Friday, September 18, 2009
Buying agents - why you should use one...
OK - I'm biased as that's what I do for a living but if you're seriously considering buying a property in France then it makes absolute sense to use one.
You can get a good idea of what a buying agent does by reading this piece on wikipedia. The pertinent paragraph is:
The main advantages of using a buying agent are the savings in time and money and access to properties not available on the open market.
Whilst nearly all charge a registration fee (anything between £500 and £2500) and a percentage of the purchase price of the property (usually between 1.5% and 2% of the sale price), the agent’s negotiating skills and access to properties before they reach the open market often mean that clients purchase properties for substantially less than they would if they went to estate agents or vendors directly.
Buying agents will preview properties for each client, shortlist the most suitable, and usually accompany clients on viewings of the shortlisted properties.
Now, if it makes sense to use one in the UK or USA it must make even more sense if you're buying in a country with a different process, legal system and language.
Just make sure that the person you use is fully legit. Ask to see their "carte professionelle" and copies of their professional indemnity insurance.
A good starting point would be to look here to see if there's one near where you want to buy or by contacting the French national federation of house hunters here.
It's worthwhile doing the research - a good buying agent will save you time & money as well as giving you peace of mind.