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Real Estate professionals in France

5 Dec 2018

Various types of real estate professionals in France, can help you to buy a property. According to your project, they are many experts that you can mobilize. So we strongly suggest that you contact and hire professionals based in France, to assist you. Here we will  clarify how they operate, to help you understand how they can help you.

Which professionals to contact?

According to the nature of your project, the environment and the circumstances, you will have to work with these professionals. Sometimes because it will be legally binding, or because you have decided to do so.
In this article our purpose is, for each type to tell you, when to use them and what is the related cost when you do.



The unavoidable ones


By law the only professional you can’t do without, to have your acquisition legally registered. Le Notaire is in charge of writting of the Acte de vente. The Notaire is a sworn state representative, an Officier Ministèriel, and is responsible for collecting for the state, the taxes related to property exchange. And the total cost will be around 6 to 7% (including the fee for 0,8%) of the purchasing price. It is useful to have you own, along with the one working for the vendor. The cost is the same, because the fee is shared between the two Notaires.

Estate Agents – Realtors

L’ Agent Immobilier  work for the vendor, to sell to you, like a broker would do, the properties listed with him. Its fee is communicated with the property price (usually 2% to 6%).It can be paid by either the vendor or the buyer. They also propose services to rent properties. As a buyer you can also contact them to help you, with your search and to advice you. They usually charge fees (included in the price) representing 2 and 5%.

The property could also be presented to you by a Mandataire or Agent Commercial non licensed real estate salesperson. They act on behalf of the licensed Agent Immobilier, working as an independant within big or smaller networks. L’agent commercial must be registered and have signed a contract with an Agent Immobilier, that must be licensed.
In a similar way the property might by shown to you by a Négociateur. A non-licensed salesperson, working for a broker company as an employee.
The big difference in France with some countries is that, there are very few professionals that only or mainly work for buyers. As a matter of facts there is hardly any, but the pure property hunters.

The other real estate professionals

Property Hunters – Buyer’s agent

Property Hunters or Property Finders, carry many different names in France. Mainly because they developed into a specific activity not long ago. They have various status and it is important to ask for that information. Some Property Hunter have the Carte Professionnelle, the same one as a licensed Agent Immobilier and others are Mandataire , non-licensed as described above. Property Hunters usually charge you an additional fee (2 to 5%), or share the fee of the vendor’ broker. The fee can only be paid the day of completion.

As said, Property Hunter is still not a widely known activity in France. Therefore it is not commonly used, but it is a rapidly growing. Because those professionals, are extremely useful for any property buyers. The Property Hunter is the one professional that can, search the entire market, looking for the property that match exactly, all your criterias.
And some like WISE STONE can really assist you all along the process, being by your side from the start, to the day you move in. We work only having your interest in main, and providing a fully taylor-made service.

Real estate advisors

You can use a Conseil Immobilier and other real estate advisors. They communicate on the fact that they don’t charge any fee. When experts and lawyers who specialized in property laws, will charge contractual fees, according to the agreed mission. In that section we can also mention that like in other countries, in France some very well-off individuals have access to special structures such as Family office.
It is worth keeping in mind, that most advisory structures (Conseil Immobilier) are back by a vendor activity. So despite their communication and marketing most of them really act and make their turnover as vendor brokers.

Loan and insurance brokers

As you can imagine, they are many of them, from big entities to small independent structures. As a fact, they are very useful to shop around the banks. And they really help to find the best possible deal and compair it with what your current bank can offer you. Very often they don’t take a fee, and are retributed by the bank that will get the deal.

Conseillers bancaire (Bank advisors)

When looking to deal with a french bank, you will be received by a Conseiller or Chargé de clientèle. So like in your home country they are the commercial side, that will listen to you and tell you what their bank can do for you.


As we know every countries have their own way of doing things. And it is applicable for the role and responsibilities of architects. However the general frame of the scope of their job is the same.

For example in France it is legally binding to use an architect when you are planning a new build of more than 150 m². Generally they work on the basis of a contract, with a fee of about 15% of the work budget.

Géomètres (Land surveyors)

In many situations, it is very important to use those experts. Because often they are the only source of reliable information. However the real technicians, with they technical language, that is not accessible to everyone. They will work on the basis of an agreed quote, depending on the type of mission.

Experts évaluateur (Surveyors)

Although there are very rarely used for non-commercial deals, you can contract an expert to estimate the value of a property. Even if those experts aren’t so common, some do estimate the value for properties in case for example of inheritance matters.
With a boiling market like the one France has been in for 3 years, there is not much time for using such experts. So in most cases, the selling price has usually been estimated by the Estate Agent, working for the vendor.

Service de l’urbanisme (Town specialized service)

When you are planning to do visible works on property, or any exterior modification or extension, you need an autorisation. They are several types, and they all are examine by that townhall specialized service. Those people are not real estate professionals as such, but you need to know how to deal with them.

Les promoteurs (Property developers)

Property Developer build and sell their properties with their own sales team. When smaller companies use external operators, such as local Real Estate, specialized operators or independent agents. You will have to deal with this real estate professionals if you want to by a new property.

Entreprise générales (Building contractors)

All size contractor companies that you can contract with. they can take care of the entire work needed whatever you project is. And they then subcontract the special parts that they don’t do themselves. Typically they start working on the basis of a detailed quotation, agreed and signed. And with a done payment of, on average between 25-30%, before that start working.

Artisans (Tradesman)

In most cases it is a very small structure : the boss with a few companions. Generally they specialize in one, plumber, electricians, etc. Don’t forget to ask for a detailed quotation. But the problem is that, it is often not detailed enough.


Many Real Estate professionals will help you greatly. But you should really work with professionals based in France, especially if you can’t spend yourself much time over here.

And if you want to have serious work done you need to speak to 2 or 3 professionals, ask for detailed quotation and compare them. The difficulty is to make sure that they quote on the same basis.

In Chapter  Step 4 “Finding the property” we will go into more details regarding which real estate professionals to use at that stage.

Link to next chapter :
Link back to : The GUIDE synopsis page  

Team Wise Stone

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