A Win-Win for Buyer, Seller, and Agent!
Volume XXI, Issue 7
I heard through the grapevine that there’s a lot of gossip going around in Villefranche-sur-Mer among the real estate agents there about me and our company. It’s normal. Our role can sometimes be confusing for the French agencies…that is until they understand why we exist and how we benefit them.
The reason we exist is that there is no Multiple Listing Service in France like there is in the US. This means that finding the right properties can be a very daunting endeavor for the average buyer. A buyer must therefore contact every agency, which only have a listing of properties they represents…not ALL the properties on the market, like with the MLS. It also means that the agents want to sell only what they have on their books. So in effect, the agents represent the sellers, not the buyers. With the MLS, because an agent has access to all properties, and therefore expect to share commissions with the listing agency, they essentially work for the buyer. We’re not complaining—as it gives us a “raison d’être”—a reason for being!
For a foreign buyer, it can be particularly frightening because it’s tough to know if the information you’re getting from the seller’s agent is everything you need to know about the property you’re about to buy. Even if you trust them explicitly and even if you think they are completely honest and won’t lie, an agent won’t want to find reasons to discourage you, would he?
The agents who regularly work with us love us, as do the new ones who discover us! They realize we bring them qualified buyers, not just “tire kickers.” Our clients have hired us and paid us willingly. That makes them serious about their purchase…so no one is wasting the agent’s time. They also know what they want, because we’ve spent quite a bit of time determining the parameters of the search, advising along the way, and cutting down on wasted property visits for everyone, too.
French agents know that foreign buyers are a whole lot of work…more than their average French clients. Foreign buyers need a lot of hand-holding. They need explanations, translations, professional advice, etc. And this is where we make a big difference for the agents. We provide all that, so they are off the hook. And ultimately, because they are dealing with our agent, another professional, everything goes along more smoothly and easier. We do all the work, and they just sit back and collect their commission. Not bad, right?
As a licensed agency, we can very often share the commission with the selling agent. As long as we’ve brought them the client, this is normal. It almost never happens in Paris, because the agents in the City of Light don’t need much help selling their properties, but it happens about 50% of the time in the south. When that happens we refund the commission we’ve gotten from the agency to the client and that makes our clients very, very happy and a lot richer!
Our best partner agents recognize how much business we have brought to the region and to them. On Monday I had lunch with one of our clients who now owns an apartment in Old Nice. He commented that he has watched the North American community in Nice and its environs grow by leaps and bounds, largely thanks to our devotion and promotion of the region. He said everyone he meets has come via us directly or indirectly—even if they didn’t employ our services, they discovered the area because of Nouvellettres® such as this one.
It’s true, really. I remember when I first came to Nice and bought an apartment. The community was small and still finding its way. It became my goal to bring it together and share the wonderful lifestyle with others. It took many years to build a good team and amass all of our resources. I started our partnering with an agent in Nice I could totally trust. Together we found fabulous properties for our clients. Then, little by little, we found the right team and now we have a very strong, closely-knit group of professionals (all women, btw) who do an amazing job of finding property for our clients…while being 100% honest about everything with full disclosure that educates, rather than pulls the wool over their eyes.
So, the agents in Villefranche-sur-Mer can spout all the sour grapes they want, but they are only hurting themselves by not recognizing that we are certainly not their competition nor their enemy—partnering up with us is how they will grow their business instead.
Be wary of any agent who doesn’t recognize the value we bring to the equation. It’s a WIN-WIN for the buyer, the seller, and the agent!
The Adrian Leeds Group®
P.S. Yesterday, culture and travel journalist, bestselling author, podcaster, and editorial consultant Lindsey Tramuta enlightened us at Après-Midi with her story of how she came to write her two books and her viewpoint on how the media portrays a Paris we Parisians don’t really know, and what the new Paris is going to look like. To read all about it and see the photos, visit our website.
P.P.S. I will not be writing my usual Nouvellettres® the week I will be traveling to Los Angeles and Maui from February 26 to March 6th. Instead, you will have the pleasure of reading some of our most special past issues. Upon my return, you’ll have a full report of time spent on the other side of the planet…to include whale watching, snorkeling, hiking in the rainforest and volcanic craters, and a host of other activities France doesn’t offer, but Hawaii does!