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Translation of Exclusive Mandate to Sell


debbie

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We currently live in the U.S. and are looking to sell our leaseback property in France. The company that manages our leaseback has offered to try to sell it exclusively for us and has submitted a mandate for our signature but it is only available in French and our French language skills are minimal. We have asked a French friend to translate it, which they have, but also told us that they are not experts on French legalese. I have also translated most of it through Microsoft Word and feel quite comfortable with the understanding. Also, the listing agent, who sent us the mandate, has been helpful with translating questions. Based on this, I am comfortable with signing the mandate but my husband feels we should pay a legal service to formally translate the mandate before signing. I would prefer not to pay for that fee since we are already listing the property for less than we paid and because I feel comfortable with the translations and information I've received. Can someone kindly recommend what they feel is best based on their own experiences?
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We were persuaded to give our property to an agent en exclusivite.

This meant that we could sell to nobody else during the time of the contract - six months

During that time he showed our property to precisely NOBODY and there was absolutely nothing we could do about it (as far as we could find out)

It was six months wasted.

Even at the end of the six months contract we were obliged to write a registered letter to inform these people that we would like to terminate the contract

If we hadn't done that we would still be tied with them today.

These contracts just rollover and rollover apparently.

Why not give them a non exclusive contract?
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I second Bubbles on this.  There isn't so much of a commission difference here - as there is in some countries - between exclusive and multiple agencies, so it is, imho, a dangerous step to take, especially as you are so far away and thus cannot kick *ss so easily.  There are many reports on this forum and others, of agencies who do less than their best for sellers and if yours turns out to be one such, then you will be stuffed, as Bubbles was.  You are probably also prevented from marketing the property yourself, via free websites or advertising - why shrink your market so much when it's small enough already?

Sorry, I know that's not the question you actually asked.  

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Hi Lori: No, I have not yet checked the price but it sounds like that should be the next step.

As for being exclusive, I had searched for many months before and was unable to find an immobillier who would sell our leaseback for us (saying the market is too saturated or no experience in selling them). I don't feel we can list it ourselves because we are not there to show it so we are a bit stuck with this one agent. However, on the positive side she has already sold another unit in our complex.
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I would check on the translation price as I think it is important to know exactly what is stated, no ambiguity or questions.  You simply KNOW.

I can relate to your issue about agents.  We contacted several attempting to get our home listed with them.  Many just never returned our phone calls, others called back only to say they are inundated with properties already and could not take anymore listings.  Seemed rather shocking, but factual.  I should add that these agents had never seen or heard anything about what type of property we were attempting to list/sell.

Still, I would never list with an agent exclusively.  Why can't the same agent offer you a contract to sell without exclusivity?  This should not be a problem for them. 

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Hiya, Sweets.

Well, actually, I did write a long blog on the whole 13 month affair which only ended last week.

The blog (or rant really) was written in one sitting in our darkest hour and helped me a lot. I felt so much better afterwards.

I thought about putting it on the forum but it is all still a bit raw and I want to be sure nothing will come back to bite me later.

If someone can advise how to make a blog available to interested parties I'll do it once I feel a bit safer!

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There was a thread a couple of months back (sorry, I haven't been able to find it) where a reader sold their property privately, and was then hit with a large bill from their non-exclusive agent on the basis that they (the agent) could have sold to someone else at full price, and their mandate had not been terminated by the fully-legal method (registered letter with proof of receipt - "accuse de reception"). You would be even more exposed to this on an exclusive mandate.

I would strongly recommend that you hold out for a non-exclusive mandate, which seems to be used for 99% of sales. We're currently selling, and our agents readily agreed to a non-exclusive mandate. We then agreed informally to give them a "solo run" for a period of time, apart from some (named) people we were already in contact with. There didn't seem to be any effect on commission rates.

You may of course be restricted in your choice of agent by the original purchase agreement. New buyers watch out!

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I would be asking myself is it more profitable for the company to have the property on leaseback or, if they sell it will it be on a non-leaseback basis and they will get no more money in the future.

Get a proper translation and if necessary get take legal advice. It is easy to put some not very nice clauses in legal documents - innocent looking clauses can have stings in the tail.

So you are selling for less than you paid for it is no excuse not to take legal advice - you could be even more out of pocket.

Paul

 

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Thank you all very much for your advice. I talked with my sister who is a RE Agent in Florida and she said all agents prefer to sell exclusively because they put so much time and money into trying to sell a home for someone that they don't want to lose that to another agent or the owner. She also said that it is common practice in the U.S. to require a formal letter requesting to end the agreement with the agent so is not surprised that France requires it as well. However, based on several comments I am going to tell the agent we prefer a non-exclusive agreement and see if they will agree to that. I'll also check on translation pricing too since it wouldn't hurt.
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