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Estate Agents fees


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We've just put our house (Dept 87) on the market, privately through on line French property selling sites and are keeping our fingers crossed.

We had a visit from a local estate agent who gave us a ridiculous estimation of selling price in order to 'sell the house really quickly' and for thousands of euro's fees! We have done our homework regarding pricing, market factors etc and so have followed the private sale route... we may have to wait for as long as it takes to sell but won't be lining the pockets of greedy agents who are out to make a quick sale at our expense!

A couple of our friends have sold recently so there is some hope that the market is starting to pick up.

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Apart from the obvious fact that nobody is likely to know the local market and the current situation better than an agent, why not use agents (more than one, including notaires if you like) and private sales too? Just advertise privately at the 'net vendeur' figure then you won't lose out whichever way the place sells. There is no need to sign any exclusivity contract with any agent, and if you are not happy with an agent's valuation you can always specify that they use your own. But don't be surprised if you end up accepting a sale closer to the agent's estimate.

I can assure you that agents get castigated for giving 'too low' valuations, particularly if a house sells reasonably quickly, but more often "just so they can get an easy sale and pocket the commission", but even more for giving 'too high' valuations if a house, usually with drawbacks, reamains on the market for too long and/or fails to attract potential buyers. It's not an easy or enviable job, particularly in the present climate.

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Hi

Yes know what you mean, we are still in the UK, trying to sell our house, due to the world turn down we have dropped the price of ours

£20,000, the last estate agent we had, telephone each week with an update, (waste of time) as it was no change, then added to this was

you need to drop the price further this continued for some six weeks, me sticking to the price, the last conversation I had with them

was, you will not sell it at that price for the next two or three years, so be it I said. I know they have to make money, but as I said to

them, you seem to forget that I hav to buy onother house, the way you are going on, I will be giving it to you.

Then last week some three months after I kicked them out, one of the guys phoned to say they were now selling houses again, could they

come round and give me a valuation, I told him there was no point as my price still stands, from his attitude I could hear he was still wanting

me to drop the price further.

So its the same here.

 

ColinE

 

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Mr Cat has recently started to refuse to take onto his books any houses where the price expectations of the owners are unrealistically high.

Some people say that they are in no hurry to sell, being content to wait until the market picks up and prices are more buoyant.  That's fine, for them, but Mr Cat's view is that he knows that he will never be able to sell at the price the owners expect, and so would be wasting his time, money and energy in trying. 

Houses are still selling, but at the moment everyone knows that it's a buyers market..

It's always tricky, everyone wants to sell for the highest amount possible, but to buy for the lowest [:$]

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This is the problem for Estate agents, if the house sells too quickly they get blamed for under valuation, if it hangs on then he gets the blame as well.

Our Estate agent has found a cash buyer for us in record time, and we are asking exactly that question, was our house too realistically priced?

However you can't put a price on a smooth running sale, with all the expertise of a good Estate agent keeping sleepless nights at a minimum.  I would say ours has certainly earned the fees.  

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As far as the UK market is concerned, I think that if you take the highest price you could have hoped for a couple of  years ago, then knock off 25%.

If the agent is recommending  a price lower than that, then perhaps they are being silly, anything higher than that is probably in the realism zone.

Clearly local factors do have a big influence , but if you have only reduced by £20,000 from the peak of the market , unless you only have a relatively cheap house, say less than £140,000,  you are probably being unrealistic with your asking price.

 

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My experience of Estate agents.

Some are professional, some are not.

We asked two very well known Estate agents in our area in the UK to give us a valuation when selling our house.

One gave us a figure approx 33% lower than the other.

When we phoned that estate agent to say we would be using the other and gave the reason he said "" The best of luck but you will never get that""

We went with the estate agent who had given the higher valuation and we sold within a week for 15% more that the asking price.

It gave me great pleasure to tell the other agent we had achieved our price.
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Thanks for all your replies... I'm following some advice and contacting  a couple more agents who might want to add our house to their books , I'll leave the listings on GreenAcres and FPN as well though.

