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Dutch Association of Real Estate Agents increases transparency on biggest real estate portal

As of today, Funda, the biggest real estate portal of the Netherlands, will explicitly state on its website that listings of real estate agents that are members of the Dutch Association of Real Estate Agents (NVM) appear higher in search results than listings of other real estate agents (non-NVM members), even if the search results are sorted, for example, by list price.

This is the most important measure that NVM has taken following the 2012 market study on home buying and selling services in the Netherlands carried out by the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM, formerly the Netherlands Competition Authority). Funda is largely owned by NVM.

‘NVM’s measure is a step in the right direction. Funda makes it clear now that consumers always need to click further in order to find relevant listings of non-NVM real estate agents, and that they actually have a wider selection to choose from,’ says Chris Fonteijn, Chairman of the Board of ACM. ACM will carry out an evaluation in a year to see whether this measure has been effective. Depending on that evaluation, ACM will determine if follow-up steps are needed. In the meantime, ACM will be keeping a close watch on the situation. In addition, NVM will explain to its members in what ways they are allowed to differentiate themselves from their competitors in advertisements. For example, differentiation based on real estate agent fees or on customer satisfaction figures is allowed. The earlier mentioned market study had revealed that this was not entirely clear to all NVM members.

The housing market chain is one of ACM’s key priorities for 2013, where ACM aims to create opportunities and options for consumers and businesses.