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French Immobilière. A warning

French Immobilière. A warning

Old May 1st 2022, 5:18 pm
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Default French Immobilière. A warning

If I may, I would like to offer people a warning as to how I was once treated by a French Immobilière.

I had made arrangements to meet a representative of an agency the following week by phone and confirmed by email. The representative of course had my email address and my phone number. On reaching the house in question, on the day of the appointment a week later, I was greeted by the owner who told me that the house had been sold. The Immobilièr had made no attempt to inform me of the fact. No email, no phone call. He had his money.

I live in Germany so my round trip was "only" about 1000km and €40 in tolls. This may happen to others who have further to travel.
I could post the name of the agency but not being sure of the Forum rules I won't. I realise they are probably not the only one that doesn't give a damn about their customers, nor is it purely a French problem.

My advice would be never to rely on any courtesy from these people. Check and re-check before travelling, even if it has only been a week since the appointment.
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Old May 1st 2022, 10:01 pm
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Default Re: French Immobilière. A warning

That is shocking.
Hopefully your advice to check and recheck will help others having the same experience.
And I hope you end up with your dream home and this turns out to be just an annoying bump along the way
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Old May 1st 2022, 10:04 pm
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Default Re: French Immobilière. A warning

Many thanks, that's very good of you.
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Old May 1st 2022, 11:02 pm
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Default Re: French Immobilière. A warning

Estate agents really are pot luck!

Moving here we arranged to fly over for one week to find a rental. Beforehand my Wife set up a meeting with a representative of a "leading" Budapest agency, describing fully our situation, needs & criteria.

We flew in on Saturday afternoon with the meeting set up for 11 am on the Monday.

Turn up, dead on time. Said representative keeps us waiting for over 30 minutes and then appeared to plead complete ignorance of who we were or what we wanted. Eventually he agreed to send through some property details to our Hotel. He did this eventually on the Thursday evening (we were flying home on the Saturday), we immediately, by email, expressed firm interest in one property. Never heard any more.

And now the other side of the coin. Lacking confidence in the above agent, we set off on Tuesday morning to try and find another agency. Lunchtime we walked, unannounced, into a franchise in Pest. They were brilliant! By Friday evening we had selected a property out of 4 offered and shown - and had a contract signed. Perfect.
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Old May 2nd 2022, 1:16 am
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Default Re: French Immobilière. A warning

After posting elsewhere a lot of people have posted about experiences similar to ours. It clearly isn't a problem to be associated with just one country and as you say, it is pot luck. It also isn't necessarily the entire agency. The owner of the agency that was concerned with my problem was extremely forthcoming and professional in clearing up the situation regarding reimbursement of travel costs. Perhaps the threat of reporting them to the IPI (Professional Institute of Real Estate Agents) was foremost in his mind.
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Old May 5th 2022, 2:06 am
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Default Re: French Immobilière. A warning

The vast majority of French Immobilier I have had the 'pleasure' to have been clients with over the years have, on the whole, been unreliable, slow to correspond, vastly overcharge and in some cases downright lazy. Some can't be bothered to put pictures on their websites!

I will not travel hours and waste ££££ €€€€ to view a property first now, I insist they earn their commission and send me a video tour of each room and the front and back of the property, then if it's a possibility, then I will go and view in person.
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Old May 5th 2022, 3:37 am
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Default Re: French Immobilière. A warning

Sorry to hear about your experience. We were looking to buy a property in a very different part of the country from where we live. Houses in the lower price brackets sell almost instantly, and rarely come onto the market. We'd arranged viewings with three agents over a weekend, and got up at 3am in the morning and drove there to arrive for 9am. One agent didn't bother to contact us, but then messaged out of the blue saying she was at the property but we weren't there (we'd been given neither a location nor a time despite asking numerous times), and another agent called last second and said they couldn't make it. Thankfully the third agent did turn up - we didn't see any of the properties we'd intended to visit, but we were able to find something that was currently off the books, and made an offer the same day.

I hope the experience didn't entirely put you off. I think the trick is to have a few properties of interest, and a few appointments with different agencies to avoid inevitable disappointments.
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Old May 10th 2022, 2:22 am
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Default Re: French Immobilière. A warning

Wow, french realestate business sounds completely ridiculous.
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Old May 10th 2022, 4:45 am
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Default Re: French Immobilière. A warning

I'm currently trying to buy a house in Northern Ireland and it's the usual shenanigans. They'll tell you anything to lure you into a bidding war. But you can play them at their own game. For example if I tell the agent I want the house as a rental and ask if they'd be interested in managing it for me that might give them a little incentive to persuade the vendor to accept our offer.
The only difference I've noticed between Northern Irish estate agents and French ones is that the latter are not just shysters. They're also bone idle.
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Old Aug 28th 2022, 5:10 am
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Default Re: French Immobilière. A warning

Also, it is extremely difficult to find a property when there is no address given in the listing, or worse a fake town is named!!!

