Interview | The president of real estate agents in Madrid: "It is abusive to charge to show a home"

There are already two sentences that have declared “abusive and not very transparent” the clauses that real estate companies insert in the “visit sheets” that clients sign when agents show them a property and that they it would force to pay 3% of the value of the house or a minimum of 3,000 euros to the agency if they end up buying the property.

In this case, the Provincial Court of Cádiz and the Provincial Court of Valencia have agreed with two buyers who contacted the owners of the homes they had visited through agencies for cBuy the house from them directly avoiding the real estate. In this way, they save that 3% commission that later the agencies complained to them saying that they had already signed the “house visit sheet”.

But justice has made it clear: signing that sheet does not oblige you to pay a commission for the simple fact of seeing the house since it is an “abusive and not very transparent” clause that the client cannot negotiate or modify and of which he has not been informed.

Jaime Cabrero Garcia

  • President of the Official College and Association of Real Estate Agencies and Agents of Madrid (COAPIMADRID – AIM)

With this news has arisen the debate on if this and other clauses are abusive and if real estate agencies are not very transparent with their clients. Jaime Cabrero García, president of the Official College and Association of Real Estate Agents and Agents of Madrid, an association that brings together agencies, agents and appraisers. real estate and that solves doubts to buyers and sellers, considers in an interview granted to 20Minutos, thatit is abusive that they try to charge a fee for the simple fact of showing a house without providing any more services “and that the sector is committed to” transparency “.

Do you think that the clause by which the client who visits the house must pay 3% of the operation or a minimum of 3,000 euros if he ends up buying the property is abusive and not very transparent?

Real estate agents establish, in principle, a relationship to carry out their intermediation activity with the seller. Therefore, we understand that it is an action that exceeds the recommended professional practice and in accordance with the Deontological Code of the profession, since it is abusive to try to charge a fee for the simple fact of showing a home without providing any more services.

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Namely, what is not very transparent is that a property agent addresses the buyer because, normally, the contractual relationship established by the Agents for a future sale and purchase operation is with the seller, hence the judgment has protected the buyer’s rights based precisely on the Transparency Law by considering that this fee clause is abusive as it is contrary to the protective regulations for consumers and users.

What are the differences between what the client signs with the real estate agent when he visits a house and what the seller signs when he decides to sell it through the agency?

What the client of the Agency, the seller, signs to carry out the future purchase and sale operation is a commission note transparent, clear and concise to carry out the procedures aimed at the perfection and consummation of the sale of a property.

This commission is different from the mere visit control sheet that the agency has to prove to its client that such procedures have been carried out, such as showing the floor or the property. That is, the consumer buyer is not affected. The reason for the existence of the visit sheet is for mere control so that the agency can have proof of the people who have visited the property through its mediation.

Resource image of a house for sale.

About the 3% fee clause is a commonly accepted use in the market, since we are in a legal system with a market economy and in which prices are liberalized.

Should agencies withdraw that clause after sentencing? How could they improve transparency?

Collegiate Real Estate Agents are committed to transparency and are subject to a Code of Ethics and collegiate Statutes that include the ethical principles of professional performance. This type of situation, such as the one that has become known with the ruling of the Provincial Court of Cádiz, ands consequence, precisely, of the liberalization of the market and more specifically to a complete absence of legal regulation of the professional activity in the real estate sector, in which anyone without any knowledge or training can intervene. Situation in which we find ourselves since 2000.

All this scenario hurts consumer buyers, as is easily verified with this type of court decisions. And this is precisely the reason why it is important that, for example, the records of real estate professionals are mandatory. Consumers must be protected, as COAPIMADRID – AIM has been demanding since 2000.

“The 3% fee clause is a commonly accepted use in the market”

Do you think it is correct for agencies to charge commissions to both the seller and the buyer?

Clarify that what real estate agents really charge are professional fees. In fact, the sentence we are commenting on declares the invalidity of the real estate agency fee clause included in the visit sheet.

Real estate agents establish, in principle, a legal relationship with the seller, without prejudice to the fact that when appropriate and an adequate and transparent service has been provided, the corresponding fees can be charged to the buyer. As long as the real estate agency informs properly and prior to the signing of the document of the economic burden derived from the visit in case the client finally decides to acquire it, and as long as the agency’s obligations to the buyer are also established, the duplication of the collection is not admissible, that is, charging the same percentage of fees to both the seller and the buyer.

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