have been in Brittany, France for 13 years and in that time
I have seen the property market change several times. There
are literally hundreds of property agents in one form or another
advertising their wares predominantly on the web and also
in the many other journals and property exhibitions available
around the globe today.
We have clients from all over the world and have sold to citizens
from as far a field as Hong Kong, the USA and Australia.
So when you see an advert for you
dream home who are you buying from?
The French property market and “Agence Immobilière” remained
a mystery for many years to the general public and during
the 80,s contact was made via an intermediate usually in the
country where the prospective purchaser resides. Then followed
a letter of introduction or fax and of you went in search
of your property.
With the advent of the web it is now possible to view a vast
array of French properties all over the web and go direct
to the agency. You probably will not save a great deal of
money as the agency normally pays the commission to the introductory
agent however in this case the agency will not normally negotiate
on the agency fee if they are paying out large commissions.
The problem is that over the past few years agents offering
to sell you a French house have appeared on every street corner
and often hundreds of tempting properties are shown on the
web. You see them, make a reservation and find that when you
arrive to visit the property of your dreams was sold long
You have to get real in the French Property Market and go
and see for yourself. An idyllic stone cottage with potted
geraniums, shady terrace and within walking distance of your
croissant and baguette will rarely have time to be loaded
on the web page before it is sold.
who do you buy from?
This is a professional estate agency and has to have a Carte
Professionnelle issued by the Prefecture. In order to obtain
the CP the owner, principal or Gerant of the agency must have
professional qualifications! It is possible to mix and match
for example several years experience in an estate agency or
other administrative position (normally 10) can be combined
with qualifications however the formal qualifications that are
necessary have to be obtained by a diploma or professional experience
For members of the European Union, in general, one has to have
proof of a three year university education with a degree and
two years of experience. The professional title can also be
obtained two years after the baccalaureate with a diploma in
law, economics and commerce.
In order to meet certain ethical criteria. The following people
can not become French estate agents:
• People who have imprisoned by the French court.
• People who are undischarged bankrupts.
• Public officials who have been dismissed, or others that have
been dismissed by their professional association.
• People who have been convicted guilty by a foreign court under
the same conditions as above.
They sell, negotiate
and usually work under the umbrella of an Agence Immobilière
or Notaire. They can have an office but cannot display properties
in the window as they are not estate agents.
Notaire is principally a government tax collector not just estate
agent. Buying directly through a Notaire will not necessarily
save you money as he/she will put their own negotiation fees
on the sale. If you buy through an Agence Immobilière, if they
have a mandate or authorization to sell the property the Notaire
should not normally put negociation fees on top. This is for
the agency. If however you engage the agency to search for a
property on your behalf i.e.” Mandat de Recherche” then it is
quite possible your final fees will include some negotiation
ensure they send you to an Agence Immobilière or commercial
agent. Always ask whether or not their fees are included in
the Agency Fees or on top. The long established reputable agencies
provide a good service to connect you with the network of professionals
in France and will never ask you for their commission directly.
is ok but remember you will have to do all of the paperwork
and ask the right questions. Do not forget to ask the private
buyer to provide you with a valuation from a notaire or agent.
I have known some cases where a property has been advertised
privately for almost twice the market value.
you wish to go down this route then good luck. When you meet
the guy or girl outside the bar always ask for identification
and if they have a commercial agents card. Never pay cash
up front or at all and always pay the deposit and balance
to the notaire.
At the end of the day good luck and from BRETON HOMES we hope
you find your dream however and wherever your search takes