Sunday, 17 July 2011

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Exclusive mandats

One of my pet hates is French agencies using “sole agency” on their properties without explaining the potential outcome to their clients, (the vendors). In the Poitou Charentes, there is one well-known agency who is particularly active in this respect. There is also one Notaire who is also into the exclusive agency business. What does it offer for the vendor – well, not a lot apart from a number of promises by the agent, which they will struggle to keep. Normally this is based on increased advertising and internet presence. In practice, it means that the agency can sit back a bit in the knowledge that they have blocked the sale of the property by any other agencies for a period of at least ¼ of the year, sometimes even longer. The agent that I have in mind, currently has 34 properties advertised as sole agent, even though I have seen a registered mandat with another agency, created before their exclusive mandat, that is still valid. So that could prove interesting ! This agency takes out a small 2 property advert in the French Property press, so over the period of a quarter only 6 out of those 34 properties will benefit from this “high profile” marketing. In the Dordogne valley, if we enter into an exclusive agreement, it is very much on a “gentleman’s agreement”, and the vendor only signs a non-exclusive mandat, there being trust between both parties that the deal will be honoured. In return we are able to arrange floor-plans and elevated photography to make the property really stand out in the market place. We think this added-value is much better than an empty promise.
Rarely to vendors know how to get out of these exclusive mandates, which normally requires a registered letter (AR), towards the end of the 3 month exclusive period as a minimum, to renounce the contract. Mandates for the purchase of French property are often signed in haste by keen sellers and buyers and repented on at leisure. They are a fruitful source of work for litigation lawyers in France and regularly keep the French Appeal Courts and Supreme Court occupied. UK buyers and sellers are at a big disadvantage as the system in England is not the same and they do not understand what they are signing. So, you have been warned.
Filed Under:

0 comments:

Post a Comment