More than six out of ten estate agents in Belgium are breaking the law. They are too vague on prices and their role in the sale often lacks precision. The Mediahuis publications are reporting today that the Minister of Consumer Affairs, Kris Peeters (of the Flemish Christian Democrats), has approved increased checks in this area.
Estate agents have a tendency not to comply with the law. An investigation by the Economic Inspectorate has shed light on this. Minister Peeters startlingly reveals, “Out of 322 audited estate agents, six of ten had broken the law at least once.”
The Inspectorate has sent 153 warnings and drafted some 60 reports of such offences occurring.
The list of offences is long. One in seven audited agents were not clear as to the overall price of a given property.
Often, estate agents state that their percentage commission on the sale is 3%, but it is written in the small print that VAT of 21% is added to their commission. The total percentage payable on the sale is therefore actually 3.63%.