Belgian law opens up the way to online property bids

In the years to come, estate agents will of necessity be called upon to turn towards innovation and creativity. According to CEPI’s Belgian member IPI, Institut professionnel des agents immobiliers, the time when properties were sold exclusively by way of small ads published on paper or the internet is past. In the Netherlands and Great Britain, this system of sales has seen good results for a number of years already. In Belgium, interest in online property bids might develop following a very recent Court decision which confirms the legality of the technique, up to now very limited because of the legal insecurity surrounding it and denounced by notaries.

The problem was that the online property bid for some was similar to a public sale, a practice reserved to notaries only. The notaries had denounced more particularly the activities of the online property platform “”. This allows buyers interested in a property to make an offer via the internet site. To do this “” works with various estate agents. Concretely, the vendor and the prospective buyer are put in touch after concluding the offer online, and that with a view to concluding the business in an official and definitive manner. The website won: the judgements state that the website does not offer real public sales, because the offers are not legally binding and would not be a question of public mission.

IPI encourages Belgian estate agents to take the lead and position themselves well in the race towards modern brokerage in Europe. “All this is not just an interesting alternative to public sales”. Explains Hugues de Bellefroid, Vice President of the Institut professionnel des agents immobiliers. “This also responds to the demand for innovation, something that the Belgian with a brick in his stomach will appreciate. The property consumer will be the first to benefit from these new sales techniques.”

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Anne-Sophie Chevalier
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