Who pays the realtor when buying property in Spain?

Who pays the realtor when buying property in Spain?

Each economic sector requires specialists who know how to perform their duties professionally. Apart from property owners, the leading players are real estate agents in the real estate market. What are their functions, why is it so important to use the services of realtors, and what do they do? We will answer these and many other questions.


What is a real estate agent?

A real estate agent is a person who sells real estate. They offer consultations to future buyers, prepare documents for the purchase and sale, assess the housing market, and negotiate conditions with the owners while acting as a real estate manager.

In day-to-day life, a real estate agent can operate in various fields such as the commercial sector (sales, marketing and recruiting), legal and management advice (paperwork and contracts), and also be a professional market researcher.

A realtor is a specialist who affects different parts of the real estate market. The best real estate agent knows how to properly use their professional qualities to stand out from their colleagues.

Who pays the realtor when buying property in Spain?

What is the function of a real estate agent in Spain?

The functions of a real estate agent vary from agency to agency and even from city to city.

Of course, working in a large and small agency is different. Usually, the functions performed by a real estate agent depend on the amount of experience they have.

Administrative functions

A real estate agent spends a lot of time with documents.

They must know the rules of the game in the market, such as what laws are established in each municipality.

Knowledge of all these issues is necessary and needs to be reflected on paper when drawing up contracts with clients or when submitting an offer.

Business tasks

The business tasks of an agent cover quite a few issues from working with clients when evaluating real estate to the marketing part, that is, showing an apartment in person or putting it up for sale on online platforms and databases.

At the same time, the real estate agent must be vigilant and look for new clients all the time. Building a client portfolio is arguably the most challenging task in terms of time and effort.

Negotiation work

The central part of the deal is the contract conclusion, which is preceded by many hours of work, calls and visits, and negotiations.

The best agents are the ones who succeed in negotiations because they need to be good psychologists, identify the needs of potential customers and know how to use every opportunity to move the deal.

How is the work of a real estate agent in Spain regulated?

Being a real estate agent in Spain does not require an official degree or license. Regardless, several requirements and specific skills are required to work in real estate, such as empathy, listening, being patient, and being a good researcher.

Do you need a real estate agent for a deal?

The presence of a real estate agent during the sale and purchase gives the transaction a higher level of seriousness since they can ensure that the process will be legal and subject to all formalities. In this way, the stakeholder will also take the sale as seriously as possible.

Real estate agent’s commissions in Spain

Commissions for real estate in Spain are one of the most significant expenses when selling an apartment. These are financial obligations between the agent and their client for the sale management or apartment rental. Although the agent’s commission for the sale of an apartment is not currently regulated by law, all sellers sign a mediation agreement.

Amount of real estate agent’s commissions

The amount of the real estate agent’s commission depends on the type of agency.

Traditionally, real estate agents charge from 3 to 7% of the apartment price. Some agencies define, for example, a flat commission of 5% for all properties regardless of their characteristics. Others determine the commission based on the property’s location, its condition, and the selling price.

Online agencies are cheaper than traditional ones. Their rates range from 1,000 to 2,000 euros if paid at the beginning of the sale, and from 4,000 to 8,000 euros upon payment of a deposit agreement, depending on the selling price of the apartment.

For online real estate, the commission is between 1,000 and 2,000 euros.

Some real estate agents also charge the buyer about 3% of the property price.

Real estate commission for online agencies

To get an idea of how much agencies charge for the sale of an apartment, consider the 3 online agencies most frequently requested by users in Spain and their commission calculated using an apartment worth 250,000 euros as an example.

Real Estate AgentPayment

4990 euro

Payment on purchase

Grocasa online

3990 euro

Payment on purchase


From 1995 euro


Who pays the commission to the real estate agent when selling an apartment?

The agent’s commission is paid, as a rule, by the seller. However, some agencies also charge the buyer an additional commission percentage.

A real estate agency charging the buyer a fee can backfire mainly because it adds additional value to the entire purchase expense and can derail the deal.

When and how is the commission paid?

