Tips for online presentations by Dutch house sellers

I have started looking for a new place recently. Although many sellers create excellent on-line presentations of their apartments, there are a few interesting properties that I nevertheless never look at simply because it would take too much of my time. Maybe that’s just a luxury that results from living in Amsterdam, where so many apartments are screaming for my attention that I can afford to be choosy.

So here are a few tips from a buyer’s perspective:

  • If you are not on Funda, you don’t exist.
  • If you are with some weird ass real estate agent like iBlue or Makelaarsland, you might as well not exist.

These two are basically the same point. Although there are truckloads of things that can be improved about Funda, the site is still miles ahead of any other of the on-line housing marketplaces (at least as far as non-rental properties in Amsterdam are concerned). Forcing me to use another site means imposing on my time: I need to learn how to work with a myriad of substandard home grown interfaces.

I will, however, look at jaap.nl and huizenzoeker.nl from time to time. Both are sites that obviously took long and hard looks at how Funda does things, then decided to copy them as closely as possible.

The “weird ass real estate agent” rule is simply because these agents with their special approaches to selling houses tend to make the process of enquiries more difficult.

Continuing:

  • There is no such thing as too many photos (unless we are talking dozens, but I have yet to come across those).
  • Also publish photos of connections between rooms, not just of the rooms themselves.
  • I adore floor plans. (A real estate agent told me they have a gizmo that makes it really easy to produce these.) See also: www.floorplanner.com.
  • Please do mention everything that does not belong to the ‘woonoppervlak’ (lit. living area) but does belong to the apartment like sheds, attics, balconies and so on, and make sure they are listed on Funda’s Kenmerken (Features) page.

Also, a tip gleaned from Freakonomics: the more concrete your description the better. So “wooden countertop” beats “beautiful countertop”. (As it happens I do like the look of wooden countertops, it is just that I do not like the way they age. Which means that in my specific case, “wooden countertop” probably means “buying a new kitchen”. Forcing me to find out about these sort of details after I took a paid day off from work to look at your apartment is not going to earn you points.)

Obviously I need exact measurements to go with the floorplans: I want to see if my stuff will fit.

All of the above is just IMHO, of course.

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