French estate agency fees are notoriously high, often over 10%. The team at the guru have noticed that many selling owners also let their properties on popular rental websites: www.ownersdirect.co.uk, www.vrbo.com, and www.holidaylettings.co.uk to name just a few.It may be a little naughty but prospective buyers can check local agency websites and then contact the owner direct via the lettings websites. There’s also the opportunity to rent, and try before you buy!
Here’s a great flat we found in Villefranche sur mer which is available to buy and rent.
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Very clever idea ! Being a French real estate myself, I simply would like to give a point de vue from the other side, the dark side ! Commissions are never 10% of the net price. They are obviously higher than in other European countries, they are frequently between 4 and 7%. An estate agent here does not at all the same work than agents in the UK for instance. He/she starts marketing the house at his/her own expenses, starts work on all legal aspects (finds out what is or is not legal, checks the urban planning documents, the building permit the existence of rights of ways… ), still not being paid. And more and more, opens the house for the diagnostiqueur, has to find a septic tank noone has heard of… He/she also shows the house, 1,2,3 times… still for not a penny from the owners. He may be using a car that needs expensive petrol ! Sometimes clients visit 5 houses and find it mostly decent no to give any feed back. On their side, the owners, to thank their agent, give the house to other agencies, so they have more chance to sell and the agencies have more fun ! In this fab world, you can also find so-called agents, from all over Europe, claiming they work better than the French, oh you know France !!! They work and do not pay any taxes (but yet find it completely normal that schools here are free, as are hospitals, doctors). At the end, after having spent quite some time working (most of the weeks way more than 35 hours a week, it can even go up to 54, oui Monsieur, c’est possible even for a Frog !!!), he/she eventually sells a house. After the client may have visited many houses with many agents… Ouf…. Commission !!! From which you should take off VAT (19,6%) and Impôts sur les sociétés environ 30%. In France, unlike in the UK, agents have 2 clients, the buyer and the owner. A good French agent should have a law degree, as he does the same type of work a solicitor does in the UK. And French laws are quite something ! I am sure I could make a much longer comment, there is so much to say about this !!! And, having said all this, I may add that am always amused to find out about ways people try to walk away from agents and how they highly disrespect their work. I have to say I had not thought of getting in touch with the owners through renting sites ! Thank you anyway for letting me discover such a fun way ! Also, congrats for you website, witty, fun, well written, interesting ! An English friend of mine passed me on the link… I like it very much, but really can’t share it with most of my european clients, I’d be too afraid they could find out they can live without me ! And last, I think you’d be relieved to find out that you are not the only one dreaming of a France without French real Estate, just check out this article http://www.nicematin.com/derniere-minute/diapo-une-bombe-du-front-de-liberation-de-la-provence-devant-une-banque-a-draguignan.1250021.html
I am sure you may not publish my comment, I just hope you’ll have time and patience to read it.
Respectueuses salutations, Sophie Carrère. A honest French Real Estate Agent, loving her job, and respecting any Provence Lover, clients or not clients !