The Art of Bidding

The art of bidding on a property is one that requires years of practice. Having someone with the right kind of experience in your corner cannot be underestimated. Luckily, Barry Burgemeester possesses both the diligence and the know-how when it comes to getting bang for your buck! We sat down with Barry recently to answer your burning questions when it comes to bidding on a home in the Netherlands.

- What exactly does it mean to 'bid' on a house in the Netherlands?

A 'bid' means that you're showing interest in purchasing a house - it's more like a gesture, or even a proposal. Remember; bidding is not just about the price - flexibility, restrictions on finance and your budget are all things the seller will consider before proceeding with your offer. If you're not sure about how to present yourself when it comes to the tender - don't worry! That's where your real estate agent comes in.

- From start to finish, what happens during the bidding process?

Your real estate agent will propose the content and then make the offer to the selling agent or seller on your (the client's) behalf. To make the client as attractive as possible to the seller, your real estate agent will help you to develop a sort of ‘portfolio’ to make you stand out from the crowd. Remember, there are usually a LOT of people competing for the same property, so preparation is key.

- Why can't I just bid on a home myself? Why do I need a real estate agent?

There's a lot to do when you're trying to secure your dream home - if it was that easy, Barry wouldn't have a job! For a start, everything moves very fast and is always negotiated in Dutch. This means that it can be hard to keep up if you don't speak the language, let alone if you're unaccustomed to the market. With a good real estate agent, you'll be bidding on properties that are both good value and within your budget.

- If I need to overbid, what do have to be aware of?

Amsterdam has an extremely overheated market. It's often the case that there will be an influx of interest on the same property, which means you'll almost always have to overbid; the question is, by how much? Well, there's never a right answer here, however your real estate agent is always the best person to advise on a strategic approach that will be mutually beneficial for both you and the seller.

- How do I finance a bid if I don't know how much to overbid by?

Good question! Prior to submitting a bid, you'll need to consider how to finance the extra cost overbidding will incur. This is why a real estate agent is crucial. With Barry's background and extensive experience, he can advise an estimate on how much you'll need in total so you can secure your finances, get your ducks in a row and be ready to strike while the iron is hot!

- What happens if and when I win the bid?

Firstly, congratulations! However, do remember that the initial verbal agreement or email confirmation is not binding for the seller and buyer. A deal is only binding after all parties has signed the sale and purchase agreement, so Barry will be your right-hand man in ensuring this process goes smoothly. If you have any questions along the way, don’t be afraid to ask!

So that’s it! We know bidding can be a daunting task for many when it comes to buying your first home, especially in such an unfamiliar market. Bidding is a craft that needs to be honed, but with the right real estate agent you can be safe in the knowledge that you’re being put first. To get in touch, email info@burgemeestervastgoed for a free consultation today.


Who is Barry Burgemeester?

Barry Burgemeester is a certified real estate agent and has worked in the property market for more than 23 years. Originally hailing from Utrecht, he is incredibly passionate about what he does and loves helping clients in Amsterdam and beyond. Specializing in helping expats to find their dream home, Barry is an expert at guiding them every step of the way.

Covid update

“Keeping you safe. Finding your dream home.”

The outbreak of coronavirus is affecting everyone across the Netherlands and far beyond. We all have a role to play in preventing its spread. We’re proud to say that Burgemeester Vastgoed adapted quickly to the “new normal” and have helped dozens of expats find their new homes safely throughout the crisis.

The market is still strong and there are many beautiful properties on offer. However, protecting you and others will always be our priority. This is why we have implemented the following measures:

  1. We are offering online introductory meetings
  2. We remain available on WhatsApp, phone, social media, email etc.
  3. We will only ever arrange private viewings (and never open house viewings)
  4. When meeting for viewings, we will keep a safe distance at all times

If you have any questions, or you’re interested in setting up an online introductory meeting to discuss how we can work together, then please do get in contact.

Thanks, and take care,

Barry Burgemeester

A Fast-Growing Market

Considerations When Buying A Home In The Netherlands

Buying a house is no mean feat. For most, purchasing a home may be the biggest investment one ever commits to. There are many reasons to want your own home; from the sense of stability and security to financial incentives such as tax benefits, there are an abundance of pros to owning your property. However, taking a leap and putting your hard-earned savings into the right kind of home can be daunting, especially in another country when one is unaccustomed to procedures, regulations and language – that’s where we can help!