The time of commission payment depends on the chosen agency and the payment type:

  • Traditional real estate agents usually charge a commission at the time of signing the sale deed. Typically, the buyer pays at least 2 checks; one for the seller where the purchase price is deducted from the property commission and one for the agency for its total fees. However, some charge 50% fees when signing the deposit agreement while others charge 50% when signing the deed.
  • Online real estate realtors: in this case, the payment time will depend on the payment type.
  • Prepaid rates are cheaper (from 1000 to 2000 euros), but payment is made before the property is put up for sale.

Online real estate agents charge a commission upon signing the deposit agreement.

When can you not pay an agent?

  • In case of improper performance of duties.
  • If the real estate agent does not know the laws.

When drawing up a contract, you must carefully read and find out all the controversial points to not have to pay a forfeit.

What real estate services does the real estate commission include?

  • Housing appraisal. The realtor makes an appraisal of real estate to determine the price of the property and publishes an advertisement on its portals. It is one of the most essential selling steps.
  • An online marketing plan to promote the sale that includes photographs, videos, plans, listing the apartment on real estate websites and online agencies, and distribution via email marketing companies.
  • Receiving calls and organizing visits. All real estate agencies in Spain are responsible for managing requests for information from potential buyers and organizing visits to available properties.
  • Buyers filter. The agency verifies the identities of stakeholders and assesses their economic opportunities.
  • Negotiations with the buyer on the transaction terms. The realtor’s job is to represent the seller and negotiate the best selling conditions. The advantage of having an agent is profitably selling an apartment without reducing the price.
  • Document management. The agency can manage, for example, an extract from the Spanish property register (Nota simple), an energy certificate or a technical conformity certificate. Usually, realtors include this item in the commission but most online agencies charge an additional fee for this.
  • Drawing up a deposit agreement and preparing documents for the sale. The agency will prepare a deposit agreement to establish all the terms of the sale. The notary uses this document to draw up the deed of purchase and sale.

Who pays the realtor when buying property in Spain?

Tips for saving on commission fees

It is necessary to negotiate with the agency until the minimum possible commission is established:

  • If the real estate agent offers an exclusive sales contract, it can only be accepted if the commission is lower. For example, some agencies charge 4% for a regular contract and 3.5% for an exclusive one;
  • If during the process, the agent proposes to reduce the selling price of an apartment in Spain, it is possible to agree on a reduction in the commission percentage;
  • If the apartment is in a high-demand area, you can also negotiate a reduction in commission. As a rule, apartments in large cities such as Madrid or Barcelona are pretty easy to sell.

It would help if you always ask for a financial plan from online real estate agencies.

Online agency fees can be 80% cheaper compared to traditional agencies. Checking their services and assessing whether they meet the client’s needs is an excellent savings option.

How many real estate professionals can you work with at the same time?

If clients enter into an exclusive contract with a real estate agency, they should not work simultaneously with several specialists.

A private (exclusive) contract between the agency and the seller allows the company to manage the sale of the property exclusively for an agreed time, which is usually 3 months, 6 months or 1 year. Setting up a short initial period may allow you to test how the company is doing. It is essential to clarify that an exclusive contract does not prohibit the sale of housing on your own, but this must be indicated in a specific contract clause.

If the client enters into a non-exclusive contract, he can cooperate with several realtors at once. The problem with these contracts is that agencies do not give their best efforts and the service quality and real estate exclusivity fall. Real estate prices can rapidly decline by realtors due to the existing competition between them.

Tips to help you choose an excellent real estate agent:

  • The agent must specialize in the area and type of property the client is listing for sale.
  • Experience is required.
  • You cannot choose a specialist by solely relying on the favorable cost of their services.
  • The sale must take place at a beneficial price to the client.
  • Honesty comes first.
  • Cheap is expensive: an agent who charges a lower fee cannot invest enough to successfully promote the deal (ad slots, marketing plans, etc.).
  • A good agent does not work with several clients at the same time.
  • The client should check how the sale advertisement is displayed on online portals.

Who pays the realtor when buying property in Spain?

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