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The role of listing agents

Whether carte holders or agents commerciaux, and however they define their roles, they are hired by the vendor to market their property and sell it at the highest possible price. They have no obligation to point out the negative sides of a property or its surroundings, and in the end their loyalties clearly lie with the vendor. They only will get new sale mandates locally if their reputation is good, and they obtain high prices for vendors. Their time is spent taking on new homes on their books, and showing their own portfolio to potential buyers.

They can show some properties in the portfolio of some of their colleagues – but they won’t know much about the properties of the colleague. There is no national listing system in France where estate agents can access properties of other agents. Some agents share properties and commission with other agents (they call it “interagence”) - but most don’t. Prospective buyers therefore have to contact countless agencies to access all of the listings. This is only possible if you speak French, as most agents don’t speak enough English.

Also, because owners are not obligated to sell only via the estate agencies they list with (unless they have signed an exclusive agreement, which happens only 15% of the time), the property details provided by listing agents remain vague to ensure that house hunters cannot find the property without the agent, and cut them out of the sale. This makes it very hard to obtain more details without viewing a property.

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