Friday, May 20, 2011

Property buying agent?

This new term has been given another airing in today's Daily Telegraph, in an article highlighting the use of property searchers or 'buying agents' (their term) by potential buyers, this time in Italy.

It is a term we have resisted using, along with the French chasseur de biens (literally 'property hunter') as searching for French properties forms a relatively small part of our business. We find that local French estate agents are well informed about the local market and it is rare that they are unable to track down properties that are for sale or likely to come onto the market.

Note that many 'property searchers' have in fact links to estate agencies. In Britain some established estate agencies have even set up property search subsidiaries, duplicating the work of agency negotiators who should be presenting their clients with a list of properties for sale, or more pro-actively making enquiries among their colleagues. In France, some property finders advertise a range of properties in much the same way as professional estate agents, so that it is difficult to understand how they can claim to act independently for the buyer.

What we find most clients appreciate is our expertise in ensuring that the buying process, including initial search, procceds smoothly, from checking the inevitable paperwork but more importantly ensuring that the property is as described, and there are no hidden surprises. This involves being in place, understanding French law and the property buying process, and drawing on ten years practical experience of  overseeing every type of transaction, from beach-side holiday apartments to land destined for agriculture.