Understand what your “Mandat de Vente” must include and the Estate Agent’s obligations
You’ll be glad to have read about it prior to being faced with your own!
At The Translation Connexion, we recently helped a group of 4 people who had signed a Fully Exclusive Mandat de Vente with one sole agency over a year ago. The agent had not managed to sell the property but claimed his fee when the owners advised him that they had found a buyer by themselves. Under the right conditions, the Estate Agent would have been due his fee… But… some of the pre-requisites that make the Mandat de Vente valid were just not there!…
Good Estate Agents in France will generally present you with a choice of either:
Full-Exclusivity Mandate, Co-Exclusivity Mandate, Semi-Exclusivity Mandate or a Simple Mandate
The Simple Mandate (Mandat Simple):
Various estate agents may sell a property as well as the owner(s) directly
The Co-Exclusive mandate (Mandat Co-exclusif)
A limited and listed number of professionals may sell the property. With this mandate the Vendor must sell through one of the listed real estate agencies. If not, the Vendor commits to paying the listed agencies a compensation fee equivalent to the fee stipulated on the Mandat de Vente.
With this mandate it is also possible that a commission fee is set to be shared between the listed agencies, even if they did not finalise the sale themselves.
The Semi-Exclusive mandate (Mandat Semi-exclusif)
One sole agency may proceed with the sale of the property under this Mandat de Vente but the Vendor keeps the right to sell the property him/herself directly. In this case the contract may state that the fee is due to the agent in part. In the absence of a clause clearly stating this and if the Vendor deals directly with the transaction, the agent will not perceive a commission fee
The Fully exclusive mandate (Mandat d’exclusivité)
One sole real estate agent or agency is entitled to deal with the transaction. Even the Vendor will not sell the property directly. Equally, a Buyer can’t make an offer directly to the Vendor (signed compromis de vente) without paying the commission fee due to the sole agent or agency
Regardless of the type of Mandat de Vente it will only be valid if a few conditions apply :
- Both parties must agree and must be considered in full mental capacity
- The object of the agreement must figure
- as well as the mandatory legal mentions
In order to fully validate a real estate « Mandat de Vente », the following conditions apply:
- As many copies as parties involved in the sale must be written and fully filled in
- Every single copy must bear original signatures. Otherwise the mandate will be invalid
Ex: Mother and daughter selling their property means two copies (one each)
It is important to note that a mandate must be signed prior to any action from the Estate Agent
The Estate Agent can’t advertise the property on his book otherwise
The mandate must also clearly state the object, ie designate precisely the real estate that is being sold
- Mandates must be registered on a registrar (by chronological order) and the registration number recorded on the registrar must also clearly be written on the copy handed to the principal (or principals if more than one Vendor)
- The mandate (power of attorney in effect) should detail the powers granted to the Agent
- The type of mandate (simple, co-exclusive) figures in the contract itself, as well as the potential power to conclude a sale or receive funds
- In terms of receiving monies on your behalfbe advised that some specificities apply also
- The remuneration of the Agent must be clearly outlined. The amount must be calculable. That is to say that if it corresponds to a percentage, the basis from which it will be calculated must be specified
- It must also clearly state if paying out this remuneration is the sole responsibility of one of the parties or it is to be shared. And if it is to be shared, you should be able to read the split clearly
Should the information noted on the mandate and the deeds differ and should the agent fee be missing on the mandate, the agent will not be eligible for any fee at all
No payment to the agent is due until the deeds have been signed.
Re-negotiating the fees
The lump sum due to the agent may be recalculated should the final selling price differ from the one written on the Mandat de Vente (after a negotiation has for instance)
The agent is accountable to his client
The Mandat de Vente will detail the arrangements according to which the Agent will be accountable to his client during the course of the mission for which the agent has been given power
Deadline / Time validity
Last, but not least, how long your Mandat de Vente is valid for must be clearly stated. Whether or not it will be tacitly renewed will also be outlined as well as the date from which the contract will become invalid without any formalities being required
If these are not on your Mandat de Vente, you may refuse to pay the commission fee to the Estate Agent! Well worth noting (smile)!!
Finally, as any contract, the Mandat de Vente must disclose the identity of each of the parties involved, whether a physical or legal person
Other details to check on the Mandat de Vente
The Real Estate Agent must add to the contract:
- His professional card number
- the mount for which his financial warrantee covers him
- as well as the name and contact details of the insurance organisation that covers him
- The date and place where the contract is being signed
- and the number of words, figures or lines that have been crossed through and that are considered as null
Should these legal mentions not be present, the mandate would therefore be null and non-applicable.
So, here you are, there are some good points about living in an administratively complex country at times! Strict rules apply and no negotiation will be suffered on these without either parties taking a risk.
Make sure you you call upon the help of true professionals.
We can recommend you the English Speaking French Real Estate Experts network ESREA France www.esreafrance.com