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Buying - who pays the agent?

Posted by rosetta-185721 - Created: 13 years ago
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I'm thinking of buying a property here and can't seem to get a straight answer on who pays the agency fees - most of my friends who've bought say they've paid the agency about 8% and it's been included in the purchase price, but then listed separately in on the Compris de Vente (sp?) etc. But I've also read that the vendor pays - can't see why they would if they could add it to the purchase price. Can anyone help? Seems a lot for the poor buyer, especially as the Notaire (fee and taxes) is about 8% too!


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10 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 10)

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Posted by scotsgirl-194444 - 13 years ago

DublinMike: Apologies that my brain is not as lightening fast as yours, but I CAN read and it would seem that two out of three of respondents say the buyer does pay the agents fees :-)

PnC Yes, I agree - if I were selling I'd make the buyer pay the fees.

I'm not hung up on this - the topic is after all, "Buying - who pays the agent"! I've already bought (and paid the agency fees, but "only" 4%).

peace and love,

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Posted by No.6 - 13 years ago

RF: I've bought twice here in 6 years. The Title deeds and the Notaire's refund on charges (basically because these charges are always approximated upwards at the time of purchase) came some 9 and 12 months respectively, following the date of purchase.  Based on this, I would say that 20 months is pushing it a bit and would give the Notaire a call..

Romantica: there is no CGT to pay if the property you're selling is your only residence..

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Posted by Montana99 - 13 years ago

Notaire fees are based upon the purchase price (less the agency fees) - you must also take into consideration whether or not you have a mortgage because those fees get tacked on as well.

Interestingly enough, a "caution" here is cheaper.  If you must get a "hypothèque" on the house you'll pay for that also (no one EVER tells you everything up front!) and to sell the house you'll have to do a "lever d'hypothèque" which means the money paid for the house that was sold goes to the bank to clear the "hypthèque" then the notaire can transfer ownership to the new owner.  BUT that also entails more fees for the notaire to do the "lever d'hypothèque". (So again, you pay the notaire twice, when you buy and then when you sell).

Now, 2 more pieces of information:

Most "hypothèques" are imposed on loans that the bank feels may NOT be paid.  You can also look into having a "caution" instead, which is cheaper (and sometimes part of it is reimbursed when you sell that particular property).  There are also risks here because there is no notarial verification that the house was completely paid for at the time of the resale.  

It usually takes about 6 months before you get an actual "acte de propriété", but the notaire can provide you will papers stating you have purchased the house with the date of purchase on it.  You can also have copies without the purchase price (it's NOT everyone's business how much you paid for it!).


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Posted by Riviera fan - 13 years ago

I purchased an apt., and signed all documents in January 2003, but had to pay agents fee as well as notaires fees. The agents fee was presented to me in the premises of the notaire. Can anyone tell me how long you have to wait before the Title Deeds are handed over?. Also I was told that there would be some sort of rebate of the notaires fee, because this is normally overpriced at the time. Not forthcoming yet.AAW

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Posted by jamesh19 - 13 years ago

Listen to DMike : there is no cash transfer here apart from the actual price the vendor could have gotten by going private being reduced as a result of the commssion due to any agent involved being divvied up - the vendor gets stung (invisibly yes, and the agent is normally very quiet about it too) !! and the purchaser buys at market prices (if clued up...)

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Posted by scarlett-183632 - 13 years ago

Can someone tell me just what agents here do to earn their 'hard earned' fees? My experience of local estate agents is for the most part, that they are greedy, agressive and rude.

When I first started looking for a property, I told the agent how much I wanted to pay, where I wanted to live and what I wanted to live in. He promptly took me to an area where I didn't want to live and the kind of property I did not wish to live in. Oddly, he is no longer in business.

On the selling end when I asked the agent what my property was worth he asked 'how much do you want'? Surely it is his job to evaluate a property.

Buying and selling here is not like the UK and I have done both and in the future I plan to be very careful.

Cocou, Déirdre xxx

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Posted by TonyP-191937 - 13 years ago

There are websites where people can post details and thus cut out the agent.

The problem is, the seller wants the market price, i.e. the price that local agents want for similar properties.

For the buyer then, there is no real advantage in checking such a site.  Often there are only a limited number of properties available, and they may not be available any more.

In spite of what scotsgirl says buyers cant understand that paying 150000 for a flat from an agency is more expensive than paying 150000 for a similar flat from a private individual.  They just dont see that they are paying the agency fees.

It is much easier to buy through a local agent.  You can tell them what you want, and they phone you when something comes up.  Often they can take you to see a number of places in a single trip.



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Posted by jamesh19 - 13 years ago

And us...we went to a non-nationality specific agency : there was no fee outlined anywhere charged to us as buyers (checked Compromis de Vente, Acte de Vente, and specified by Notaire) - I cant say how much the vendors were charged but they said they were

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Posted by rosetta-185721 - 13 years ago

This is great - thanks so much to everone who replied - I feel a lot more confident about the process after all your great advice! Thanks for taking the time!


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Posted by PnC - 13 years ago

Short term property purchase!! - This is exactly what the French government is trying to avoid - look at what has happened to the UK property market! people are so preoccupied with interest rates and property prices and making a quick buck that no one enjoys living where they are. All the rules/fees and taxes in France add stability to the market.

You cant borrow more than 1/3 of your income, agent and notaires fees are so high that turnover is lowered, remortgaging on the whole will cost you, CGT rules are hugely generous the longer you hold the property (and that includes investment properties). I am not saying that the government has had a hand in all of these but the property culture here is so much nicer to be involved in... and once you commit to buying ( a bit like in scotland) you go ahead quickly.

I appreciate that these are sweepin generalisations and i dont mean for this thread to become a slagging match of worst case scenarios but these are my observations of working in both markets!

Scotsgirl, I would agree with others - dont worry about the fees - you are right that they are tacked ontop of what the buyer wants in his pocket - but put yourself in the buyers shoes... if you want 200k for your place would you add on the fees to the asking price or accept 188k instead? I know what i would do. Good luck with your purchase.