I have to do a lot of googling to figure out the address!

its Like a car dealer refusing to tell you the make and model!

And nor is there often any plot plan ( cadasrtre), so you can’t see if the property is detached, attached (mitoyenne), nor if the garden is across the road, nor what road it is on, if something you don’t want is adjacent, etc….!

the agents say it is to protect their commission, but how do they expect a buyer to begin to know if a property is of any interest without at least the address and plot plan?

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Old Aug 28th 2022, 6:10 pm
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Default Re: French Immobilière. A warning

Because they're w*nkers. I gave up trying to explain to agents that if they would just give me the address, I could check out the surroundings myself and then decide whether it was worth scheduling a viewing. So as not to waste everyone's time.
In one instance I scheduled an appointment (and was given the address) and popped over a few days beforehand to check out the neighborhood. I got talking to a lady who lived opposite who told me the reason the family was selling up (after just a year) was that they'd had problems with the neighbours from hell next door. Sure, she could have had her own axe to grind but I got the distinct impression she wasn't lying.
When I called the agent back and told him I'd spoken to a neighbour, he went berserk. Where I come from, talking to the neighbours before you buy a property is called doing your homework.


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Old Aug 30th 2022, 8:36 am
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Default Re: French Immobilière. A warning

Originally Posted by Mondi8
Also, it is extremely difficult to find a property when there is no address given in the listing, or worse a fake town is named!!!

I have to do a lot of googling to figure out the address!

its Like a car dealer refusing to tell you the make and model!

And nor is there often any plot plan ( cadasrtre), so you can’t see if the property is detached, attached (mitoyenne), nor if the garden is across the road, nor what road it is on, if something you don’t want is adjacent, etc….!

the agents say it is to protect their commission, but how do they expect a buyer to begin to know if a property is of any interest without at least the address and plot plan?
The address isn’t there because of the number of private sales in France. Street view and reverse image searches are your friends just as web developer tools built into the browser are.

then go knock on the door
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Old Aug 31st 2022, 1:16 am
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Default Re: French Immobilière. A warning

Originally Posted by Chatter Static
The address isn’t there because of the number of private sales in France. Street view and reverse image searches are your friends just as web developer tools built into the browser are.

then go knock on the door
But how does the number of private sales explain agents’ refusal to give prospective buyers the address before they schedule a viewing?
Do you mean they’re scared the buyer will approach the vendor direct? Why does that not deter estate agents in other countries from giving out the address? So people can check out the surroundings first and - once they’ve noticed the abattoir/nuclear power plant next door - avoid wasting everyone’s time with a viewing?

If a would-be vendor has signed a contract with an agent immobilier, surely it would be very difficult for that vendor to turn round to the agent - while the contract was still in force - and say oh by the way I’ve found a buyer myself and it didn’t happen via you so you’re not getting your (ridiculously huge) commission.

As for using Street view, that doesn’t help much if the only clue to the location is, say, “Strasbourg nord”. Especially as there’s usually no For Sale sign outside the property.
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Old Aug 31st 2022, 8:18 am
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Default Re: French Immobilière. A warning

Originally Posted by Helen1964
But how does the number of private sales explain agents’ refusal to give prospective buyers the address before they schedule a viewing?
Do you mean they’re scared the buyer will approach the vendor direct? Why does that not deter estate agents in other countries from giving out the address? So people can check out the surroundings first and - once they’ve noticed the abattoir/nuclear power plant next door - avoid wasting everyone’s time with a viewing?

If a would-be vendor has signed a contract with an agent immobilier, surely it would be very difficult for that vendor to turn round to the agent - while the contract was still in force - and say oh by the way I’ve found a buyer myself and it didn’t happen via you so you’re not getting your (ridiculously huge) commission.

As for using Street view, that doesn’t help much if the only clue to the location is, say, “Strasbourg nord”. Especially as there’s usually no For Sale sign outside the property.
if you’ve already visited a immo the visit dockets you sign are normally per house or per visit round as they normally go to a few. Because another immo could have the same house as well as the chance of private sales plenty of houses on leboncoin that happen to be in immo windows as well.

Your not locked into one immo hence the hesitation to give out the address up front
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