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"Sole Agency"


A new feature you will soon see on our website is the “ SOLE AGENCY ” tag next to some of the properties for sale.

Here is another cultural difference - In the UK , sellers tend to place their property with just one estate agent , in France, more often than not, sellers believe they stand a greater chance of capturing a buyer if they put their house with as many agencies as possible.  Of course, in the UK agencies vary their fees, charging less for SOLE AGENT status, in France the Agent has to work from a “fixed/displayed” fee chart based on the seller’s price, regardless of status.

Working with the Agency, Century 21 ICS Immobilier,  in both Civray and Chef Boutonne, together we have consistently sold a proportionately higher number of homes with SOLE AGENCY status. Last year, more than 80 % of our sales were in this category.

The reason behind this ? Well we will reciprocate the confidence shown in us by the seller by working  that much harder for them.  In addition, both the Agency and ourselves are more inclined to invest in advertising in property magazines and external websites without the risk from another agency advertising the same property.

We find that buyers are increasingly suffering internet fatigue.    There appears to be so many properties for sale that after fifteen minutes trawling the popular websites property hunters tell to us they are pretty certain they have wasted their time looking at the same property over and again on different websites.

As an agent, my job is to provide as much information as possible about a property to clients. To be able to fully answer questions I have to spend time with the sellers, finding out about the house and negotiating the best market price for the property.

I recently asked a seller what valuation other agents had put on their property. I was amazed when they said the agents had just asked them “how much do you want for it “ !

In other words, where an agent believes s/he is just there to add a new house for sale to their books, any professional valuation and analysis of where the property fits in relation to the present market goes out of the window.

We tell sellers that our objective is to sell their house for them, not simply add another property to the website.   Our French colleagues argue that they would rather have 20 well priced, sole agency houses on their books that they know are well presented and competitively priced  than 100 properties that are advertised uniformly in the windows and websites of all the other agencies in the town.

Having said all that, it is important to offer buyers a wide choice of properties , . We therefore hope to offer you a good choice of both land and houses for sale across the range in our area whether or not we are the Sole Agency.

If you can’t find what you are looking for we are more than happy to undertake further searches for you - specifically dependent upon your own specifications.  We do not make a charge for this service.,

Kate Ryle

May 2011

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