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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All.

First of all, as I'm new here, I just want to say Hello to everybody out there, and hope you're all enjoying the rainy weather we're having in France today! (at least, in the Franche-Comte region, where I am)

Anyway, I have a question, and please forgive me if it's been asked a million times before.

I went to view a house yesterday with a notaire (found via the Immonot website), who is the selling agent. The house is priced at €240k. The house ticked most of the boxes and I am considering putting in an offer (after doing further visitis, necessary checks, etc, of course). However, when I returned home I realised that the same property is being advertised by an Estate Agent (Swixim) for €220k, i.e. the starting point for bargaining is €20,000 less!**

I should have known this really as last week I went to view a house with an estate agent, asking priced 232k. And then I noticed that this particular notaire was trying to sell this property for €249k!

[** To be fair to the notaire, he did tell me that €200k would be a reasonably fair price for the house]

So, I thought that going through a notaire was supposed to be cheaper than using an estate agent?

Should I ask the notaire why he is advertising these properties much above what estate agents are asking? (Presumably he is trying to attract a higher fee?). Or would this just be antagonising him?

If the notaire is acting as the selling agent then presumably he gets a paid a fee for being the "estate agent" (FAI?) and then on top of that he gets the fee for being the notaire for the transaction.

Is "FAI" the same as "Honoraires de négociation inclus"?

And are notaires' fees absoluetly fixed to the final selling price of the house, or can the notiare choose his own fee, within reason?

Sorry for the barrage of questions, I'm just slightly confused by all this! :confused2:

Thanks.
PS The sun has just poked out from behind the clouds! :)
 

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If the notaire is acting as the selling agent then presumably he gets a paid a fee for being the "estate agent" (FAI?) and then on top of that he gets the fee for being the notaire for the transaction.

Is "FAI" the same as "Honoraires de négociation inclus"?

And are notaires' fees absoluetly fixed to the final selling price of the house, or can the notiare choose his own fee, within reason?
The FAI is what the estate agent charges - you will pay notaire fees (of about 7%) above that. I assume your notaire is quoting all inclusive hence the higher price. The notaires fees are about 95% government duties and taxes, the notaire only gets a small portion of this so it's not normally negotiable. Agents fees are negotiable - we ended up paying about 5%.

FWIW offer a really low bid to start with (like about 20% below asking) - they can only say no and ask for more.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi and thanks for your reply.

I really like your advice about going for about 20% off the asking price and see what they say, I was thinking along the same lines. However, I want to be sure that when I make my offer that I don't offend the vendor so much so that he refuses to negotiate with me any further! What are the diplomatic ways of putting in an offer?

Also, on the notaire's website (Immonot) it says "Honoraires de négociation inclus" so my understanding is that this is the notaire's selling fee (ie the same as an estate agent's fee), which is included in the price. And then the notaire's legal fee is added on top of that. Am I correct?

Thanks again for your help!
 

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Hi and thanks for your reply.

I really like your advice about going for about 20% off the asking price and see what they say, I was thinking along the same lines. However, I want to be sure that when I make my offer that I don't offend the vendor so much so that he refuses to negotiate with me any further! What are the diplomatic ways of putting in an offer?

Also, on the notaire's website (Immonot) it says "Honoraires de négociation inclus" so my understanding is that this is the notaire's selling fee (ie the same as an estate agent's fee), which is included in the price. And then the notaire's legal fee is added on top of that. Am I correct?

Thanks again for your help!
You are unlikely to offend a vendor - there are so many houses for sale they can't afford to ignore possible purchasers. Go as low as you dare you won't regret it.

You will have to ask the notaire exactly what is included - they should provide you with a statement showing all the costs involved in getting the house based upon your offer when you submit it. The offer is a written agreement so make sure you are clear on your obligations once you make it. Then there is a 'compromis de vente' which is the formal agreement to purchase and this is binding on the seller, the buyer has 7 days to reconsider. After that it's a done deal, no way out for anyone and after about three months the deal is finalised with the Acte de Vente.

Bon chance
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hello again, and thanks for the good advice.

Do you know the name of this statement of the breakdown of costs?

Also, when I make an offer (verbal in the first instance, I guess) I suppose that I must be pretty clear about the terms on which this offer is made. :confused2: Obviously, before I make any offer I must do a few essential checks, and then I guess that the compromis de vente will state in b&w exactly what is included in the sale and what is not.

Thanks again.
 

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Hello again, and thanks for the good advice.

Do you know the name of this statement of the breakdown of costs?

Also, when I make an offer (verbal in the first instance, I guess) I suppose that I must be pretty clear about the terms on which this offer is made. :confused2: Obviously, before I make any offer I must do a few essential checks, and then I guess that the compromis de vente will state in b&w exactly what is included in the sale and what is not.

Thanks again.
No idea on the name - just ask the notaire (or agent) for a full breakdown. You can make verbal offers but we were asked to make it formal, there is a document for this. Make sure the offer is subject to the checks and that those checks are completed in writing before the compromis - they then become part of the compromis. Mind you, the checks on our house were worthless - they rated the energy at 'C' - I just had EDF do a full audit and the guy fell about laughing, it's really an 'F' :(

In France very little is included in the sale - they often take the entire kitchen with them! We were left with no light fittings, not even a bulb holder and the only reason they left the kitchen was because most of it didn't work - but we knew that going in. The compromis will state what is included make sure you check it and the house for physical inventory; photographs are useful.

Cheers
 
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