Property Sales In Your Country; How Does It Work?

What’s the process of dealing with real estate agents to buy or sell property in your country?

You’d think that after being involved in real estate and property sales in France for 8 years I’d know the answer to this.  I don’t.  I should.  I hope you can help.

Selling a house

Let’s assume you  have a house to sell.  You pick a real estate agent and sign an agreement that they will advertise your house, show it to prospective buyers, and negotiate any offers for a commission.

  • Is that the only agent who can show your house – other agents have to work through him/her?
  • Can you sign agreements with other agents?
  • Can you sell your house privately even though you have an agreement with a real estate agent?

Buying a house

Let’s assume you’re buying a house.

  • Do you deal with one agent but see any house listed in the area?
  • Do you have to deal with a number of different agents in order to see all the houses you like?

I’m particularly interested in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand but I’m not limiting it.  I’d really appreciate if you could help either by leaving a comment or by emailing me,

Here are a couple of explanations to get you started.


I’m Canadian.  In Canada (and the US) there is a national system called MLS.  An agent lists a house and enters it into the MLS database.  Any other agent in the country can show and sell the house but normally only one agent lists it. Once a vendor signs the listing they can’t sell the property privately until x amount of time passes after the listing expires. Occasionally an agent might ask for and get an exclusive listing for a period of time.

A potential buyer finds an agent they want to work with and that agents shows them properties and negotiates any offers with the vendor’s agent.


In France vendors can list their property with as many agents as they want and can try and sell it privately at the same time.  Buyers make appointments with an agent and go and look at one or two houses.  Then with another agent, and on ’til they find a house they like. Typically the listing agent and selling agent are the same person and they negotiate with the vendor.

So how does it work in other countries?

About Sam

Sam started Aude France as a companion site to her real estate site Aude France Property so that she could have a place to write about life in the Aude. Now that she's in Canada she writes about things that can affect owners and buyers in the Aude - or anything that strikes her fancy. On Pinterest you can find her by searching for Sam Mooney or clicking this link
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