An Unusual Market

Amsterdam’s property market is an unusual one, to say the least. Whether you intend on living in the building yourself or renting it out to tenants, finding the perfect fit for your criteria is essential. Firstly, consider your goal for the property. Is it just for you, your family or an external party? Is the home intended for the long haul or a temporary solution? How important is the location? Do you require amenities within close proximity, such as the commute time to your workplace, schools or recreational facilities that you regularly use? Drafting a list of goals and necessities will make it easier for your real estate agent to narrow down potential opportunities that fit your needs, making your journey smoother and more efficient.


The next, and arguably, most crucial element of consideration, should be your budget. The demand within the housing market in Amsterdam has sky-rocketed over the last few years, and factors such as Brexit have caused this number to soar even further. It has been estimated that Amsterdam’s population will exceed over 1 million residents by 2035. This exponential growth may seem harrowing, especially for first-time buyers. The uncertainty surrounding the economy and job market as a result of COVID-19 has made searching for a home without an advisor even more precarious.

Navigating Unfamilar Territory

Due to the increase in residents and market ambiguity in the wake of the pandemic, the gap between supply and demand has widened significantly – and so too has the price of buying a home in The Netherlands. Fluctuating prices reflective of an unstable economy make it hard to know when a home you have your eye on is a good deal or a nightmare waiting to happen. A perceptive real estate agent will help you to navigate prospective homes, costs and advise you on the necessary steps so you can feel confident in the knowledge that you are making informed decisions when in unfamiliar territory.

Cost-Effective Solutions

If you are unsure about what you can afford, a mortgage advisor or bank can help you to weigh up your income and expenditure to determine the most cost-effective solutions for you when it comes to purchasing your property. From there, we can draw up a list of appropriate options to suit your needs. Remember, expats can benefit from a multitude of tax breaks in The Netherlands – doing your due diligence prior to the big move can save you a lot of hassle, and increase your chances of getting the best value for money!


Experts In The Expat Market

At Burgemeester Vastgoed, we have grown our base in Amsterdam over 18 years, nurturing strong relationships with our clients, many of whom return to us time and again to seek advice on new investments. As experts in the field, expats feel a sense of comfort in our friendly, knowledgeable approach. Authenticity, loyalty and fostering a solid rapport between our colleagues are the fundamental building blocks of our business. If you are thinking of purchasing a home in The Netherlands, we would love to sit down and have a chat, no strings attached! Get in touch today at

Buying Property in Amsterdam: Navigating a Unique Property Environment

Looking for a home in the Netherlands can be something of a challenge, especially when unique rules and regulations may pose unfamiliar obstacles during your search. Approximately 30% of homes in Amsterdam are privately owned as there is a natural shortage due to regulations, rapid population growth, and the economy. When it comes to finding the perfect home for expats, Barry Burgemeester has had over 23 years of experience in the market. From your first steps to closing the deal, Barry will be by your side every step of the journey.

Finding the Perfect Match

While finding your dream house is an exciting prospect, it can also be an overwhelming one. Choosing the place you call ‘home’ is an art in itself, especially when moving to a new country. As an expat, you need to be reassured that you’re in good hands and that the right real estate agent will help you when the time comes to close the deal. Navigating Amsterdam’s unique infrastructure and unusual regulations combined with adjusting to a new culture can be quite daunting. Don’t know where to start? Well, Burgemeester Vastgoed is here to help!

How Barry Burgemeester Can Help

Barry Burgemeester is a Dutch native living in Amsterdam. Originally hailing from Utrecht, he has worked for over 23 years in real estate in the Netherlands and his extensive knowledge of the area is uncontested! Barry’s background and expertise is invaluable to our expat clients. His wealth of experience within the Dutch market guarantees that he will be able to predict any potential issues or concerns you may have when introduced to this unfamiliar territory.

What is ‘Leasehold Ground,’ and how might it affect your decision?

So, when it comes to actually living in Amsterdam, what do you need to know before making that all-important purchase? For a start, Amsterdam is unique in that more than 80% of houses are built on leasehold ground. This means that the person buying a building or apartment does not buy the ground on which the building stands.

Making Changes Within the Canal Ring

Something else to consider when buying a property in Amsterdam is that the canal ring was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2010. Used as a prime example of town planning that influenced the world for centuries, some restrictions were placed on the buildings to preserve their original structures.

