Code of Ethics
- An NVM-member is aware of the importance of his role in the social context. He conscientiously, reliably and expertly executes his task, is independent and strives for quality in the services he renders. In his communication with clients and other parties he refrains from creating an unjust image of persons, affairs and rights and of his methods, interests and position. Failing to comply with this Code of Honour may be subject to NVM disciplinary jurisdiction.
- An NVM-member meets to the best of his ability the expectiations his principals may realisticly hold from an NVM-broker. He protects and promotes their interests. Confidential information he will keep to himself until a judge, arbitrator or binding advisor urges him to give up the information
- In case the rendering of a service to one principal conflicts with the interests of another principal, an NVM-member will only act on behalf of one of the principals.
- If an NVM-member enters into negotiations with more than one candidate for a certain property, then he informs the parties involved accordingly. If he enters into negotiations with a colleague, he will not approach the his colleague’s principal directly, but only through this colleague.
- An NVM-member has sufficient knowledge at his disposal for the matters in which he is involved. Should his knowledge be insufficient on certain aspects of the matter, then he will advise his client to consult an expert or he will consult such a person himself.
- An NVM-member has no direct or indirect interests in real estate, safe for housing or investment for himself or his enterprise. Therefore, he will neither directly nor indirectly be involved in the dealing in property and he will refrain from risk-bearing project development. He will take care not to become involved in a conflict of interest which may jeopardize his independence.
- An NVM-member maintains good relations with his colleagues. He refrains from unfair competition and does not give a negative view of colleagues and their conduct vis-?-vis a third party without that being necessary. Should a dispute rise with a colleague, then the principals interests may never be harmed by it.
- An NVM-member will try to avoid any escalation of a difference of opinion regarding his conduct. He will co-operate willingly with means of mediation which have been instituted by NVM in order to settle disputes.
- Outside The Netherlands an NVM-member will act according to NVM-rules, unless he informs his client timely of the fact that he intends to deviate from these rules, for instance as a result from a local law or custom.
- An NVM-member will see to it that his employees act in compliance with the NVM-rules.
The educational requirements for NVM-membership vary according to specialist section:
- Section Residential: to hold the SVM-diploma (brokerage).
- Section Commercial: to hold the SVM-diploma, the membership of RICS or the MRE qualification.
- Section Agrarian: to hold the SVM-diploma, the membership of the Netherlands association of estate managers, a diploma of a School for Economics and Business Administration (specialization brokerage).
The SVM (Stichting Vakopleiding Makelaardij) is an independent institute that meets government requirements and which issues the generally accepted Dutch real estate qualification. There is mandatory continuing education for all NVM-members, specific to their specialist section. A practitioner can market properties anywhere in the country. There are no restrictions, other than the limitations of the NVM multi listing system. The opportunity to offer or find property in the various regions depends on the number of regions that a given agency has subscribed to in the MLS. If a subscription is taken out for a certain region then all supply and demand in this region is available to the subscriber. No licenses are needed.
There are no restrictions on foreign ownership of property
Land Registration System
The Netherlands has a centrally organized registration system for property ownership, the Land Registry or Kadaster. The register is computerized and accessible through the web. The Kadaster has recently been privatised and now offers many of its services on a commercial basis. NVM-members can consult Kadaster information on-line, subject to subscription.
Other industry professionals
No other professions are directly involved in the sale/rental of properties. Lawyers do not sell properties. The services of a notary are required to complete a sale transaction.
Services are to assist in sale, purchase, rental or letting. Services offered to sellers and buyers are: advertising/promotion of the property, general structural survey of a property and its amenities, price negotiation, making up the contract and handling the necessary paperwork in respect of the notary. Also, many real estate brokers offer mortgage advice and arrange for mortgage proposals from financiers.
Property Marketing Systems
NVM has its multi listing system or property data exchange. This system is only available to the membership of NVM and is fully automated. It is mandatory for NVM-members to offer all properties in their portfolios, residential and commercial, sale and rental, through this communal exchange, which is also available on the internet. The system is owned by NVM and operated through a separate company, Funda, which has given its name to the website. The site offers property in a commercial environment which offers a wide range of property related services and products.
There is no national referral system. Most companies are based locally, but the number of nationally operating companies is growing.
Relationship of Buyer/Seller to Practitioner
In The Netherlands the real estate broker operates the equivalent of agency. He is the intermediary between seller and buyer. Contracts are either with the buyer, or with the seller. The real estate broker may only offer his services to one of the parties, not both, as this would make his impartiality impossible to maintain. Contracts are typically mandatory and written.
Remuneration is paid by the party that has hires the services of the broker, being seller or buyer, lessor or lessee. It is paid as a commission, a percentage of the selling price/purchase price or rent, after completion of the deal. Funds in real estate transactions are controlled by the notary who handles and registers the transaction. Payment of the full purchase amount must be made before the transfer of the property and is managed by the notary’s office. The remuneration for the broker is also managed and transferred by the notary, as part of the total financial settlement