Eerlijk Bieden at RTL Z

Media coverage of complaints about real estate agents

Lourens was interviewed by RTL Z last week in response to complaints that have come in to the Home Owners Association hotline . Eerlijk Bieden has a mission to work with realtors to build a fair and future-proof housing market. The RTL Z broadcast can be seen here, the full article follows below:

Will the housing market ever become fair again? These entrepreneurs think they have the solution

Cronyism, withholding of bids, deals between friendly real estate agents: many potential homebuyers are becoming more and more frustrated with the housing market and what they see as "unfair bidding practices" employed by real estate agents. Entrepreneurs Maurits Grosfeld and Lourens Pel each started a company to turn that tide. With more transparency, the housing market will become fairer, is their promise.

Maurits Grosfeld is founder of, a platform where you can sell your home with an "open auction," where every bid is public. "Buyers then get a fair chance. Sellers a higher sales proceeds," he says in conversation with RTL Z.

Lourens Pel started Eerlijk Bieden, another platform, earlier this year, where bids do remain secret during the sale. But after closing the preliminary contract of sale, each potential buyer is told what the other bids were. "We are an intermediary between the candidate and the broker. You can think of us as a kind of notary."

410,000 euros

Something must be done to address the problems in the tight housing market, they both believe. The housing market is extremely tight, breaking record after record. Last week, brokers' club NVM noted an average house price of 410,000 euros, for an existing home.

'It needs to be more transparent'

Outgoing Housing Minister Kajsa Ollongren (D66) wants the bidding process to be more transparent. "Only in this way can we prevent this kind of practice from continuing in the future," Ollongren writes in a letter to the House, in response to complaints from homebuyers.

How? That is still a question mark. "In determining the steps to be taken," Ollongren wants to look at the initiatives of industry associations such as NVM, VBO Makelaars and VastgoedPRO, which are themselves developing tools in this area.

The craziness in the housing market has several causes: a lack of supply, extremely low interest rates and a zipline of tax and financial regulations that are driving up prices.

But some of the frustration is also directed at real estate agents. A hotline set up by the Home Owners Association about unfair bidding practices by brokers received hundreds of complaints, from buyers and sellers who feel aggrieved by their brokers.

Driving up prices

For example, because bids were withheld. Or brokers playing buyers off against each other, driving up the price further and further.

Grosfeld and Pel's initiatives clear things up, by taking the bidding process away from brokers, digitizing it and making it public., from Grosfeld, goes the furthest in this. Everyone who makes a bid knows what the other bids are, so a house is auctioned off and sold by auction, so to speak. As a result, the steps between bids become smaller.

"In the current system, you may have overbid by thousands or tens of thousands of euros when you didn't have to," Grosfeld explains. Because you never know how much the No. 2 had bid. "So the difference between the highest and second highest bidder is moderated in our system. And buyers can decide for themselves whether to go along with that or not, because they see exactly what other potential buyers are doing."

Vendor Market

An excess of transparency also has disadvantages, according to Lourens Pel of Eerlijk Bieden. "Open bidding flourishes in a seller's market, because buyers will then quickly bid against each other. But in a recession, such a system quickly falls through. If you see that there are fewer candidates you will bid less. The price driving effect then works in reverse."

Link to the full article from RTL Z.

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