Friday, November 8, 2013

Sacking the 'agent immo'

I have just sacked one the French agencies handling the (non) sale of my apartment. What brought matters to a head was when they called me on my mobile phone - I was en route to the cardiologist to have my blood pressure checked, which did not help - and announced they had an offer I 'must accept' - a mere 11 000 euros below the already reduced asking price that they and I had discussed and agreed only a few weeks ago.

I refused outright, would not make a 'counter proposal' (I feel it is up to the buyer to do that) and eventually after several fruitless discussions with them, finally cancelled my sales mandate.

Having been an agency negotiator myself for just over two years, the issue brought to mind again the differences between a property negotiator (= seller), and a property adviser. I as never totally happy as a negotiator and was never quite comfortable about if and how far I should cross the line over getting a sale at all costs (and earning my commission) and pointing out the negative aspects of a property - that buyers in their enthusasm tend to overlook - such as a potentially noisy location, high management charges, lack of public transport etc.

What I also found, observing negotiators at work when I am accompanying clients on visits (including those trying to sell my apartment), is that they often failed to point out what I think were the benefits of a particular property - sound building, good insulation, not hiddden in shade, good neighbours, low charges etc , which again some buyers tend not to think about.

On balance I feel happier in the advisory role............