Due to the increased mortgage interest rates and high energy costs, the housing market looks different than it did a year ago. The market is shifting from a seller's market to a buyer's market, and overall, there are declining house prices.
Homes stay on the market longer, and some homes are not selling at all. A real estate agent is crucial in the sale or purchase of your house, especially now. Fortunately, real estate agent fees in the Netherlands are lower than anywhere else in the world, and the service and quality of service provided are unmatched. For consumers, the Netherlands is a candy store when it comes to selling or buying a house and getting guidance from a real estate agent.
The table below shows how the costs of a Dutch real estate agent compare to agents in other countries
A Dutch real estate agent usually charges a commission in the form of a percentage of the total purchase price. The percentages range from 1% to 2%, including VAT, depending on the complexity of the task (the property to be sold), the related work hours of the real estate agent, the agent's responsibility, and the risk of potential unpaid after-sales service to both the seller and the buyer (only one of them is the agent's customer in a transaction). In addition to the commission expressed as a percentage, consumers also pay so-called startup costs when selling a home. These costs range from 300 euros to 1,000 euros, depending on the incurred expenses (e.g., photography, video, and measurement report). Additionally, a Dutch real estate agent charges withdrawal fees and fees for potential second (or multiple) listings on Funda.
In la douce France, a real estate agent typically charges a standard 6% commission to sell your house. However, there are price fighters who, depending on the property's value, may accept 3% or 4%. On the other hand, some French real estate agents may ask for up to 10%, especially for houses or properties under 100,000€. This makes real estate agent fees in France among the highest in Western Europe.
In Germany, real estate agent fees are variable but comparable to prices in France. It is common to pay 6% excluding VAT in Germany, which results in a real commission rate of 7.16%. However, the commission is negotiable, especially for highly sought-after properties where the agent expects no trouble with the sale.
In Italy, the real estate agent is an independent intermediary who shares costs between the buyer and the seller. Rates range from 3% to 8%, excluding VAT, which is close to real estate agent commissions in France. What's unique in Italy is that as a buyer, you are already obligated to pay the agent's fees when the seller accepts your offer. If the sale falls through later in the process, you risk losing that money. Fortunately, most agents are willing to agree to request payment of the fees only after the official sale.
In Belgium, real estate commission is also called "ereloon." It typically amounts to 3% of the sale price, with VAT added on top, resulting in a total commission of 3.63%. In Belgium, it's common to sign an exclusive contract, meaning the seller cannot engage other agents, and even if the seller finds a buyer themselves, the agent can still claim compensation, as a form of damages. This compensation can be as much as 75% of the normal commission owed. If you want to search for a buyer yourself, it's better to find an agent willing to accept a non-exclusive contract.
In Spain, like in France, the seller pays the real estate agent fees, which are typically 3%, although some agents may request a higher commission. So, it's a matter of shopping around to find an agent who charges a reasonable commission.
In England, you can choose whether to use one agent for the sale or two agents who then share the commission, regardless of which one sells the house. Another alternative is to use multiple agents, each working individually, with only the selling agent receiving a commission. Commissions in England typically range from 1.5% to 4%.