Interviewing Agent (France buying process)

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Tips on “Interviewing” the Agent

Before you meet your agent in France or while driving around with them, you’ll want to ‘interview’
them to ensure that they are going to provide you with a good service. Buying a property can take
months and you’ll want to ensure that you’re happy with your agent. Ask the agent the following
1. How long have you been in business? If it’s less than 2 years, you might want to proceed with
caution. The younger the company the higher the risk that they may not be able to compete with
the long standing companies and/or offer a complete service.
2. Do you have new build properties also? Not everyone is looking for that old farmhouse or
barn to renovate, new build is very much worth a consideration and a good agent should have
both old and new on their books.
Make sure you investigate if they stick to their word or, in the case of an agent, you want to make
sure that they are recommending developers that do what they say they’re going to do. And find
out if they will compensate you if timelines drag on!
3. Are you a legally registered agent? Unlike Britain, French estate agents must have
professional qualifications and have a licence from the chamber de commerce. Anyone who acts
as an agent must have a carte professionelle which must be renewed each year. Check that the
following notices are displayed in their office:
• Number of the carte professionelle
• Amount of financial guarantee
• Name & address of guarantee fund
• Name of their bank and account no.
• Amount and percentages of commission
If the agent is a member of FNAIM it means they have indemnity insurance up to €2,500,000.
The guarantee fund means you will not lose your deposit if the seller happens to do a runner.
4. Do you have testimonials or can I meet some of your past buyers? Ask for testimonials
and/or any feedback you can from people that have already purchased from the agent.
5. What are the financial options? On resale property you must usually pay between 5-10%
deposit on the signing of the first contract after which there is a 7 day cooling off period when the
buyer may pull out with deposit intact but the seller may not. On new build a preliminary contract
is also drawn up with the developer or agent whom the buyer has the right to vet. Once the
contract has been received the 7 day cooling off period starts, again during which time the buyer
may pull out.
The deposit depends on the length of time before completion of the project but is 5% if within one
year and under 2% if between one and two years with no deposit paid if beyond two years. Make
sure the developer or agent provides, as he is legally obliged to, a guarantee that the project will
be finished or a guarantee of full reimbursement if not. Most developers will have their own
guarantor. Again, check this! Remember that buying a new build property will almost always
take longer.
6. What other services can you help us with? Can the agent help you with finding furniture,
managing agents/caretakers and so forth? And what about after-sales service? Do they help
you to get your new property up and running? Will they introduce you to the local doctor,
pharmacist, open a bank account for you? Good agents will not stop once the property

For more information how to get ready to buy in France
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Enjoy reading !!!!

Good luck
PS: for any help feel free to contact me
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