Searching for a French mortgage and working with French estate agents
In France, estate agents are highly regulated and for people seeking French mortgages to buy property in the country, a higher level of service can be expected compared to the UK.
Unlike many in Britain, French estate agents tend to enjoy greater respect because they are required to be qualified and to work within strict legal rules. French estate agents are members of a controlled occupation, supervised by the French government.
Looking for a French mortgage – Estate agents information
Known as ‘agent immobilier’, there are various standards, proofs of competence and experience that the estate agent must demonstrate including:
- An agent immobilier must hold a professional permit, renewable annually, to carry out property transactions.
- Professional indemnity insurance.
- Bank (financial) guarantees are required to ensure all money held for clients is covered. If the guarantee is for less than ï¿½85,000, it is illegal for the estate agent to hold any money.
- French law requires the agent to provide honest, up to date knowledge of accurate transaction costs and market values.
- Prior to making any sale negotiations, the agent is required to have power of attorney (mandat de vente), renewable every quarter year (three months). Under French rules, that agent may not purchase property for him or herself where a power of attorney (mandate) is held by that agent.
- Commission rates must be specified in the power of attorney. They are usually freely set (usually five per cent) but must be clearly on display in the agent’s office and stated in documents related to the transaction. Rates for more expensive properties maybe higher.
How to decide on a French mortgage
Looking for a French property mortgage? While visiting estate agents in France may be an important way to seek out appropriate holiday and retirement homes or rental properties, it makes sense to discuss mortgage needs with a mortgage expert.
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