The Comunitat Valenciana will have a register for real estate agents from 17 October 2022: the Registro de Agentes de Intermediación Inmobiliaria. In addition, real estate agents active in the territory of the Comunitat Valenciana (including Costa Blanca North and South) will have to comply with a number of obligations. In this article, we discuss the new regulation.
Registration requirement for estate agents: who is considered a real estate agent?
All natural persons or legal entities that regularly perform or attempt to perform, for remuneration, brokerage services, advisory services and management of real estate transactions are considered real estate brokers. "Regular" means at least two transactions in the past 12 months. Real estate agents must, in principle, register. It is not yet clear how the rules will be interpreted for independent sellers working exclusively for one real estate agency.
Who should not register?
Real estate agents who do not have a publicly accessible branch in the territory of the Comunitat Valenciana, but are nevertheless active there, and have a publicly accessible branch in another region. These brokers must be able to prove that they have the necessary professional qualifications and are registered as real estate agents in their home region. In my view, this leaves recognised IPI brokers outside the registration requirement.
The obligations below do not apply to these "exempt" real estate agents.
A publicly accessible office
Every real estate agent must have a publicly accessible registered office. This means a publicly accessible registered office that meets all local (urban planning) conditions.
Real estate agents operating only by electronic means, even if they have an address in another Spanish region or EU country, also need a physical address in the Comunitat Valenciana. It is currently unclear whether this may be a third-party address. At this address, customers should be able to lodge complaints.
Real estate agents or directors of their companies serve:
- be recognised in accordance with the Agentes de la propiedad inmobiliaria colegiados;
- or hold a university degree in law, social sciences, architecture or engineering, which was subsequently recognised;
- or hold attestation where you have completed 200 teaching hours in a recognised real estate course.
Every real estate agent should have professional liability insurance with coverage of at least EUR 150,000 per claim. If the real estate agent operates exclusively online, the minimum amount is EUR 1,000,000 per claim.
In addition, they must have a bank guarantee or surety agreement of at least EUR 60,000 for funds received from customers. For real estate agents operating only online, the minimum amount is EUR 300,000.
Real estate agents already operating before 16 October 2022 should not have to comply with professional liability requirements.
Mandatory disclosures in a mandate agreement
Real estate agents should include details regarding their (i) professional identification, (ii) place of business, (iii) professional liability insurance, (iv) reference number of the mandatory guarantee and (v) entry number in the register in mandate agreements.
Real estate agents will also be subject to the code of ethics.
When should I register?
The registration requirement for estate agents will take effect from 17 October 2022. Real estate agents must register by 16 October 2023. Registration is free and can be done through the Colegio Oficial de Agentes inmobiliarios.