Finally, there it is, your dream home, or just a house where you’d really like to live. It just might be the case that you’ve often put an offer on a home, but never got lucky, so let us tell you what you should look out for when bidding.

How to bid on a house

How does bidding on a house work?

A single tactic for bidding on a house doesn’t really exist. However, there are a number of things that you can take into account. You determine your opening bid by looking at the value of the house, your own options, and the competition. The combination of those factors is not the holy trinity, however, but it does provide some useful tools for a well-considered opening bid.

The value of the property

There are a few ways to get a picture of the realistic value of a property. Here is a brief summary of the possibilities:

  • Check on websites such as, or to see what you pay per square metre for similar homes, and how long the house has been up for sale.
  • You can request an indication of the home value from the Land Registry (Kadaster) or from the WOZ Waardeloket (Value Desk).
  • Good to know: the WOZ value is often not a good representation of the market value. The value is generally determined by the municipality and lags (at least 1 year) behind the actual market situation.
  • Enlist a buying agent
  • Take a look over at the Walter Living website, where you can easily get a value report of the property and suggestions for a bidding strategy. Tip: as a Viisi customer, you can make use of a free Walter Premium trial subscription for no less than 6 months!

Decide what you can afford to offer

Before you start bidding, it is good to know the maximum amount you can borrow. You can have your maximum mortgage assessed by one of our advisors during a telephone appointment, without further obligation. Good to know: you can borrow a maximum of 100% of the home value for your mortgage. This means that you will need to finance everything above that amount with your own money, unless, for example, you have surplus value in your current home that you can bring in.

Keep in mind that you will need to finance about 6% of the purchase price from your own capital anyway. Find out why.

Bidding on a house when multiple interested parties are involved

Bidding among several interested parties at the same time on the same house is commonplace, we’re not really saying anything new here. The selling agent may negotiate with multiple parties, but is not allowed to state the amount that has been bid. However, he has to disclose how many parties he is negotiating with – which is a thin straw to clutch on to. The good news is that the Dutch government is working on a bidding logbook, which should make the buying process more transparent.

Are there many parties interested in the property? If so, then the estate agent will often opt to sell using a tendering process.

Sale by invitation to tender

In an invitation to tender procedure as part of a sale by tendering process, you make a bid that is placed in a closed envelope before a specified time. That sounds exciting, and, it actually is. It can be an opening bid, but also a final bid, as you don’t know what the other parties are offering. Once the closure time has passed, the selling party looks at all the bids and determines who they will grant the house to. That doesn’t necessarily have to be the party with the highest bid, it can also be the bid with the most favourable conditions.

Including resolutive terms

In addition to your opening bid, you will often also pass on your resolutive conditions. Usually it is wise to include these in your bid. Here’s a list of the options:

  • Opt for the sale to be subject to financing, which gives you as a buyer the time to obtain the financing for the purchase. Read more about bidding with or without the sale being subject to financing. Viisi can give you an extra helping hand with this: with Offer with Certainty, you can bid without it being subject to financing, without running any financial risk yourself.
  • Subject to a structural survey. For example, you can still pull out of the sale if it turns out that a lot of maintenance is needed on the house after the structural survey.
  • Make it a condition that the property is free of tenants.

Are you wondering what the most sensible approach is?

Feel free to contact us

How can you make your bid as attractive as possible?

Offer sensibly and make it appealing; it’s a thin line however. Bidding with as few caveats as possible makes your bid more attractive. This is great for the seller, but be well aware of the risks you are then taking yourself. In some cases – for example if you have a lot of your own money – it can be quite an interesting option. Otherwise, we often advise against it. It is important to know in advance what your possibilities and actual risks are. We can help you with a financial check.

You can also do the following to make your bid more interesting:

  • Make your conditions more attractive by meeting the wishes of the seller. For example, with regard to the transfer date. Pay attention to the possibilities for a mortgage if the transfer is very fast (within 2 months) or very slow (between 6 – 12 months).
  • Select a buying agent. It can make you look more serious as a buyer. Some sellers consider that an important factor.

What are the various ways you can bid on a house?

If you are going to bid on a house, you can make the opening bid in writing, by telephone, via e-mail, or the website of the selling agent. We recommend that you (also) communicate this via e-mail, as it will prevent unfortunate misunderstandings.

Bidding using Walter Living

Through a Walter Living subscription, you can generate standard bidding letters. In addition, Walter Living allows you to estimate a realistic market value of the property. And, for example, also gain insight into what price you should bid to make a knock-out offer for the seller.

Some more info on overbidding

We understand that the tips on this page are no guarantee for success. Overbidding can be the rule rather than the exception in an overheated housing market. Are you curious about how to deal with this specifically, and what sensible action to take? If so, then please get in touch with us.

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