Eerlijk Bieden will be celebrating its first anniversary in a few weeks' time! In this relatively short time, a lot has happened for Eerlijk Bieden, but also for the brokerage industry in the Netherlands. In this article we look back at what we have achieved for consumers and the industry and of course look ahead to the latest developments.
Contact point for unfair bidding practices
It will not have escaped anyone's attention that the housing market is currently in a state of craziness. Due to an extended period of historically low interest rates, combined with an unprecedented housing shortage, one housing price record after another is being broken and the end does not seem to be in sight. In this market situation, it was therefore only a matter of time before excesses in the bidding process would emerge. After the first signs, last year Vereniging Eigen Huis called on consumers to share their experiences at a specially set up hotline: Meldpunt oneerlijke biedingspraktijken. The main problems that came to the fore were: nepotism, self-interest and deliberate price pushing.
Start Eerlijk Bieden
What immediately struck me was that most of the problems could be solved relatively easily by providing insight into the sales process. The subject of transparency in brokerage was not entirely new; pilots had already been carried out regularly in recent years for, among other things, the public auctioning of homes. In this way, all candidates could bid in real time, view each other's bids, and then bid again. While the announcements of these pilots were still hopeful, the results were often disappointing. In the end, less than 1% of the houses were sold this way.
The major gains in transparency could therefore be achieved in the 'closed' sales, the remaining 99%. But how do you then ensure a transparent and closed sales process? Our solution was the Bidlog, which would later be called the bid log. The principle is actually quite simple: at the end of a sales process, an online log is generated fully automatically.
This log can then be used by consumers to monitor the sales process. Insight into price formation also helps during the candidates' search for a home. Consumers now often have to guess what a house was sold for. Of course, this can be viewed at the Land Registry after a few months (for a fee), but this does not include information on other points that could have played a role, such as the transfer date or reservations.
By setting up a uniform way of multilingual online bidding, the basis of the bid log was created, as a bid log is of little value if the information it contains is not properly collected. By digitising the bidding process, errors are reduced and the broker receives more substantive bids because everyone has to share the same information.
The bid log and disciplinary law
The fact that the bid log records all actions in the sales process makes it ideal as evidence in the event of a dispute. Previously, a consumer had to prove that something had gone wrong in the sales process; because there was no central, independent system for collecting bids, this was virtually impossible. The bid log should change this.
In addition, later this year the property sector will introduce an independent and cross-union disciplinary system. This will lower the threshold for investigating a case considerably. Disciplinary proceedings are often much cheaper than civil proceedings and can be initiated more easily if there is no directly traceable financial loss.
Eerlijk Bieden in practice
Back to Eerlijk Bieden, at this moment there are about 700 houses sold and more than 5,000 bids successfully processed through the Eerlijk Bieden system, a very good result in our opinion! What is striking is that the system appears to be applicable to all homes, for example flats have been sold for € 150,000, up to detached houses for € 1,100,000.
Online surveys were also used to gauge the opinions of both sellers and candidates during the sales process, and with an average rating of 9, it also appears to have struck a chord with consumers. The seller a good result, the candidate a fair chance.
The future of Eerlijk Bieden
After proving that things can be done differently, it is time to move on. Especially now that the housing market is changing rapidly due to fluctuating interest rates, it is very important to continue to offer an appropriate service. We do this, for example, by launching alternative bidding methods, all with a bid log to justify them.
But there is also much to be gained outside the bidding process. A good example is the Eerlijk Bieden Dataroom, a simple method to immediately comply with the obligation to report and investigate. In addition, we have cleverly automated a number of processes in the sales process so that fewer mistakes are made and it ultimately becomes easier for all concerned.
Finally, we will soon be launching a number of services for consumers and brokers, for which we have entered into partnerships with interesting parties. We will of course be happy to tell you more about this later.
We would like to thank again everyone who placed their trust in us at the start of Eerlijk Bieden, especially the sellers and affiliated estate agents. On to next year!