A real estate agent brokers for his client in the purchase and sale, or in renting or leasing a house. The estate agent works on the basis of an intermediary agreement. The broker does all sorts of work: placing advertisements, making visits, arranging meetings etc. The estate agent therefore acts an intermediary in the interest of his client.
If an estate agent fails to comply with his obligations, the estate agent can successfully be held liable for any resulting damage. Whether an estate agent is in fact liable depends on the answer to the question whether the estate agent has acted as could be expected from a real estate agent acting in a reasonably competent manner under similar circumstances.
A complaint can be filed against an estate agent who is a member of the Netherlands Association of Real Estate Brokers (NVM). In most cases, if such a complaint is considered valid, this implies the civil-law liability of the estate agent. However, the Supreme Court of The Netherlands has ruled that, in determining whether a professional error was made, the court has to make its own assessment and cannot in all cases rely on the judgment of the disciplinary court. If, in assessing the actions of an estate agent, the court reaches a ruling that differs from the judgment of the disciplinary court, the court shall have to substantiate its ruling in a manner that can be adequately understood, also taking the assessment by the disciplinary court into account.
Our law firm is very experienced in advising on and litigating in the area of Dutch property, including cases such as assessing an estate agent’s liability. Please feel free to contact our property lawyers.