changes are needed.”
Real estate agency Mie-Lan Kok told DutchNews.nl that the measure will help dispel the notion that real estate agents are making deals with each other and will provide additional protection for buyers.
“More and more offers are being organized without a financing clause and buyers are tempted to do so,” she said. “But if their bank denies their mortgage application, they can be fined up to 10% of the purchase price.”
Nonetheless, the measures are simply dressings on the wounds, she said. “The real problem is that too little housing is being built. There is still a shortage of 300,000 homes in our country and more emphasis should be placed on that.
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