Help - what happens if we pull out of a sale?


Hi Ray… just wondering if there is any more news on your Sale…

That is, if you don’t mind letting us know how everything turns out (no private details of course)… I am sure it would be useful information… you will surely not be the only one who finds themself in such a situation…

Good luck

Hi Stella
I will update you all by Monday when we sign the acte de vente, as we did
not pull out. Generally do not trust estate agents (some anyway) always get
second opinions.

Back to you later -packing and in a rush.


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Hello, I am new to this site. My husband and I are in the process of buying a house in the Charente Maritime. I have a general compromis question: Our draft compromis includes a section under the Penalty Clause that states that if one of the parties pulls out from the sale (after the compromis is signed, the 10 days have passed, and the deposit is on file with the notaire) that party is not only liable for the loss of the deposit but also for the total agency fee. We had always been told that if you pull out you lose your deposit but not that you have to pay the agency’s fee (which is much more than the deposit). Is this standard?

@Genevieve1964 If there is a clause regarding the agents fees you could ask your Notaire to query it if you’re not happy with it.

Thanks, Tim. I’m getting feedback to that effect from various people. I asked our translator (we had to pay a certified translator here in California) if any of the other compromis he had translated included a clause like that, and he said no, he had never seen it before. So it seems now I need to wrestle with the notaire to get a fair number of things (including this) changed. Getting her to respond to me is like pushing a tractor tire uphill. The fact that I’m 6000 miles and 9 time zones away doesn’t help.

I’ve sent you a PM.

Yes it is worth checking about agency fees. We wanted to pull out on the
day of singing the acte de vente and the agent threatened us that we had
signed an agents form that suggested we would have to pay. In the end we
went ahead with the sale. We were unhappy with the attitude of our 'fiend’
the agent. Of course he was up for losing his 7,000 or so.


Yes, if you have signed a contract with an Agent… it is important to note whether or not you are signing for them to “find” a purchaser… if they find a purchaser and you refuse to sell… obviously you have to pay up… :cry:

we were not singing -sorry for typing error - should of course be signing!

That’s a shame :grin: singing the acte de vente would make the process a lot less tedious.

The notaire could sing the clauses, and the seller and buyer chant “lu et approuvé” in harmony after each one.

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We arrived to sign our Acte de Vente… 7 hours late… and I think the Sellers (5 siblings) may have waited patiently in the nearby Bar…:wink:

When we finally met up… everyone was so happy…including us… that we could well have burst into song :grinning:

I have to admit to being curious as to exactly why French estate agents charge such high fees - compared to the UK at any rate.

The fact that, usually, the vendor chooses the agent but the purchaser pays the fee certainly plays into their hands since there is relatively little incentive on the vendors part to to shop around.

I think the fees charged are simple economics. In the UK the property market is more active and the average prices are higher. A small percentage of a high turnover generates as much money as a large percentage of a small turnover. French agents would not be able to stay in business if the fees were set at the level found in the U.K., the business would not be profitable.
I also disagree with the idea that there is no incentive for the vendors to shop around for the lowest fees. I think there is. When people are selling a house they know how much they hope to walk away with. If for example they ‘want €100,000 and have the choice of two agents, one that charges 5% and the other 10%. To get their €100,000 through the first agent the house would be marketed at €105,000, with the second €110,000. Buyers would find the second agent more attractive and the house would probably get more viewings. Buyers don’t go looking for a €100,000 plus fees property and look at properties with total costs within their price range.

Estate agents are not obligatory. If you don’t want to pay the fees and you don’t feel you need their services, you can go the private sale route. There are plenty of properties advertised on leboncoin and the like. In my case it was a simple enough sale with no rights of way or fosse or any of the other complications that come up, but everything went incredibly smoothly and I can’t see anything that an estate agent could possibly have contributed to the process. The notaire did a very thorough job of making sure that I fully understood the content of the acte and its implications. Reading threads that mention estate agents I sometimes think that they potentially cause more stress and delays and problems than they solve…


I guess you are right, though I’m not sure the difference in the market volume and price entirely explains the difference (the French market has been resurgent this year so transaction volumes much closer than they have been).

However we paid nearly a five figure sum (about 6% of the sale) for a couple of days viewing - we even did the driving as our car was larger and more comfortable than the Agent’s so we didn’t have warm feelings about value for money at the end of the process.

At least things were straightforward and civil :slight_smile: