Annex 1 - methodology for main task 1 (regulatory review and stakeholder consultation)

AuthorConsumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency (European Commission), Deloitte consortium, IPSOS, London Economics
Annex 1 Methodology for Main Task 1 (Regulatory review and
stakeholder consultation)
A1.1 Sub-task 1: Literature review
The literature review and desk research at the EU and country level aimed at collecting
information and data to develop an in-depth understanding of relevant aspect s related to
the performance of the real estate services market.
Section 2.1 of the Final Report presents the EU law and policy framework in relation to real
estate transactions. The Section covers the following secti ons:
Fundamental constitutional dimension of the ri ght of property from a consumer
European consumer law and policy;
European energy efficiency law;
European tax law;
European anti-discrimination legislation; and
European private international law.
Section 2.2 of the Final Report relates to the professional services involved in real estate
transactions and outlines the regulation of professional services by referring to:
The policy background;
The regulation on establishment and provision of services; and
Regulation of legal services.
The literature review also provided a critical review of the existing literature on the
residential real estate market and drew conclusions in the foll owing areas:
Real estate market functioning;
Consumer situation in the real estate market;
Assessment of information available to consumers; and
Cross-border aspects in the real estate market.
A1.2 Sub-task 2: Classification of existing national rules (country fiches)
Due to the high complexity of the legal field in the resid ential real estate sect or and the
divergence across legal frameworks, one part of the study focused on obtaining a profound
understanding of the national rules.
The objectives of Sub-task 2 were to:
Provide an in-depth overview and c lassification of existing nationa l rules in
relation to the (residential) real estate market and to real estate professions for the
30 countries under scope of the study; and
Assess to wh at extent th e existing regulatory framework provides sufficient
protection for consumers who are buying, selling, renting or letting a property in
their own country or in another EU Member State, Norway and Iceland .
The classification of the existing national rules followed the approach summari sed below:
Country fiche
template design
Data collection
by legal expert's
Quality control
on country fiche
Data analysis
Overall, 31 country fiches we re collected. Two country fiches were collected for the UK:
one country fi che for England and Wales, and one country fiche for Scotland. This is due
to the fact that differences were observed in the provision of residential real estate services
in England and Wales, on the one hand, and in Scotland, on the other hand. The completion
of the country fiches was coordinated by the legal expert who collaborated with a panel
of researchers. The legal expert identified researchers for each country, who are members
of the Ten-Law network, and requested them to complete the country fiche based on their
experience and additional desk research. These experts a re mostly academics with
practical experience in the field who have already worked for the Tenlaw project and/or
other previous studies in the field.
Each national legal expert received the t emplate to complete the country fiche for one or
more countries in scope (28 EU Member States, plus Norway and Iceland). In order to
successfully complete the country fiche, ea ch researcher was further given specific
guidelines on how to complete the fiche. The key l egal instruments and sources relevant
to each question were requested to be quoted.
The analysis of data collected through the country fiches allowed to elaborate specific
sections of the Final Report. Data collected through the country fiches enabled, for
example, to provide a better understanding in a comparative perspective of:
The process to buy or sell a property;
The process to rent or let a property;
The involvement of professionals during the conveyancing and renti ng process;
Information about fees faced by consumers during the conveyancing and the
renting process.
A1.3 Sub-task 3: Identification of ‘top’ cross-border real estate sellers
Sub-task 3 consisted in the identification of ‘t op’ cross-border real estate sellers in
the countries under scope by the study as well as in the understanding of real estate
agencies’ business model as regards cross-border transacti ons. The relevance of th e task
stems from the fact that little quanti tative and qualitative information is publi cly available
on the way cross-border transactions are carried out in the residential segment of the real
estate market.
The task ultimately enabled to understand the business mod el that real estate agencies
follow when dealing with real estate cross-border transactions. In addition, the task allows
to investigate aspects that may inf luence consumers (buyers or tenants) interested in
purchasing or renting a property in a country in which they do not permanently live. As an
example, a different language or a different legislation may represent a difficulty for a
consumer interested in concl uding a real estate transaction abroad (i.e. in a country in
which s/he does not permanently live).
In specific, the objectives of Sub-task 3 were to:
Identify 14 ‘top’ cross-border real estate agencies (‘brokers’) in the 28
Member States plus Norway and Iceland;
Describe the business models of the identified ‘top’ cross-border real estate
sellers for th ese coun tries. Th e purpo se as such was to investigate the business
model of real estate agencies, both independent and franchised ones, in terms of
cross-border transactions.
In view of addressing the task objectives, research was carried out t o identify the 14 ‘top’
cross-border sellers across the 28 Member States, Norway and Iceland. Nonetheless, given
the lack of ava ilable data, i t was not possible to identify a clear ranking of ‘top’ cross-
border sellers operating in the residential real estate ma rket. For this reason,
themethodology to perform the task was developed and implemented as foll ows:
The real estate agencies that were accounted for:
were active in the residential segment of the real estate sector;
acted as intermediaries in buying, selling and renting, letting of real estate on a fee
or contract basis; and
provided intermediary and advisory services with regard to buyi ng, selling and
renting, letting of real estate, on a fee or contract basis.
The targeted real estate agencies can be further distinguished between ind ependent,
non-franchised real estate agencies and franchised real estate agencies.
A1.3.1 Methodology
A top-down approach consisting of the following steps was followed:
Country selection
As a first step, the six
countries displaying the
highest value added at
factor cost were identified
Contacting experts
Within the 6 countries,
stakeholders and Deloitte
subject matter experts
were contacted to request
information on the largest
real estate agencies
Listing of largest real
estate agencies
Representatives of the
largest real estate
agencies identified were
interviewed to better
understand their cross-
border business model

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