The ‘ real estate agent when it paid? Can payment times and methods be negotiated? Here’s how it works and some tips
What is the real estate agent’s job?
The real estate agent relates two or more parties for the conclusion of a deal, without having links with them of collaboration, dependence or representation.
Therefore, the real estate agent must be impartial and must work in favor of both parties and for this reason receives a commission from both the buyer and the seller.
Only if he is registered in a role held at the Chambers of Commerce can the real estate agent legitimately carry out the mediation activity and demand payment of the commission.
The civil code provides that the real estate agent must communicate to the parties all the circumstances known to him that may influence the conclusion of the sale. To this end, the agent must constantly update himself on the subject of real estate law and taxation, municipal regulations, land registry, etc.
ADVICE: when giving the assignment ask your agent for the registration, the role number and the card.
How much does the real estate agent cost?
The commission varies from area to area.
Let’s say that agencies generally ask about 6% on the price of the property to be divided between the two contractors (seller and buyer). Some agencies even get 10%.
In tourist resorts, the commission can be slightly higher from 7% -8% up to 12%.
TIP: Negotiate the commission from the start and set it in writing.
When is the commission paid?
First of all, it must be said that in order to be entitled to the commission, a verbal assignment is sufficient since a written contract is not necessary.
The agent is entitled to commission when the deal has been concluded as a result of his intervention (1). Therefore, the commission accrues at the conclusion of the deal. The civil code (2) provides that the deal is considered concluded when the person making the proposal has knowledge that the other party has accepted it.
Consequently, unless otherwise established between the parties, the real estate agency does not have to wait for the signing of the notarial deed of sale to request the commission but can demand it upon signing the purchase proposal (which can be revocable or irrevocable) or of the preliminary contract (compromise), in short, when the parties have established the essential elements for the conclusion of the deal (price, method of payment, date of the deed). If the deal does not close, the agent will only be entitled to reimbursement of expenses, unless otherwise agreed.
Most real estate agencies ask for the entire commission upon signing the compromise or preliminary contract. Only a few agencies demand it upon acceptance of the purchase proposal or deed.
It should be emphasized that the right to commission also arises when the conclusion takes place after the expiry of the assignment given to the agent or when the assignment has expired and then resolved or if the deal is concluded but one of the parties does not respect the agreements signed.
However, the real estate agency has a duty to follow up with their clients until the transfer of ownership takes place.
But who assures us that once the commission has been paid, the agent will continue with the due professionalism to carry out his assignment?
And if in the meantime some mortgage, urban planning, etc. problem arises?
ADVICE: to ensure that the agent will assist you until the end of the sale, agree in writing to pay the commission upon signing the deed and not upon acceptance of the proposal or the signing of the compromise. If the agent does not agree, you can offer him to pay part of the commission at the time of acceptance of the proposal (or compromise) and the balance at the time of the deed. In this way you will have the certainty that the agent will follow you at all times and for any problems that may arise between the proposal and the definitive act.
One last thing: do not accept clauses that foresee penalties equal to the commission in case you decide to withdraw from the assignment with the agent.
FINAL ADVICE: if the agent presents you the pre-printed model for the assignment (which must be the one deposited in the Chamber of Commerce), before signing it, always carefully check the individual clauses, asking for explanations in case of doubts and negotiating the agreements that they don’t find your agreement. You can always add or remove clauses or parts of them. Once the amount of the commission has been agreed, specify exactly when it must be paid and the payment methods.