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Does this sound right or am i being ripped off ?


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This is the reply i got from an immobilier when askled about fees/commsisions on a purchase i am considering making :

“The price of 180.000 is what the owner wants in his pocket. This is negotiable and I will advise on how to get this down as part of my commitment to you. The final price that is reached attracts a kind of stamp duty (faris de notaire) this will be just under 8% if you are a cash buyer (we can discuss what is a cash buyer later and how that may affect you). I have a fee for managing the process, translating and representing you in a professional manner to purchase the property and be able to get what you want out of it. This is a fixed service fee of  10,000 euros to be paid on completion. I can give you a copy of my agreement when you come”

Can people advise if the above sounds true & correct ? is he suggesting that he will act as a notaire as well as an agent ?

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In what capacity has he offered his services?  The notaires fees (for 'conveyancing') are approximately 8% of the property price and are predominantly taxes.  The reference to cash sale is, presumably, because an additional fee is charged by the notaire if there is a mortgage (usually 1% of the borrowed funds). However, a notaire doesn't usually charge a fixed fee - and neither does an immobilier agent (I can't see any reference to agents fees in the above).  Is this a 'handholding service' because if so a) he is duplicating many of the services you will already be paying your notaire / agent to perform and b) he is charging a very high fee for the privelege (IMHO)


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If the 10.000€ includes his agency commission that doesn't sound too bad although you could still try to negotiate this figure downwards.

If it's in addition to his agency fee then it's a scandalous rip off and you should start asking yourself if you're being ripped off with the selling price also.

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when we were looking, we came across agents (brits) who had a fixed fee added on.  i presume that this is a fee in ADDITION to those charged by the french agent and, of course, in addition to the notaire's fees.

the adverts always said, "all fees included, what you see is what you pay" which meant the price was quoted gross of all fees.  when i read the small print, i could see the breakdown of these fees and the british agent typically added something like 5% (the exact figure eludes me).  needless to say, much as i liked some of the properties on offer, i kept well away from such agents.  there was no way i was going to pay the notaire's fees (compulsory), a french agent's fee AND a british agent's fee.

in the event, we only paid the notaire's fees because we bought from a private seller

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We are in the process of buying too.

Our agent is charging 8% , but they do far more for their money than

British ones. They are much more involved with the paperwork, and she

said it's her job to read the elec meter(!)

We were warned to expect to pay up to 20% of the value of the house for

the legal and agent's work- bit of a sliding scale I understand. We are

sending 10% of the value to the notaire and we were advised that we

should expect some money back.

Hope this is of some help!

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It's a little unusual in one respect, but sounds perfectly reasonable to me.

The 180,000€ figure is the 'net vendeur' (NV) price, which is often quoted, particularly by notaires. Agents more commonly (though far from universally) quote a 'frais agence inclus' (FAI), also sometimes called FAC, figure, which includes their fee - so in your case you are talking about 190,000€ FAI.

The 'frais notaire' is the legal fee, which covers the notaire's fee, though the greatest part of this goes on taxes, roughly equivalent to UK stamp duty. The legal fee is commonly around 8%, though the percentage is higher for cheap property and lower for more expensive houses. It is fixed by a government-controlled scale, though the notaire's own part can be negotiated down this is not common, and, anyway, the tax cannot be reduced (well, it can by including certain items as fixtures and fittings, but that's another story altogether). The frais notaire on a 180,000€ property (over 5 years old in mainland France, bought without a mortgage) works out at 12,600€, of which about 9800€ goes on various taxes (9162€ on the 'stamp duty'). The rest covers the notaire's fees and expenses.

The slightly unusual aspect is the fact that the agent is quoting you a flat fee. Normally agents work on a percentage, and as the percentage is on average about 7% and your agent's fee represents about 5.5% that doesn't seem too bad. You certainly are not being ripped off - that tends to happen more with agents quoting 'all inclusive' fees, though many of these are perfectly honest.

No, the agent is not acting as the notaire (though notaires can sell houses too, and they charge a commission of 2.5% to 5% plus 19.6% TVA).

Hope this explains the system a bit more clearly.

Edit - I don't intepret the figures as being non-inclusive of an agency fee as some of the replies above have done, but you do need to establish that the 10,000€ is the agency fee. Any decent agent in France will include translation and 'hand holding' services, so you do not usually need to pay any extra.

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A property professional  (i.e. estate agent) should be able to tell you all the fees which are due and therefore the final cost  to a fair degree of accuracy. You need to know this and if in any doubt you can confirm with a notaire if it gets that far. Before that ask and ask again to get to the bottom of it and get it in writing if necessary.

The fixed fee is not so fishy for an estate agent in that one agent I have used in the sale of a house used a bareme (scale?) which kept the same  fixed (sort of!) agency fee for a range of prices e.g. 10 000 € for a property sold for between the prices 150 000€ and 200 000€. It was not a percentage and would be reduced if the property went for below that scale cut-off.



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