In Canada we have a very efficient real estate industry. There is a nationwide multiple listing service – MLS – and any real estate agent can list any house anywhere. Any other agent can show it and sell it. Commission are shared according to a formula.
After almost 4 years in France I still get frustrated with the system here. I think the most frustrating thing is the lack of coordination and cooperation. It’s not unusual for a seller to list the house with at least 2 immobiliers, sometimes with as many as 10.
Real estate commissions are no longer regulated – a good thing – and range from about 5% to about 14% – depending on the immobilier and the price of the property.
Yesterday I was talking with someone and e-mailed him details of a property near Limoux that I have listed at 216,000 euros, including commission of 6%. He e-mailed me today to say that he had made an appointment to see it with another immobilier who has it listed at 228,000 . why the difference, he wanted to know.
I explained. He’s an accountant, it didn’t take him long to work the numbers. He asked if he could cancel the appointment he had made with the other immo and have me show him the house instead.
Of course, as long as he hasn’t signed a bon de visit or actually been to see the house with another immo. Once he signs a bon de visite he’s committing to deal through that immobilier if he decides to buy the property. If he deals through someone else, or directly with the owner, he is still liable to pay the real estate commission.
In a simialr vein, I had an appointment today to show a house to potential buyers. The seller was thrilled, she hasn’t had amny people look at the house – which is lovely. I met the buyers and the first thing they told me was that they had seen the house yesterday with another immobilier. The price was different and they couldn’t tell from my pictures and the other agents that it was the same house. Tant pis. It happens.