Sunday, 27 March 2011

Reduced by over 200,000 Euros

A fantastic property existing of a main house with a guesthouse and a swimming pool , this all on land of about 5 hectares.
The main house has an elevated ground floor: covered terrace of 28 m² , giving access to the entrances of the house and a guest room (18 m² with bathroom and separate toilet). Kitchen of 28 m², living room of 22 m², dining room of 45 m² , a study area of 26 m², a mezzanine of 10 m². Laundry room, side kitchen, toilet and cloakroom. A large, tiled terrace facing south of 90 m² overlooking a charming inner court yard.
First floor: A room of 34 m² with private bathroom, toilet and dressing, a room of 11 m² with private bathroom and toilet, and 2 more rooms of 10 m ², bathroom, separate toilet and hallway.Basement: cellar of 100 m² with a garage, cave and toilet.
Guesthouse: Ground floor: A terrace of 50 m² of which 30 m² covered. Kitchen-dining room bathroom/toilet and living room.
First floor: 2 rooms and separate toilet.Out buildings (450 m² ground floor 167 m² upper floor). A closed barn, a closed hangar, sloping roof and a little tower.
A swimming pool of 10 x 5m, heated and salt, finished of according to security norms. Solar shower, 105 m² beach and local installation. An area of approximately 5 hectares of which 3 hectares is forested. Superb location with all privacy, fantastic views and no direct neighbours.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Mandates, bon de visits & paperwork

Before an agent is able to market the property in France on behalf of a client, they need to have their formal consent, and this normally is covered in the “mandat de vente”.

This is normally, but not always, on a non-exclusive basis, allowing the vendor to sell privately or via another agency. This document details the vendors, the property to be sold, the asking price and the agency fees.

When as a buyer, you view property via an agency, it is standard practice to sign a “bon de visite”, in fact it is a legal requirement to do so. This document lists the buyer’s details, summarises in brief the properties to be visited etc.

It demands that the client will deal with the agency for any negotiations for the properties listed. This ensures that the agency will be paid any commission that they are due resulting from the sale.

Sometimes, buyers try to be devious, and go behind the agents’ back, in an attempt to save fees. They are still liable if they are taken to task, and if the buyers is proven to be an accomplice, they are also liable.

This was the recent decision of the French Supreme Court (Cour de Cassation) in a case that came before them. They found that the estate agents had been formally instructed by the sellers on the sale of their property, for which they had a written contract (mandat de vente). The buyer and vendor tried to avoid the agency fees and deal directly with each other, with the vendor even cancelling the mandat. Although the contract had been terminated by the seller, the terms still required they pay the agent’s commission for potential buyers introduced to them up the end of the contract period. The commission continued to be payable for a period of 18 months for any clients who had been introduced to the seller up to expiration of the contract. By dealing directly with a introduced by the agent during this period, the court deemed that the seller had committed a breach of contract.

The commission payment due under the contract was 15,400€ and as the court considered that this sum was not excessive and reasonably justified, it was due by the seller.The court also examined the responsibility of the buyer in this particular matter. It found that they had dealt with the seller directly less than 2 months after having been introduced to the property by the agent. The court ruled that the buyer could not escape their responsibility for the commission by arguing that they were not party to the contract between the seller and the agent, since they had signed a ‘bon de visite’ which bound the buyer to deal irrevocably with the agent in their dealings with the seller. On this basis the buyer was equally complicit with the seller in defrauding the agent of their commission. As a result, the court found that the buyer and vendor were equally liable for the payment of damages.

Don't try to cut out the middle man - you have been warned !

Peter Elias (Agent Commercial)

Thursday, 3 March 2011

D P E reports - a waste of time & money

For several months, I have been very suspicious about the validity of some of the DPE (energy) reports that we have been receiving on our houses. Some properties that are very well insulated do not come out very well in the survey, whilst some totally unrenovated properties seem to escape the wrath of the technician carrying out the diagnostic report. We have 2 absolutely identical properties with differing reports, but in a recent independent survey, a company asked 16 diagnostic experts to visit 4 houses, and only 1 of the houses was classified in the same band by all experts. 2 properties, (50% of the sample), were actually classified under 3 different bands, by these so called experts ! Given that these reports will dictate the level of 0% finance that could be available on a property, these are pretty serious findings, but do not really surprise me. For the full article (in French) follow this link Peter Elias (Agent Commercial)