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EU real estate agents free to operate in Cyprus

Estate agents from the EU are free to establish themselves and exercise their activities in Cyprus following actions taken by the European Commission.

THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION has decided to terminate the infringement proceedings against Cyprus relating to the Law on estate agents, which restricted the activities of professionals from other Member States.

Following the Commission’s action, estate agents from the European Union are free to establish themselves and exercise their activities in Cyprus.

The Cypriot Law laid down conditions for the recognition of the qualifications of professionals from other Member States, who were also required to pass an examination on the Cypriot Law. Agents not established in Cyprus were allowed to work there only in collaboration with a Cypriot agent. Finally, a firm operating as an estate agent could not engage in other activities, and its employees could work only for that firm.

The Commission had received complaints from professionals who were unable to work in Cyprus, either because they could no longer do so as a result of the Law of 2004, or because their professional qualifications were not recognised. The Commission then started infringement proceedings and in October 2009 sent a reasoned opinion to Cyprus (IP/09/1476).

A Law removing the obstacles identified by the Commission was adopted on 17 July 2010.

European Union estate agents can now choose to perform their activities in Cyprus and thus exercise their right to freedom of movement as guaranteed by the European Treaties. This situation will also be to the benefit of all citizens, who will have the option of contacting an estate agent near to them in order to obtain information with a view to acquiring a property in Cyprus.

Further reading

English: Unjustified restrictions on estate agents’ activities in Cyprus removed
Greek: καταργήθηκαν τα αδικαιολόγητα εμπόδια στις δραστηριότητες των κτηματομεσιτών στην Κύπρο

Readers' comments

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  • out of the frying pan into the fire says:

    I agree with a lot of the comments / remarks made here.

    I do think the way forward is to lobby our Euro MPs , that Cyprus is not fit to take over the Presidency of the EU.

    Citing the corrupt legal system, developers, banks, estate agents, one law for Cyprus people and one law for the rest of us. How dare you insult me, and the people of Cyprus, we only want to rob you. Now hand over all your money and get lost.

    The misuse of power that will probably become obvious should Cyprus ever get control

  • Denton Mackrell says:

    I’ve just been informed by a potential foreign buyer (not from UK) of a recent instance where a developer-cum-estate agent in Cyprus offered him a property where they quoted three different prices in as many days! He had already done his homework and got independent valuations putting the price at 13-20% less.

    As he commented after ‘walking away’, ‘Are these people crazy? Is it pure greed or are they so desperate to correct a cash-flow crisis they are prepared to do anything?’

  • Clive Fletcher says:

    With the ever increasing number of property sales being conducted on the Internet without any estate agents involved, and hardly any fees involved, it cannot be long before this “profession” is totally redundant.

    Many of us brought in Cyprus without involving estate agents, developers or even Cypriot lawyers, and obtained our title deeds on day one – all done via word-of-mouth with other Brits, newspaper adverts and the Internet.

    Who needs them???????????????

  • Gavin Jones says:

    If foreign estate agents, or legal firms for that matter, decide to set up their practices in Cyprus, they truly need their heads examining.

    I predict that these ‘ventures’ will end in tears and catastrophe when all concerned realize what a hornets’ nest of corruption, lies and vested interests exists here.

    Gentlemen. Don’t do it. You’d be better off taking a sabbatical and investing your time and money in a huge pile of books and ploughing your way through them while relaxing on sunbeds on the French or Italian Rivieras…

  • Peter says:

    @ So Over Cyprus

    The Real Estate Agent only represents the seller. A man cannot serve two masters. So he has no ‘rule of care’ towards the buyer, his client is the seller. This ensures he get the best price for his client.

    The buyer for his part is guided, advised and protected to the highest standard by his solicitor who has a professional qualification to ensure his client is given sound advice.

    The art of selling a house is no more than selling sweets. Cyprus like the UK has laws in place to stop misappropriation and mis-selling in civil and criminal law, such as deception, misrepresentation etc.

    Problem is the law in Cyprus was designed to ensure only Greek speaking Real Estate Agents were able to get a license, even though the majority (if not all) the sales to overseas customers were in English and not Greek. At the same time ensuring that a client cannot claim back the costs of the sale if he decides to use an ‘Unregistered Estate Agent’.

    In effect the regulations stated you must speak Greek or Turkish and have 10 years experience working in Cyprus for a ‘master’. The 10 years was later reduced to 8 years, knowing that anyone from outside the Country was never going to get registered anyway.

    So all the British customers kept throwing money at the Cypriot Estate Agents, who are free to charge 5%+

  • andyp says:

    If all vendors simply said no to these ridiculous fees we would soon see change. The work is worth nowhere near 5%. A complete rip off.

  • Stuart says:

    Has the estate agents’ exam on Cypriot property law now been re-written following recent pronouncements by the Cypriot judiciary to the effect that such laws are of little consequence and can usually be safely ignored?

  • So Over Cyprus says:

    Amazing that the EU can see fit to interfere with the one attempt Cyprus has made to regulate the property industry from bad business practices (one assumes), yet the EU can’t be bothered to intervene with the blatant corruption, consumer deception and obvious violations of EU law committed by Cyprus developers, lawyers, and banks.

    Many countries consider real estate a profession and as such require licences to sell real estate as a way of ensuring a standard of professionalism and minimise criminal activities. Just as a lawyer can practice law in more than one country, you would assume they would have to obtain the proper licence of each country to assure they have the proper understanding of the laws of that country.

    In theory,I don’t see anything wrong with Cyprus requiring a licence to sell real estate in their country, as long as Cypriot estate agents are required to obtain a licence as well as estate agents from outside Cyprus. At least (again one assumes) there would be a minimum standard the estate agents would have to understand of Cypriot real estate law and practices, which should be a little more reassuring than any Tom, Dick or Harry deciding to set up an estate agency. Although I don’t agree that estate agents from outside Cyprus, with proper Cypriot licences, should have to work in collaboration with Cyprus agents…

  • Peter says:

    There is no way the Cypriots will allow anyone else into their market. They will pull out all the stops to ensure that it is kept “In the family”.

  • dimitri says:

    I agree with andyp, having said that a while ago they used to get 10% commission on sales! Now it is more like 5 or 6 which is still quite high…

  • andyp says:

    Possibly wrong time for them to be entering the market but if it helps anyone who can sell to sell for a standard and more realistic fee of 1% to 1.5% then good luck.

    Just help the client and do not go down the usual route!!!

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