You want to sell your property in France and about to sign a mandate with an agency, you don’t really know what a mandate is and you are fearing another French bureaucratic nightmare ???
Let me help you through this!
If you want to work with an estate agent in France to sell your property you will need to sign a “mandat de vente”. In English that is known as a sales contract. It’s the law, an agency is not authorised to market a property without a valid mandat. This is the contract that formalises exactly what the agency will do and how much it will be paid. Signing the mandate does not mean you will have anything to pay. The agent’s fees are only paid on successful completion of the sale.
The mandate will have the name of the seller, name and contact details of the agency, description of the property, the agency fees, duration of the contract and an explanation of what the agent will do to sell the property. Unless the mandate is signed at the agent’s offices, you have a 14 day cooling off period before it becomes valid. It can be exclusive or non-exclusive. The difference is down to costs versus motivating an agent. They have many properties to sell. You want them to prioritise yours!
So in the case of an exclusive mandate – the aim is to increase the speed of sale of your property and to achieve the best price. A period of exclusivity motivates the sales agency because it is usually time limited – the agent will want to make the most of the time they have as the sole person marketing the property. The advantages for the seller are that the agency will work for reduced fees. Your property will only be advertised with one agency. It won’t be “over-advertised”, this increases the attractiveness of the property to a buyer. The agency will be fully focused on your sale. Although, with your consent there can be delegations to other agencies, you will only have one contact for arranging visits and receiving offers, this makes the sales process much easier for the seller to handle. There should be a time limit to the exclusivity. Otherwise the agent might not have the motivation you seek. 3 months is fair. The disadvantage of an exclusive mandate is that it only works if you have a good motivated agency with a good track record of attracting buyers! You need to trust the people you are working with.
The advantages of a non-exclusive mandate are that you can maximise your sales opportunities by working with any number of agents, this means you are not taking a risk with just one agency. But beware, over-exposure does not look good to your prospective buyer. In this case each agent will advertise your property on various portals like Rightmove, in this case it is common to see the same property for sale at slightly different prices, this looks bad to a buyer. Dealing with multiple agents, and sometimes having to juggle the same buyer with more than one agent, is not easy. The other disadvantage of a non-exclusive mandate is that it will normally cost more.
If this hasn’t helped, what can you do?
- Ask a question in the comments.
- Send us a message via our website: https://alpine-property.com/site/contact
- Have a look at our FAQ’s, your question might be in there https://alpine-property.com/resources/faq
- Otherwise we have our buyers guide https://alpine-property.com/resources/buyers-guide
I found a property I wish to purchase. The sellers have a non-exclusive contract with the estate agents and they have advertised privately. I contacted the sellers directly to make an offer but they say they can only deal with me through the agent because my very first contact with them was through the agent. Is there any way around this? can I find a way to buy directly from them?
It would be usual for the seller to have signed a contract with the agent that states that they will be liable to pay the commission if anyone they have presented subsequently buys the property. “Going direct” is something that annoys agents considerably so you can expect an agent to follow this up and claim the commission owed.
If I have a non-exclusive mandate with two agencies and then want to go exclusive with a third agancy, do I have to officially cancel/release the first two non-exclusive mandates? If so, how?
You do. The quickest way would be to send them an email. If they acknowledge the request you should be OK. The correct way is to send a registered letter one that records the response. An RAR (Recommandée avec avis de réception), this can also be done online but at a cost of about 7€ – https://www.laposte.fr/lettre-recommandee-en-ligne
Thank you very much Gareth.