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Brokerage commission for the sale of real estate


Who pays the broker's commission? Everything legal and financial about brokerage fees


The broker commission (also known as "broker commission" or "broker fees") is the remuneration for the successful brokerage service of a broker and a large part of the costs when selling real estate. The commission of real estate agents differs primarily only according to the main contract - i.e. whether a property is to be sold or rented.

In addition, the payment of the broker's commission was regulated differently from state to state in the past. With the change in the Broker Act on December 23, 2020, the broker's commission for the sale of single-family houses and apartments must be borne by the buyer and the seller in the same amount throughout Germany. (cf. ยง 656c BGB) This means that it is no longer possible for a seller to pass the payment of the brokerage fee on to the buyer in full if the seller has (also) commissioned the broker.

If, on the other hand, the broker was only commissioned by one of the two parties, this is responsible for paying the brokerage fee. The costs may only be passed on to the other party if the costs passed on make up a maximum of 50% of the total amount to be paid. Before these costs can be claimed, however, it must be proven that the brokerage fee has already been paid in full.

Also note:
The new regulations only apply if the buyer of the property acts as a consumer and not in the context of a commercial activity. In addition, the change in the law also includes a new formal requirement for brokerage contracts: From December 23, 2020, all brokerage contracts for the sale of a condominium or a single-family house must be in writing. This means that these contracts must be concluded in writing (e.g. by e-mail or contract) - an oral agreement or a handshake are no longer effective.