Sunday, 26 July 2009

Sunday, 26 July 2009

French Estate Agents (Agent Immobilier) and Mandats

This is a highly regulated profession in France and the Agent Immobilier (or French Estate Agent) must be formally registered and bonded as such with French authorities. The paperwork that they are required to keep is quite detailed and very specific. As a consequence, when viewing property in France, you will be asked to sign a “Bon de Visite”, which is actually a legal requirement in France, (loi Hoguet), although not all agents ask you to sign these documents. It does beg the question that if other agents do not ask you to sign, how competent will they be with any paperwork resulting form a potential purchase. It does not commit you to anything, but provides a record of the properties that you view and shows that your agent introduced you to that property and the owners. It also requires that you will deal with the agent with whom you have visited a property, and not via a 3rd party or directly with the owners. This of course also ensures that the agent that introduces you to the property will get paid should you proceed to purchase. Before you can view a property, a agent will need to have a suitable “Mandat de Vente”, (also loi Hoguet), (empowering them to sell a property on behalf of the vendor) completed by the vendor and suitably registered. Any agents showing houses without a registered mandat de vente are breaking the law and the consequences are very serious. The mandates may be on an exclusive, non-exclusive, or semi-exclusive basis. Since most French properties offered for sale are on the books of several agents, the most common option is the non-exclusive basis. Vendors need to examine the terms of exclusive and semi-exclusive contract before signing as they may be committed for long periods of time and forced to pay a 2nd commission. Another type of mandat is a “mandate de recherche” (empowering them to seek out property to buy on behalf of a purchaser) and the mandat will specify the price band, type of property and the amount of remuneration. Finally a word of warning to anyone, of whatever nationality, who is not registered as an Estate Agent or Agent Commercial in France, and who attempts to take a commission on brokering properties, could be held to be committing a criminal offence. For a selection of properties in the Poitou Charentes region of France use the following link http://www.allez-francais.com/search.php Peter Elias (Agent Commercial), La Moinerie, 79500 Paizay le Tort, Deux-Sèvres, FRANCE
Tel: 00 33 (0)5 49 27 01 22 or Tel: 00 33 (0)8 77 07 58 99 Mob: 00 33 (0)6 62 28 02 25
Tel: 0871 717 4176 (UK) Fax: 0870 458 1804 (UK)
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