MYTH: Buy­ing pri­vately will save us money

French Property News - - Expert Advice -

“Peo­ple of­ten think buy­ing pri­vately will save money on agency fees, but this misses the point of what an agency ac­tu­ally does to earn its fees. It is very easy to get lost – with sub­stan­tial fi­nan­cial reper­cus­sions – in an alien con­veyanc­ing sys­tem. With­out an agency li­ais­ing be­tween both par­ties and the no­taire(s), a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of pri­vate sales fall through. Agen­cies also usu­ally as­sist with all sorts of other is­sues which would be to­tally out of the re­mit of a UK agent, such as fi­nance, plan­ning per­mis­sions, util­ity con­tracts, in­sur­ance and so on.

“More than this, it is per­fectly pos­si­ble that an agency will be able to ne­go­ti­ate a much bet­ter deal. One client we worked with de­cided to buy pri­vately a par­tic­u­lar house that we had on our port­fo­lio. If they had come through us they would have been able to shave a fur­ther €30,000 off the price – equiv­a­lent to both the agency fee and the no­taire fee.” Charles Miller, Char­ente Im­mo­bilier

MYTH: The de­posit is 10% and the no­taire’s fees are 10% “There is no fixed amount for a de­posit and in my ex­pe­ri­ence a 5% de­posit is much more com­mon. There’s ac­tu­ally no le­gal re­quire­ment for the buyer to pay a de­posit at all and if the ven­dor is in agree­ment it can be waived al­to­gether. My ad­vice if the de­posit is to be waived, how­ever, is to make sure that the com­pro­mis de vente con­tains a penalty clause stip­u­lat­ing that if the buyer or seller were to with­draw with­out good rea­son, they would owe the other party a percentage of the sale price. In the case of a penalty clause, 10% is not un­com­mon.

“When it comes to the no­taire’s fees, it’s a com­mon mis­con­cep­tion that the no­taire re­ceives all of these fees. The term refers to the amount that the no­taire re­ceives, to­gether with the taxes that he or she col­lects on be­half of the gov­ern­ment. The no­taire ac­tu­ally re­ceives around 1.5% of the sale price. The to­tal fees are cal­cu­lated on a slid­ing scale – the higher the value of the house, the lower the percentage of the

fees and in re­al­ity any pur­chase above around €60,000 is likely to at­tract no­taire’s fees of less than 10%.” Mark Say­ers, Ar­taxa real es­tate agency

MYTH: The no­taire acts on be­half of both par­ties “Ac­tu­ally, a no­taire acts on be­half of the state and is not obliged – in­deed is not al­lowed – to ad­vise ei­ther the seller or the buyer. If a prob­lem arises dur­ing the pur­chase process, a no­taire is obliged to stop and in­vite the par­ties to go away and set­tle their dif­fer­ences; they will pull the shut­ters down on the trans­ac­tion un­til the prob­lem has been re­solved.

“A no­taire will as­sess and ex­plain what is in a con­tract, but it’s not nec­es­sar­ily their job to ad­vise on is­sues that might per­haps be bet­ter in­cluded in the con­tract that aren’t at the moment – things that might be in the best in­ter­est of one or both par­ties.

“A so­lic­i­tor’s job, in con­trast, is to say ‘there should be an X or Y in the con­tract and you could prob­a­bly ne­go­ti­ate a Z’, which is why solic­i­tors and no­taires of­ten work to­gether.

“My job is to go through the doc­u­men­ta­tion and check what’s miss­ing as well as what’s there, and check my client’s un­der­stand­ing on rights across land, for ex­am­ple, or on in­her­i­tance tax and suc­ces­sion plan­ning.” Matthew Cameron, Ash­tons Le­gal

MYTH: Book­ing a re­moval com­pany is the fi­nal job to do “You can never be too pre­pared when book­ing a re­moval com­pany. We would rec­om­mend con­tact­ing a re­moval com­pany be­tween four and 12 weeks prior to your move if you can. Giv­ing more no­tice on your up­com­ing move is never a bad thing, and get­ting a pro­fes­sional quo­ta­tion done early can help you bud­get for your move.” Gary Burke, Burke Broth­ers over­seas

re­movals and ship­ping

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