Office Dr. Rathenau & Colleagues: Portuguese Property Law 2016

Estate Agent

General information

The activities of estate agents are monitored by the Institute of Building Construction and Properties (Instituto da Construção e do Imobiliário, Instituto Público – InCI, I.P.).

Portuguese law distinguishes between two types: the estate agent company (empresa de mediação imobiliária) and the single agent (angariador imobiliário). Both, the estate agent company and the single agent have to be registered at the InCI and have to possess a valid license.

Only authorized estate agent companies can broker properties for commercial purposes. The estate agent company needs to bear the name affix “mediação imobiliária”. Every company has to operate under a given estate agent - admission – number.

The Brokerage agreement

The brokerage agreement (contrato de mediação imobiliária) is a contract between the real estate agent and the client. The broker arranges a sales contract between a vendor and a his client (the vendee) and obtains commission when the deal is executed.

The brokerage agreement has to be in written form. It has to contain a precise enumeration of the agreements and details on the compulsory estate agent fee. In Portugal the common fee is 5 % of the transaction price, but the parties are free to agree upon a different fee. Unless the parties agreed otherwise the brokerage agreement is valid for 6 months.

When a brokerage firm uses a standard contract for all its clients, the contract has to be registered by the authority for consumer protection. A brokerage firm is not permitted to give legal advice. Therefore contact a lawyer for legal advice.