The Law on Real Estate Agents
The conditions for the provision of estate agenting services in Greece, as well as the rights and obligations of the estate agent, are defined in articles 197 - 204 of Law 4072/2012 (Government Gazette A 86 / 11.04.2012) and 703 - 707 of the Civil Code.
According to law 4072/1012, "real estate agent" is an individual or company providing agenting services on real estate. "Agent service" is the indication of opportunities or the mediation for the execution of contracts relating to real estate and, in particular, to contracts of sale, exchange, rental, leases, easements, or consideration of real estate. No laws in Greece cover real estate agent trainees or apprentices.
Conditions for exercising the profession of real estate agent
For the exercise of the profession of real estate agent, the following conditions must be met by the individual concerned:
- Be a Greek citizen or citizen of a member state of the European Union or a member of the European Economic Area (EEA). A third-country national is required to have a residence and work permit in Greece or a residence permit for independent economic activity.
- Not have been convicted of a felony (a crime punishable in Greece by imprisonment over a period of five years) or of a misdemeanor (a crime punishable in Greece by up to five years in jail time) for offenses of theft, embezzlement, fraud, embezzlement in service, forgery or misuse of stamps, infidelity, perjury, fraudulent bankruptcy, loan defaults, usury, issuing a dishonored check, or for one of the offences relating to currency.
- Not have been subjected to full or partial, privative or auxiliary judicial support (Civil Code 1666-1688).
- Have a high school or a foreign equivalent school diploma.
In the case of a company, the aforesaid conditions must be met by at least one of its legal representatives and the person in charge of the agenting division of each branch of the company. At the same time, the provision of agenting services should be included as a purpose of the company in its articles of association.
Obligations of the real estate agent
Real estate agents must:
- Inform, prior to the conclusion of the main contract, their principals and their potential counterparties about the properties of the real estate of the mandate, including any defects of which they are aware.
- Inform their principals, prior to the conclusion of the agenting agreement, of each transaction case in which there is a personal or professional conflict of interest affecting or in addition to the agreed remuneration.
- Protect the confidential information and not disclose to third parties the personal and financial data of their principals other than that necessary for writing the contract, without prejudice to the provisions of Law 3691/2008 (A'166).
Penalties for breach of the obligations of the agent
Greek law imposes criminal and civil sanctions upon real estate agents who violate their legal obligations. Anyone who makes estate agenting acts or presents himself as an estate agent without fulfilling the legal requirements and without being registered with the General Commercial Registry risks imprisonment from six (6) months to two (2) years, fines from five thousand (5,000) to thirty thousand (30,000) euros, or both. At the same time, the Disciplinary Board of Real Estate Agents may also impose the following disciplinary penalties:
- Written reprimand.
- Fine from two thousand (2,000) euros to ten thousand (10,000) euros.
- Temporary deprivation of the right to exercise the profession up to one (1) year.
- Fine and temporary deprivation of the right to exercise the profession.
- Permanent deprivation of the right to exercise the profession if the offender has been convicted of the criminal offenses referred to above.
The agenting fee
The agenting fee is freely negotiable and not subject to minimum legal limits. In standard practice, the selling and purchasing parties of a real estate transaction each pay 2 percent of the agreed-upon purchase price of the property. If buyers or sellers are more than one person, the amount of the agenting fee allocated to each person depends on the percentage of co-ownership in the property. In urban real estate leases, the agenting fees are usually set at half a month’s rent for each party and at a full month’s rent for each party for professional leases of real estate. The agenting fee is greater in the case of an exclusive assignment of the property to an agent.
If you wish to open a real estate agency or establish a branch office of your real estate agency in Greece, we will be glad to support you. If you are a real estate agent abroad, you can work with our law firm. Real estate is one of the areas of expertise that we particularly love. We undertake investigations of properties in Land Registry Offices and Cadastral Offices, erasures and registration of charges, drafting specialized lease agreements. We provide legal advice in all steps of buying a property. At the same time, in collaboration with experienced engineers and notaries, we process real estate transactions with buyers residing within and outside the EU, negotiating directly with them in Greek, English, and Russian. Read more about our property-related services by clicking here.