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Duty of research and information (BELGIUM)

Posté par Cédric Salesse le 11 octobre 2022

Sale of a property and documents to provide: your real estate agent – broker takes care of everything!

Research and information obligation

Selling real estate is not easy. The legal obligations are constantly changing and the administrative formalities are more and more numerous. Beyond the steps and commercial negotiations, a real estate agent – broker proves to be your most precious ally.

Experienced in all the formalities required in the context of a real estate transaction, your real estate agent – broker will bring together for you all the legal and administrative documents legally required. In addition, he will also promote your property, organize visits, respond to various calls and requests from potential buyers, negotiate the terms of sale and collect offers, draft the sales agreement, etc. By entrusting the sale of your property to your real estate agent – broker, you therefore delegate all of these formalities to a professional, which can be time-consuming and energy-consuming in order to carry out your operation as well as possible.

What documents is your real estate agent – broker required to collect as part of his mission? We review them below.

The title deed

The title deed of a property is the notarial deed by which you have become the owner. It can be a purchase, a donation or an inheritance. A true identity card for the property, this document constitutes proof that you are indeed the owner of the property concerned. 

Specificities in the case of a property in joint ownership

If your property is part of a co-ownership, for example an apartment, your real estate agent – broker will collect the documents relating to it for you, such as the basic deed, the internal rules of the co-ownership, the lawsuits -minutes of general meetings for the last 3 years, statement of expenses (working capital / reserve), etc.

Specificities in the case of a leased property

If the property you are selling is rented out, your agent will help you to gather the corresponding documents, ie the registered lease contract, the deposit and blocking document for the rental guarantee as well as the inventory of fixtures. In addition, if the purchaser takes over the rental contract on his own account, your real estate agent – broker will ensure the transfer of the rental guarantee in the name of the purchaser.

The subsequent intervention file (DIU)

The subsequent intervention file contains all the useful information in terms of safety and health to be taken into account during any subsequent work in the building (maintenance and repairs, extension work, etc.). 

The DIU is mandatory for property (house or apartment) whose construction began after May 1, 2001 as well as for property in which work has been carried out by one or more contractors since May 1, 2001. 

The DIU is linked to the building and must be passed on to the new owner, this discount being mentioned in the deed of sale.

The different certificates

The energy performance certificate (EPB):

The energy performance certificate for buildings (PEB) informs prospective buyers or tenants about the energy performance of the property (information relating to the insulation of the property, heating, etc.). 

An EPB certificate is mandatory as soon as a property is put up for rent or for sale (your real estate agent – broker can take care of having it drawn up). In addition, the EPB indicators from the EPB certificate must be mentioned in sales and rental advertisements.

During the sale of a residential property, the PEB is transmitted to the purchaser and the general mentions of the PEB are included in the sales agreement. When renting a property, a copy of the PEB certificate is sent to the tenant and the general mentions of the PEB are included in the lease. Finally, note the existence of the partial PEB in the Walloon region, the latter describing the collective parts of the installations of a building with several dwellings and/or co-ownership. 

The electrical inspection certificate:

When selling a dwelling (house, apartment or any other premises or premises used as a dwelling) whose electrical installation dates from before October 1, 1981 or does not have a valid document of receipt of the electrical installation by an approved organization, the seller is, except in the case of complete renovation or demolition, required to give the buyer an electrical inspection certificate, the latter having to be transmitted at the latest when signing the deed authentic (your real estate agent – broker can help you establish this). This certificate allows the buyer to check whether the electrical installation is up to standard. 

Certification of Buildings Built for Water (CertIBeau):

Since June 1, in the Walloon region, the certificate for buildings built for water (CertIBeau) has been compulsory for buildings connected for the first time to the water supply, ie for new constructions. 

Obtaining this certificate, attesting to the conformity of the installation, is the necessary condition for the connection to be definitively put into service and for the building to have access to water. This certificate is not mandatory for existing houses or buildings. However, it can be requested on a voluntary basis. 

The soil certificate

As part of a real estate sale, the purchaser must receive proof that the soil is not polluted. An essential document, the soil certificate informs the buyer about the condition of the soil he is buying. 

Only approved bodies can issue this certificate. Depending on the location of the property, your real estate agent – broker will therefore have to turn either to Brussels-Environment (Brussels-Capital), or to the BDES (Wallonia) or to the OVAM (Flanders).

The certificate relating to the oil tank

If the seller does not have to provide specific information to the buyer as to the type of heating present in the property, he nevertheless has an obligation to provide general information.

In addition, in Wallonia, if the property is equipped with an oil tank with a capacity equal to or greater than 3,000 L, you must have a certificate of control and tightness of your tank as well as a declaration environmental class 3 of your municipality. If you do not have these documents, your real estate agent – broker can help you with these procedures. 

Urban planning information

Let’s also remember the permits, declarations and town planning certificates. These town planning information documents are available from the municipal administration. Your real estate agent – broker will also be able to collect all the necessary documents and, if necessary, check that your home complies with these documents.

Cadastral documents

Finally, let’s not forget the essential cadastral documents. The cadastral extract contains the owner’s data and rights, the plot number, the section, the nature of the property, the year of construction, the area and the non-indexed cadastral income (RC). The cadastral plan establishes the boundaries of the plot and the existing structures. Please note that the latter does not have the force of law in terms of measurement. Only a surveyor’s plan can confirm the purchaser within the limits and the exact area of ​​the property.

In conclusion

A real estate agent – broker is a real estate professional who is fully aware of the legal and administrative obligations related to the sale of a property. From his experience in the field but also from the obligation of permanent training responsibility, he knows and masters the legislation and the rules in force, which makes him the person best placed to sell your property. 

Calling on a real estate agent-broker also means protecting yourself as a consumer, given that you are required to respect a Code of ethics, to have a third party account and one professional liability insurance and bond.

Finally, don’t forget that your agent’s role does not stop at collecting all of the aforementioned documents. You will benefit from his help and expertise throughout the procedure, from the sale of your property to the serene and efficient realization of it.

This article comme from the website of the institutes of the real estate professional in Belgium. Find the article in French here. https://www.ipi.be/vous-comptez-vendre-ou-louer-votre-bien/devoir-de-recherche-et-dinformation

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