Court rules that buyer does not have to pay estate agent a buyer’s fee!
A provincial court in Andalusia has ruled in favour of the direct purchase of a property between buyer and seller without the need for the new owner to pay commission to the estate agency that was showing it.
The Provincial Court of Cádiz has set a precedent for Spanish judges by backing a property buyer who bought a property directly from the seller without paying commission to the real estate agency advertising it.
The buyer in question looked at a flat in the southwestern province in 2020, signing the hoja de visitas (property viewing sheet) provided by the agency to prove that the property had been shown to the interested party.
But the buyer proceeded to purchase the property directly from the seller and did not pay the 3 percent operational fee (€3,630) that the estate agency charged him for the processes they had carried out.
As a result, the agency took the matter to Cádiz’s court in the first instance, with the judge initially siding with the claimant.
Nonetheless, the case took a U-turn when the matter of the visit sheet was brought up for discussion.
The agency argued that the property viewing sheet states that, in the event that the operation ends in a sale, the buyer agrees to pay 3 percent of the agreed price, without a minimum fee of €3,000.
The judge found that the buyer was not informed about the fee, nor did he agree to it, and that the clause was, therefore “excessive” and not sufficiently transparent.
In the ruling, the court stated that the clause “imposes a generic obligation to pay a price and be linked to a contract that is not agreed at that time”.
The magistrate concluded that signing a visit sheet does not constitute signing an agreement for which the potential buyer has to pay a fee.
A listing contract is a contract between a real estate agency and an owner of a property that grants the broker the authority to act as the owner’s agent during the sale of the property.
Real estate agency fees vary across Spain but are usually between 3 and 7 percent of the sale price. In most cases, it’s the seller who pays them.
Here at Lanjaron property, we DO NOT charge a buyers fee as part of our commitment to raise standards within the industry and provide both our buyers and seller a better moving experience.