French Estate Agents - general questions and local to Duras

Hi all;

I wasn’t heavily involved in the purchase of the house in France so I don’t really know the French system. My mother (retired and struggling with paperwork atm) is thinking of selling up, so I need to get my head around it properly so I can act on her behalf. Can somebody please briefly explain the system, and what the points of difference are between selling a house in France and selling it in the UK?

Also, my mother has been contacted by a local EA who is interested in selling the property. If we go ahead with that I will need to negotiate a commission rate etc. What is a reasonable rate? Is it usual to put a house on as sole agency or would you normally have multiple agencies and does it make a difference to the commission rate? Do you have any advice for dealing with agencies in France?

The house is between Ste Foy le Grande and Duras in Lot et Garonne, and I’m sure there are lots of agencies there so we ought to talk to more than one. Does anybody have a local recommendation? Or is the internet actually best, or what?


You will also need to provide the buyer with a handful of surveys: lead contamination, asbestos report, termite and other timber parasites, an energy report, an electrical report, not sure if gas is obligatory now as well and a declaration of natural disaster risk as provided by the Mairie . You need to pay for these and present them, before anyone signs a promise to buy.

I would recommend that you put the house with as many agents as possible. You automatically have a wider coverage.
Agencies are obliged to have their tariffs on view in the office, and on top off that, it is usual for the buyer to pay the agency fee (although rarely it can be the seller).
You need to stipulate the net vendeur - or the amount that you want returned, outside of notaire and agent fees, they will then add their prices to that.
In addition to this you can advertise privately and have the notaire draw up the promise to contract and eventually the sale / ownership document.
Do not sign an exclusive agency agreement, this will prevent you from putting it with a number of agencies, and in most cases, prevent you from selling it yourself if it is you who finds a buyer.
This is not exhaustive, but I hope it goes some way to helping you.
Best regards

Hi Sian
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