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The Spanish Lawyer Online

Does the real estate agent I deal with have to be registered?

Property Law

Antonio Flores Vila

25th of September 2000

Q. Your site mentions 'registered REAs' (Real estate agents) but not API (Agente de la Propiedad Inmobiliaria). The REA I'm dealing with makes quite a big deal about having an API number. Is that important, and how can I check if the REA really does have API membership?


    A. Being an API is no longer essential for the purpose of conducting real estate intermediation business. An API is a registered real estate agent, but according to a ruling from the Spanish Constitutional Tribunal, selling properties cannot anymore be exclusively allocated to registered agents. Therefore, the situation now is that an API will not necessarily be more professional than a non-registered agent. In fact, and agent, registered or non-registered, will simply put buyers and vendors in touch, who will reach an agreement as to price and conditions, whereas lawyers will look after the legal side.

    An API (qualified or registered REA) should provide you with a deeper knowledge of the legalities of the real estate business, although a non-registered REA could have more developed marketing skills and therefore attain a higher turnover. I am not able now to provide you with a facility to ckeck whether an agent is registered.

    I recommend you employ a lawyer at all times as you will certainly not find distinction between registered/non-registered, qualified/non-qualified. The lawyer is always registered and backed by a professional indemnity insurance.

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