Our house is a renovated (although still has projects to inspire a DIY enthusiast) prestigious property with great gite/B&B potential... I'm dreaming of a semi retired couple who want to live the perfect French life in a beautiful house and earn an income!

As I keep reminding myself - it only takes one person to fall in love with the house and want to buy it... just a small matter of finding them!

Good luck to everyone who is trying to sell at the moment.

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Dear Writersblock - Even your brief description of your property fills me with dread.

1) 'Renovated' ie by yourself or do you have artisans' bills and guarantees to show buyers?

2) 'projects to inspire a DIY enthusiast' = unfinished.

3) 'great potential' - Who says?

Nos 1 and 2 are guaranteed to deter 95% of buyers, and No 3 impossible to evaluate, especially in these hard times. I think the advice already given about listening to the views of an estate agent (or several) will be of more value than you can imagine.

P-D de Rouffignac www.francemedproperty.blogspot.com

 

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I just had an apéro with a charming estate agent (one of the biggest in the area).

He is selling his agency because he is losing 10,000 euros a MONTH.

He used to have aé chain of shoe shops and said quite openly that he knows very little about Estate agency, but bought it about seven  years back when the "English idiots " came over and started paying idiotic prices.

He believes he has a buyer, and if he sells he is thinking of opening a Matrimonial Agency, especially to help divorced women in the 35-55 age group.

He is a genuinely nice guy, but that gives a fair picture of the level of professionalism among French Estate agents.

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Thanks for that... in this case 'Renovated' means to a very high standard by professional craftsmen using the finest quality materials - we've seen to many 'bodgers' and 'so called builders' which is why we used our own highly qualified people.

Projects for a DIY enthusiast is self explanatory - we've left some areas in the barns to finish, having done the hard work ourselves - its up to the buyer to decide upon decor.

Great potential - We have been buying and selling luxury houses for decades and know potential when we see it!

I am disappointed with your negativity - please don't assume that we are all out to make a quick profit for very little return.

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[quote user="writersblock"]Thanks for that... in this case 'Renovated' means to a very high standard by professional craftsmen using the finest quality materials - we've seen to many 'bodgers' and 'so called builders' which is why we used our own highly qualified people...

I am disappointed with your negativity - please don't assume that we are all out to make a quick profit for very little return
[/quote]

Mr Cat is tells me that he is seeing more and more people who, although perhaps having bought fairly cheaply, have spent huge amounts on renovation, and then find that they need to sell.  Of course, the value of the house for them is an amount that will recoup at least the initial cost of the house and the additional costs of the renovation/swimming pool etc.  Sadly this is often vastly more than the market value of the house (what a buyer will pay, rather than what a seller expects).

It's sad to see people trapped in this position, they can't afford to stay put, but can't afford to sell.

I'm not implying that this is your position writersblock, just that good renovations are expensive, and don't always pay for themselves in the short term.

 

 

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[quote user="NormanH"]I just had an apéro with a charming estate agent (one of the biggest in the area).

He is selling his agency because he is losing 10,000 euros a MONTH.

He used to have aé chain of shoe shops and said quite openly that he knows very little about Estate agency, but bought it about seven  years back when the "English idiots " came over and started paying idiotic prices.

He believes he has a buyer, and if he sells he is thinking of opening a Matrimonial Agency, especially to help divorced women in the 35-55 age group.

He is a genuinely nice guy, but that gives a fair picture of the level of professionalism among French Estate agents.
[/quote]

 

I hardly think one single example gives a "fair picture" !!

I work for an estate agent and know others, and they have qualifications and decades of experience. Clearly this guy will do pretty much anything if he thinks it could make him a quick buck.

My guess is that it is his lack of knowledge and experience that explains why he is now going under when others who ARE professional are still keeping their heads above water in hard times.

Clearly some estate agents do have bad reputations but not all of them!

Lou

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