Before closing a deal on a property, if you plan on making any changes to the building in the future these restrictions need to be considered; often, it is not possible to make any changes at all. If changes are allowed, a permit must be approved prior to the alterations. For example, if you’d like to add a rooftop terrace, balcony, or make any changes to a building, you must have a permit known as an integrated environmental permit (omgevingsvergunning). This permit is often required before you can make changes to the outside of the building, too. Handling these unique challenges can be tricky, however, Barry will be able to guide you every step of the way so you can make a confident and informed decision when it comes to purchasing your home.

We’re here to help!

Considering Amsterdam’s market is so unusual, we understand that trying to find the perfect fit can be quite challenging. Barry has had years of experience in helping expats to secure their dream home. If you’re currently in the process of looking for a house in the Netherlands, we would love to have a chat - no strings attached! To get in touch, email or visit our website at


Buying Your First Property in Amsterdam | FAQs, Where To Start & Advice From The Experts!

You may wonder, what makes Barry the best buying agent in Amsterdam? Well, other than his friendly, personable service with a smile, his excellent reputation, and unique service level, Barry's knowledge of the market due to years of experience makes him the perfect companion for any expat looking to find their dream home.

Navigating the housing market in the Netherlands is no mean feat; especially if you are still abroad and trying to organise your new life prior to the big move. With Barry's help, you can guarantee your move will be hassle-free, ensuring you find the perfect property to complete your life in the Netherlands.

Below, we've rounded up some of Barry's most frequently asked questions below from first-time buyers to give you an insight into how our service works.

1. I have never bought property before, where do I need to start?
First, you check what your budget is. If you have savings and/or are able to get a mortgage. I would strongly advise that the very first thing you do is find out how much money you can borrow. The market is so hot that if you find a house you like, you must be ready to act straight away. There are a lot of different banks and institutions providing mortgages in the Netherlands, so it makes sense to talk to a mortgage expert first; we can help you with that.

You can borrow up to 100% of the value of the property so you will need your own cash, about 4-6% more than the actual price of the property to cover the bills for taxes, the estate agent and notary fees, and other matters. If you know your numbers you can then make a list of requirements and see what you can get online. The easiest site to visit is Keep in mind that not all the prices you see online are what the property is sold for. Most properties in the Amsterdam region are sold (far) above the asking price. Having that said, we will always be honest with you, so in our first meeting we will tell you if your expectations will match with reality.

2. Why is it important to ensure I secure an estate agent that understands my requirements?
This is very important as a good agent understands your needs and can explain what is feasible, making the process smooth and successful.

3. What are the benefits of working with an estate agent with a portfolio of experience from an expat perspective?
An estate agent with a lot of experience will guide you through the process, avoiding pitfalls and ensuring the deal gets done as seller agents like to sell to experienced buying agents.

4. Cost breakdown: if I spend €250,000 on a property, how much of that goes to my estate agent as commission and what is my return on investment in choosing to work with Burgemeester Vastgoed as opposed to another agent?
Depending on if the transfer tax ( +/- 2%) bill passed or not, in total 5% of the purchase price, of which 1,5% ex vat would be the commission to work with BV. BV is a family office with excellent responsiveness and a high-quality level of service guaranteeing a knowledgeable, personal approach. If there is a deal to be made, we will do it!

5. If I run into a dispute with the seller, how can Burgemeester Vastgoed assist me in resolving the issue?
We will for sure help our clients in any situation as much as we can. If it is not within our realm of experience, we will advise our clients on the measures they can take and put them in touch with the right organisations to ensure they can resolve their issue.

6. Negotiations are not my strong point; how does Burgemeester Vastgoed guarantee the best price possible for me and how is this part of their service different from other estate agents?
At BV, we assist our clients from A-Z and will negotiate the best deal possible; our goal is a satisfied client, we are there for the client all the time and pride ourselves on our unique, personable service approach.

7. I’m in the process of selecting an estate agent; one option is Burgemeester Vastgoed, the other is a cheaper but less experienced agent. Other than his extensive experience with the Dutch housing market, why should I choose to work with Barry over the other agent?
Money is only an issue in the absence of value; if you choose a cheaper agent, you most probably get what you pay for. We only deliver a high level of service and charge everybody the same percentage to be able to do so.

If you're looking to find your dream home, we would love to see you for a chat! You’ll be under no obligation. Call, or email us now for an appointment and we'll help you to take the first step in securing the perfect property.