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Negotiating with a traditional agent

A 3-way discussion

Buyers should remember that it is not a good idea to disclose any information to the agent that could be used to their disadvantage during the price negotiations (unless of course they are a buyer’s agent working for you).

Be aware that when you are negotiating to buy, you are negotiating with both the seller and the estate agent. The estate agent will always reduce their commission in order to get the sale. You need to beat the price down very hard indeed, as the seller will have an idea of the minimum they will accept, and the estate agent will have a minimum commission they will take. Agencies may not admit to this, but that is in fact how it works.

Because agents commerciaux get a bonus if they are both the sales and listing agent be wary if they are trying to persuade you one property is better than another. Because it may be true, or it may be a double commission for them.

Listing agents and cheeky offers

Remember that very often they feel highly uncomfortable with very aggressive offers. Here is why: they may have told the seller that their house was overpriced – but that was 18 months ago when they signed the mandat de vente (so the seller has forgotten) and in the end, they accepted to take the property on at too high a price. And now, they should present and defend an offer way lower than anything that had been discussed with the seller. Complicated…

So you need to be ready to nudge the agent – including make sure he has indeed presented the offer to his client.

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