The Swedish Housing Market and Real Estate Agents
In Sweden, the estate agent profession is regulated by the Estate Agents Act; both as to the right to pursue agency activities and as to the estate agents’ obligations, responsibilities and rights. An estate agent needs to register with a special government authority and the prerequisites for the registration is detailed in the Estate Agents Act. Today, a two-or-three-year university education is required to qualify for registration; providing aspiring estate agents with a knowledge of Swedish property law, economics and construction technology. By way of this thorough education, the estate agent assumes responsibility for, and handles the entire ownership transfer, including the drawing-up of transfer agreements.
The Swedish estate agent is intended to be an impartial counsellor, both to the seller and the buyer, except in regard to the price issue where the estate agent has a special obligation to their (his, her or their) employer. If employed by the seller, the estate agent’s primary obligation is consequently to try to get the best price for their employer, but still carries, concerning information about the property, a damages-sanctioned responsibility towards the buyer. In drawing up transfer agreements, the estate agent shall equally observe the interests of both buyer and seller, and with this in mind formulate the agreement in a way that enables both parties to understand its meaning.