14 December 2015 bruno

Contract with the French real estate agent

FRENCH REAL ESTATE CONTRACT

MISTAKES WHEN HIRING A FRENCH REAL ESTATE AGENT

Be certain to completely understand the real estate fees. For example, is it a fixed price contract, or based upon a percentage of the sale ?

WATCH OUT FOR OVER-QUOTES TO WIN THE CONTRACT

The initial selling price quoted by the real estate agent is often optimistic, in order to gain your business.

It is likely that your property will be sold at a lower price and we recommend that you agree to a percentage (vs. fixed fee) contract with the agent.

PITFALLS WHEN SIGNING WITH AN AGENT IN FRANCE

Legal rules applying to an exclusive agreement signed with a real estate agent:

  • A 3 months contract with 15 days notice,
  • If you sell the property yourself during the exclusive contract period, you are likely to be subject to paying all or most of the agent’s fees anyway (100 % or sometimes 50 % (Subject to the Contract).

You could be tied to a real estate agent, even if you want to terminate this contract.

A non exclusive agreement

If the real estate agent seems to be trustworthy, just sign a non exclusive agreement with the real estate agent.

ADVICE

A word of Advice

  • Don’t sign anything before obtaining qualified legal guidance
  • Hire a lawyer in France to review the contract (approx. cost: 200 euros).

Worst scenario: the exclusive agreement was a bad idea

Sometimes, the sale of the house/apartment is locked in an exclusive agreement (“mandat exclusif”), even if the real estate agent in France is not looking for new clients.

In some cases, the real estate agent in France will advise you after few weeks/months to lower the price.

Two possible reasons:

  1. The French real estate agent wants to quickly sell the real estate without too much effort,
  2. The quote was way above the market (in order to win your contract).

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