Reactions of a professional to the real estate market


Public Relations Manager of Immo Partner, a real estate agency with a dual location, in Troisvierges for more than 15 years and more recently in Bettembourg, Lucien Douwes closely follows the evolution of the real estate market and the discussion around agency commissions.
Lucien Douwes knows the Luxembourg real estate market perfectly and is committed to offering quality services in an increasingly competitive market, the current discussion on agency commissions disturbs the manager. “I think this is a false discussion. We must not forget that for us too everything is increasing: price of publications on the various real estate platforms, administrative costs, salaries and travel of our employees. A quality service has a cost and our 4% commission is justified if, like me, we value this quality…”
Without forgetting that this quality is recognized, Immo Partner having been designated by the “European Property Awards” best real estate agency in Luxembourg and this 3 times over the last 4 years.

« The commission rate is justified »

As the young entrepreneur explains, from the first contact with a client to the signing of a deed of sale, a serious agent must do meticulous work that takes time. It starts with the valuation of the property, which is a crucial step. The agent must analyze where the property is located, take into account possible future constructions, transport and commercial infrastructures nearby, question the merits of an added value, etc.
Started on site, this assessment continues in the office and lasts at least two days. Solely responsible for the assessment of the amount, an erroneous assessment may lead to a claim for damages by the customer, in the event of loss of money or termination of the contract. Quality work is therefore of great importance. In any case, the cost of this estimate is deducted from the agency commission and reduces it accordingly. Moreover, an agency does not sell an object every day and its income is therefore fluctuating.

Too many agents for little will to change

Another point that bothers Lucien Douwes is the ease with which it is possible to become a real estate agent in Luxembourg. “Compared abroad, the density and number of agencies are impressive. While it is true that training with the Chamber of Commerce is necessary, this only lasts a few months and many people who enter the market have a distorted image of it. Too many agencies lead to unbridled competition and overpricing and therefore price increases. »
Lucien also believes that the increase in real estate, while real, is not so overrated. « What we are experiencing in Luxembourg is a European phenomenon and is also true in neighboring countries and metropolises. The price increases are almost identical, except that in Luxembourg we start from an already higher price at the base. »
The situation of the real estate market in Luxembourg has been known for many years, but what has been done to counter the movement of increases and increase the number of objects is insufficient, according to him. « There are other ways to get into the market as well as many examples of other countries and places where this has been done. But for change to take place, all players must act together and show a real will. It is not up to a single actor to do so. »

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