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Professional associations

Estate agents and consumer protection

IPI Only IPI/BIV-approved estate agents are authorised to trade as self-employed estate agents: they are responsible for the sale, letting and management of your property.

Until 1993, anyone could trade as an estate agent and carry the title "estate agent". Since the entry into force of the Royal Decree of 6 September 1993 "protecting the professional title and exercise of the profession of estate agent", any person must be authorised by the Institut Professionnel des Agents Immobiliers (IPI) before being allowed to carry out the activities protected by the above-mentioned Royal Decree.

What is an estate agent?

Anyone who is self-employed and carries out for third parties:

  • Intermediary activities aimed at selling, buying, exchanging, letting or assigning properties, property rights or businesses;
  • Property administration activities involving:
    • either the management of properties or property rights
    • or the duties of managing agent

In other words, this implies that: authorisation is always personal (an agency or company can never be approved); an estate agent must always trade on a self-employed basis (in a principal or incidental capacity); an employee may never carry the title of estate agent; activities must always be carried out for third parties (people who manage their own property and/or carry out one of the above-mentioned activities for their own account cannot carry the title and are therefore not approved).

How is authorisation obtained?

The IPI/BIV grants authorisation to carry the title and exercise the profession of estate agent on the basis of diplomas. The applicant can be approved only if he holds at least a graduate-level diploma (subjects: estate agency, accountancy, law, economics, etc.) or a company director IFPME diploma corresponding to the profession of estate agent.

Rights and obligations

An estate agent is obliged to comply strictly with the tacit rules and ethics-related customs. The IPI/BIV sees that estate agents comply with their rights and obligations and may impose sanctions on any estate agent in the event of breaches (warning, reprimand, temporary suspension or striking off).
Complaints may be lodged both by a consumer and by a fellow estate agent.