I recently toyed with the idea of putting my house on the market and moving to something a bit smaller with a bit more land… Quelle Horreur!!! when I discovered that the french estate agent takes 6% of the sales price. Compared to our trusty , much maligned british breed at 1.5% this seems somewhat over the top nespas! Forgive me for asking and I would generally like to know how come they think they deserve this fee.

From what I see on advertising boards, there has been little effort to make a room photogenic or even remove the kids toys or rubbish bags prior to photo, and if I see another plastic, vacum formed chair in a shot , I think I will have to start a revolt.

As an interior stylist I have long been under the impression that all things french were held in some lofty regard and I have a library full of reference books with titles such as French Style…French country…etc. But it would seem that the french don’t give them a first glance.

When I enquired from my local immobilier as to why the house that interested me wasn’t presented better in their window, I was quickly met with a great deal of shrugging

and general disinterest…What do they do for that meaty 6%?

In the old days when we found french ruins with dead peoples clothes in a corner and remains of the dogs last meal, we didn’t complain, but hey! Those houses were 12 grand…Now they want a princes’s ransom for a hovel with potential…Do they think we are mad? We are raving mad because we happily pay it. Not me. Oh No. So if anyone wants a 14th century beautiful, huge old townhouse, come direct, and I wont offer you a seat on a plastic chair to write the cheque. !

how often does a seller insist of having the price they want and then is annoyed when the agent doesnt do any visits.

I spite of the charges you highlight, French estate agents are having a tough time. We had four in our town until recently, with the notaires also playing at selling. We are down to one agent this year.
Selling houses is a numbers business: in order to find the clients companies like Pierre Immo International ( in over 50 property web sites, including some of those you mention, in addition to having their own web site. Most of their agents (ex Pats in the main, like me) also have web sites.
We are horrified by the way many French agents work. Poor customer service, poor sales information and systems and high fees seem common-place. We recently wanted to buy a property in the town for my parents, found the ideal house on a web site and dropped in to see the agent about it. We were told she was too busy to talk to us that week…maybe next week. As it happened our notaire had the same property at a slightly higher price: guess where we bought it!

British buyers do demand more which is why companies like Pierre Immo are doing well, I guess. Around 50% of our properties are owned by British clients, who find us on the internet. The other 50% are locals hearing about us from others we have helped. We are pleased to hear from both groups as it seems to confirm we are doing something right.

The fees dont seem to go far however, when all the costs of selling a property are added up; however it looks, this is not a “get rich quick” business for us…perhaps we are doing something wrong!

Excellent site is It’s free, and you can use your french translation from Immogo to put on there.For extensive promotion there is also

Many thanks Gregor I have it placed on IMMO item 743, But I am also looking at other sites (free ones) to widen the net

Thanks again


I would just like to put my tuppenies worth in, I live in Burgundy and there are many propeties here that have been on the market for a long time , not a lot moving, having
made my house ready for sale I took plenty of photos and presented it the best I could,
An agent said he could sell our house without any problem, we agreed a price that we wanted end filled us full of confidence, then proceded to take his own photos, when I saw his adert when I eventually found it on his website it looked nothing like our house, That was 2 months ago and we have not heard a word since,
I have since placed it on a couple of English sites plus the boncoin, as yet no response,so if anyone is interested in a renovated house in Burgundy let me know



Wonderful story and absolutely confirms what i said at the very start of this discussion.
Sometimes, I kid you not, I have seen interior shots of rooms where the shutters have been tightly closed on a summers day, no attempt to suggest a view.
Having been a stylist for over forty years arranging rooms sets for Tv. Film and photo shoots I know how little time and effort it takes to make a room appealing. One doesn’t need to throw money at it, just a few thoughtful well placed items that suggest love and care.
Agents are selling more than stone and mortar. A home takes on the spirit of those that have lived in it, loved it and cared for it over the years. It is our hearts that generally choose a house, our heads follow later with the practical issues. A Jungian course in the psychology of man’s relationship to matter might be a worthwhile workshop for all contemplating a career in french real estate.

I have a couple of real estate sites, like and property-france-fr. These sites are all exclusively for private sellers, no agents. Some sellers - especially the French - send in really lousy pictures. But by far the most of them upload very professional looking pics. Even people who have no real internet skills (they have a hard time getting through the forms and sometimes have to send me the pictures by mail) manage to send in sets of 15 to 20 high quality photos that make for a comprehensive presentation. It seems that at least for this part, they do not really need the help of an AI.

