Law on the distribution of brokerage fees for the sales of apartments and single-family houses

At the end of 2020, the Act on the Distribution of Brokerage Costs in the Brokerage of Purchase Agreements for Apartments and Single-Family Homes, which was passed by the German Bundestag on 14 May 2020, will come into force.

This means that the real estate agent can no longer work for the seller without commission.
The real estate agent is forced to agree upon a commission in the same amount by the seller and the buyer.

Thus the Bundestag has basically implemented what has been practised in most federal states for decades. The broker thus acts as a fair mediator between the parties to the sales contract. Although the law provides for the dual activity as a model, a unilateral representation of interests in favour of the buyer or seller should remain possible.

Because the major players in real estate brokerage are credit institutions and large distributors, commissions will be included in the purchase price. As a consequence, the real estate transfer tax, which is 6 % in Berlin and 6.5 % in Brandenburg, will also be paid on the commissions.
For the buyer this means in most cases a higher financial burden and for the government considerable additional tax revenues.

A significant reduction of the real estate transfer tax would actually reduce the burden on home buyers.
But they wouldn’t really want that, would they?