Frequently Asked Questions
No excuses. We aim to be the best there is, and then the best we can, and we know we have a way to go. Economically times are tough, and vendors who instruct 6 or more agencies on a winner-takes-all basis actually tip the balance against motivating said agencies. Historically, sparse details may be borne out of low expectations in a relatively new market. It is changing - for the better.
I had a similar experience as a buyer. I began to think it must be me.
I was a property buyer before I was an agent. I remember clearly how irritated I was to be told by a 12 year old that I'd 'need to compromise' when I didn't make an offer to buy the first house he showed me. The message seemed to be that I didn't understand the local market, what I wanted, or what I could afford.
Well, with the passage of time and the benefit of hindsight maybe those things were true. Maybe I was over sensitive to the delivery of the message. Maybe.
From another angle, consider what does the agent mean by compromise? The caveat in trying to tackle the question is to first say that I don't speak for all agents, and I don't personally use the word or its derivations.
For me it implies second best, hence my sensitivity. I hated being 'average' or 'second' at school! It need not mean second best, or second choice. Most people start with a wish list, possibly an extensive one. I know I do.
A decent agent who is trying to listen to your every desire may be overwhelmed by this long list. A poor agent will of course simply ignore it. A buyer (in a buyers' market) may reasonably have expectations. Many of them. An agent, then, has a choice to risk your wrath in continuing with promoting a property that is 'less-than', or take you to the only property that 'ticks all the boxes' (but is attached to a cowshed, next to a motorway, under a pylon). If it doesn't all stack up against your stated budget, an agent should tell you so.
'You are unlikely to get all that, at this time, in this area, for that amount of money' (might be €25k, might be €25 million). You might test this with a second agent to ensure the first isn't just lazy, or short of choice! If two agents tell you so, it's probably true.
And there are sometimes contradictions that are obvious to the 'local', but pass by the 'wisher'. 'I'd like to be within an easy stroll of a boulangerie and with absolutely no neighbours'. Hmm. Is that bread I smell, or a compromise. It's either neighbours, or learn to bake bread!
Some people prioritise their wish-list. And of course many of us have considerations that really are NOT negotiable. Understand your own motivation. To get a deal? To tick all the boxes? Both?
Ultimately, many people choose a property because it feels right. The spreadsheet is a good start in ruling out the unsuitable, but it shouldn't rule the world.
We have a lot of ex-buyers/new friends who bought property with us that absolutely did not meet their specification. Happy compromise?
For these reasons a good agent will take a chance on viewing a property that might work, in your interests as well as theirs. Of course this is different to a bad agent who can't be bothered to drive more than a few kilometres, or who insists on showing blatantly unsuitable properties.
Incidentally (or not), when I type Compromis (a first contractual agreement to buy a property) on my iPad, the spell-check determines each time that what I 'really mean' is 'compromise'.
Nice try, iPad, and thank you for thinking of me, but I chose the property, not the agent. The agent helped me.
Property can hang around in France. Some really good property that appears eye-catching, nicely renovated, well situated and reasonably priced surprises us by not whizzing off the books. On the other hand we might have a property on the books for months with little genuine interest and suddenly it goes ‘hot’ for no apparent reason and several people want to view in one week.
Traditionally people have bought and sold less often in France than in some other property markets, and at its best this has produced a less volatile market. Steady growth is better than boom or bust. Of course some property is simply over-priced and/or badly presented.
At the time of writing (end 2017) the market is still somewhat over-supplied with property, and the buyer has a wide choice. And there are missing economic confidence factors, meaning buyers have taken longer than usual to commit.
A local expert will advise. A large reduction on an inflated price may NOT be the deal of the year. A property realistically priced is just that.
Those buyers who commit, when matched by a local expert to a realistic seller, go on to conclude mutually satisfactory deals. It’s not rocket science...but it is a skill.
Sellers contract with agents to market their property. Some start with a price that they want to achieve 'net', with a fee added, others with a price that they would like to see on-line
So €212,000 is probably €200,000 net to the owner.
Contact us for a marketing review, or to discuss our home staging advice pack
The experience varies. Many commercial opportunities come with accounts, published or available under certain conditions.
Then there is a whole world of 'potential' income.
Expect to prove that you are serious rather than curious.
You may be required to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) before seeing any numbers.
Expect that it will be very difficult to borrow money against some types of income-generating property.
In principle, yes. Of course the seller must agree.
And it absolutely must be written up by the notaire.
PLEASE do not enter into private arrangements in this regard.
Of course you may, provided you do so without the intervention of a third party introduction by an agent.
If either party has signed a contract with an agent, either as buyer or seller, one of you will be liable for the agency fee anyway, whether you take advantage of any further help and assistance following the introduction. This is absolute. And the notaire will ask if an agent was involved.
An untruth at this stage creates a false deed on the property transaction.
Many agencies will sue for their fee. And the legal process may block the sales process.