I recently sold a property in France.
I set up a website as I wanted a private sale and I took a selection of photos.
I also placed the property with a few local agents and I emailed them my photos.
Every single agent insisted on taking their own photos as mine showed a tidy property and they ALL believed that to sell a property it needed to look lived in. OK I thought, they are the pros…
Their photos included the kitchen with piles of washing up, the bedroom full of my cardboard packing boxes and a cat snoozing in the bath. The photos did not include the magnificent view, the 17th century original staircase nor parts of the property where the colombages had been restored.
My flat was sold privately to someone who happened upon my website.

I do agree with comments below that estate agents often don’t earn a fortune (two agents who marketed my flat are very good friends). Most receive a basic salary (SMIC)which they have to reimburse with commission earned on sales and can often find themselves owing their agencies money.

That said, photos can make or break the sale particularly nowadays when people often begin their search online and won’t even click onto further details if the property is not presented in an attractive manner…

No, I’m in North West France. The Immobilier I’m with does have agents in the South West, is the link

Hi Jennie
Are you anywhere around Bergerac please?

sounds like things are moving well up your way. Very quiet down here. Yes, a professional valuation will give you a reasonable market price at which your property WILL sell. I sold a three bedroomed house with two garages and swimming pool, walking distance of Orthez town centre, in just three weeks. And I had two people bidding for it.

Well, I’ve sold three properties in the past three weeks, one a cheap little village house, a rural property with a lake and gite and a lovely chateau. All good value and priced for today’s market. If sellers would only take heed of professional valuations, they will have more success in selling. It is not the agent’s fault usually if no one wants to buy your house.The main reason at the moment is the global economy, maybe another recession and the fact that many potential buyers have property they themselves cannot sell. Out of the three I sold, the chateau went to a non EU buyer, the lake & gite to a local couple and the village house to U.K. buyers.

I always visit and value property within a couple of days of the initial request and answer all enquiries within 24 hours.

If you want to get your house appraised, don’t hesitate to ask your notary public to do it. They can take it in their portfolio and if they find you a buyer, you pay them 3.5% ‘frais de négociation’ on top of the normal notary fee and taxes etc (paid by the buyer).

The notary often gives a more realistic price becuase they simple base it on the selling prices (not asking prices!) of similar houses in your region. Before, estate agents would promise the sellers much to high a price for their home, because it would sell easily and they’d make more money. Now many agents tend to under-estimate the houses, just because they want to sell quickly and are happy with any success.

If you want to try and sell yourself, you could just put your house on a lot of free sites. Or have me do it for you. I work for a real estate advertising company, Immo à Trois. We work on a no cure no pay-basis and offer international advertising including translations and a Google adwords campaign made especially for your property. Have a look on

But of course you could do it yourself and get your house on,,, and some of the other free and paid sites out there. Steer clear of and partenaireeuropeen. They have a bad reputation.
We are testing with water with putting out house on the market, I rang our local agent back in December and he only got back to me last week and manged to come up to chat to us about it. I rang another one locally and they are coming tomorrow.
There are so many houses on the market it’s scary, and finding something that we like I fear may not be easy - we’re so picky…

Wow, you were lucky to actually get someone to value your house! I have a substantial property that we are seriously considering selling. 2 Agents I spoke to said someone would call me back (that was 3 months ago!), one came, took photos sent me a draft and I haven’t heard a dicky-bird from her since. Another came in July and loved the house, took copious measurements, photographed everything that wasn’t moving, again, just the property they were looking for on their books - not another word. Did I speak to them in English, no, in French (albeit possibly not quite perfect) but they understood me. duh, what do you have to do to actually get someone to sell your house for you - no wonder they charge such exorbitant rates, they have to to stay in business cos they can’t have that many on their books!!!

Morning Miv
Taking advantage of your excellent offering to just mention quickly that our house is also for sale just a few minutes drive from Bergerac centre. If anyone is interested, please contact me It is a large old farmhouse with lots of outbuildings, nearly 4 hectares of land.
Thank you, have a great day

Jenny, love this coment, so true!

Yes indeed, thanks again.

As an agent myself, (who works very hard for very little return) I love your last comment!