Estate Agents :-( - Page 3

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Estate Agents :-( - Page 3


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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 8th March 2010, 06:23 AM
gp1234
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Removing some of the risk in France (or indeed anywhere else) is achieved by finding local expats who have been in the area for some years, and getting a gloss-free description of all the pros and cons. Most are delighted to help out.

Surprisingly, very few prospective purchasers do this. Some pay the price. Of these, a number have that pronounced self-confidence that comes with a successful career, and think that their knowledge and understanding is easily transferred to a different culture and way of life.

In particular, I'm thinking of a Dutch notary and a British headmaster who moved to my neck of the woods, and made some serious and highly expensive clangers in their purchases. These would have been easily avoided, if advice from local expats had been taken on board.

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Old 8th March 2010, 07:00 AM
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One other caveat when dealing with (real) estate agents in France - Their job and legal responsibilities are extremely different from those of a real estate agent in the US. Make sure you understand the differences in their responsibilities - and the limitations of their representations - before you decide to work or not with specific agents.

Real estate agents in France do NOT draw up the legal documents related to buying or selling a house and they don't have any great obligation to disclose (or even know about) the faults of a property they show.

I'd be surprised if any agent expresses any hesitation at working with whatever notaire you want. If the agent shows up at the closing, it's mainly to pick up the check for their fees. They don't seem to be terribly involved in the terms of the sale or the financing. And as far as you're concerned, you pay them their agreed fee if you actually close on a property they have shown you. Period.

As far as questions about a specific property, you'd be best served by going yourself to the local mairie and asking about local conditions and land-use policies, etc. I wouldn't rely on anything the agent tells you.
Cheers,
Bev

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Old 8th March 2010, 07:21 AM
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Yet another (big) caveat...

If you're planning on buying property on arrival in France, you should research very carefully what the inheritance laws here are BEFORE you buy the property. This is especially true if either you or your spouse have kids from a prior relationship.

I can tell you that most foreigners here find out only after the fact that the inheritance laws will not allow them to convey their French property the way they were planning on doing it. No real estate agent will have a clue about this and most notaires aren't really equipped to explain how the French system differs from what you may be used to.

The key point to check is, what marital regime you are assumed to be under (based on when and where you got married). That determines exactly how you can set up the purchase of your primary residence. (It may or may not be possible to have the home in one spouse's name.) From there, there may be some ways of setting up the purchase so that it will pass according to your wishes - using donations, specific forms of ownership or other vehicles. (It's also possible to change your marital regime - though it's expensive and somewhat complicated.) But in some cases, you can't completely disinherit a profligate child or completely protect the surviving spouse in precisely the way you had in mind.

Better you should consider this side of making the big move BEFORE you buy a home in France. (And it's definitely not the real estate agent's job to advise you on this.)
Cheers,
Bev

  #24 (permalink)  
Old 8th March 2010, 08:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bevdeforges View Post
.../... when dealing with (real) estate agents in France .../...
'Surreal' estate agents would be more apt in many cases.

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Old 8th March 2010, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Bevdeforges View Post
Yet another (big) caveat...

If you're planning on buying property on arrival in France, you should research very carefully what the inheritance laws here are BEFORE you buy the property. This is especially true if either you or your spouse have kids from a prior relationship.
As Bev says, the inheritance law situation is an absolute minefield. Take it from someone standing in the middle of one right now. All manner of complications arise from how property is owned (usufruit, SCI, nu propriété), whether you are married, pacsed, or simply living together, children from previous relationships, the existence of disputed wills, conflictual relationships with one or more children, bad advice from useless notaires, massive inheritance taxes, unexpected early deaths 'before one's time' and before the consequences have been propertly organised..... you name it, one or more of these situations is likely to affect you, and if you are unlucky, most or all of them... as in my case.

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Old 8th March 2010, 03:27 PM
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Excellent, ....

Have you found any that matches your criteria so far?

best
Lets just say we're making progress - no one has three strikes yet ;-)

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Old 26th March 2010, 05:12 AM
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French estate agent commision is around 10% of the selling price. So they do not need to sell many houses to earn a good living...

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Old 26th March 2010, 07:00 AM
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French estate agent commision is around 10% of the selling price. So they do not need to sell many houses to earn a good living...
No. Estate agents are free to fix commission, and it averages 6% in France these days. There are some chains advertising a fully inclusive 3 or 4 % rate in the current depressed market.

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Old 26th March 2010, 07:18 AM
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No. Estate agents are free to fix commission, and it averages 6% in France these days. There are some chains advertising a fully inclusive 3 or 4 % rate in the current depressed market.
But isn't that just for the seller's agent? I was under the impression that the buyer's agent had to settle for the one-off fee they get for "showing" the place. AFAIK there is no fee-splitting arrangement here (like there is in the US) whereby the seller's agent and the buyer's agent split the fees.

It does seem to be becoming more popular for the sellers to sign an exclusive contract for some period of time with an agent - which guarantees that only the seller's agent can show the property for the first 3 months or so it's on the market. It does save the buyer the extra agent fee, at least.
Cheers,
Bev

  #30 (permalink)  
Old 26th March 2010, 07:28 AM
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Yes it's the commission charged by the agent to the seller. I've never paid a centime to agents who have showed me hundreds of properties in France as a prospective purchaser, and I've bought four so far. I've heard of agents cutting their commission by as much as half to help a sale through, when seller and buyer cannot agree on a final figure.

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