How to Conduct a Real Estate Research
– Real estate search: define your search criteria in advance
– Advantages of using a real estate agent to search for a property
– Disadvantages of using a real estate agent
– Agency fees: how to calculate them
– Agency fees: lowering the bill
To find the property of your dreams: house, apartment, new or old housing, life annuity or furnished property… there are different approaches. It all depends on the time and money you have available… To make your real estate search easier, optimize your chances and reduce the time needed, you can call on a real estate agency.
Real estate search: define your search criteria in advance
You can search for your property yourself, but this requires real investigation. It is crucial, when you start a real estate search, to know your needs. Define precisely your search criteria:
– What environment do I want to find? What proximity is essential to me?
Example: I prefer proximity to my children’s school, workplace, train station, shops, etc.
– Do I need an exterior?
– How much space do I need? How many rooms do I need? etc.
The more carefully you answer these questions, the better the quality of your future contacts with real estate agents and the better the results of your actions. A precise client who expresses precise and identified criteria and needs will stimulate the action of the real estate agent.
Advantages of real estate research by a real estate agent
A real estate agent is a local specialist in housing acquisition projects. Thanks to his networks, knowledge, and attentive listening, he will be able to guide you in your research, direct your reflection, and save you time.
You only pay the real estate agent if he acts as an intermediary between you and a seller. This payment must be made at the time of the conclusion of the purchase. You will make no payment during the search, but only at the time of the notarial act.
Example: I visit with ten different agents and do not buy anything. I, therefore, do not owe any fees to any of them. Same case, but I buy a property among those visited, I will owe the fees only to the real estate agent who presented the selected property.
The support of a real estate professional will help you clarify your situation and your needs. In this sense, you will gain by not multiplying useless visits that do not meet your needs.
Even if the Internet allows you to access almost all the real estate market offers, contacting real estate agencies to help you in your research has many advantages.
Find a property faster
Real estate agencies have a perfect understanding of the local market:
– They establish a rigorous selection based on your criteria of choice.
– They avoid you to multiply fruitless visits.
– They can contact you as soon as they obtain a mandate for a property corresponding to your expectations, even before the ad is put online.
– They can also provide you with information on the condominium or the town’s urban planning programs.
Good to know: an agency can give you valuable advice during visits to make you aware of hidden defects, allowing you to be more confident when making your choice.
Negotiate for the best price
An agency can help you negotiate the price of a property:
– It has a thorough knowledge of its value.
– It knows the negotiation margins accepted by the sellers and can therefore direct you towards properties you would have discarded because their price was too high.
Disadvantages of using a real estate agent to search for a property
Having a real estate agent accompany you in your search will incur an additional cost. The applicable rates are set freely by each agency. Most often, it is a percentage applied to the sale price of the property. The applicable rates must be displayed so that you can be aware of them before any purchase or sale.
The commission varies according to the agency: from 3 to 10% of the selling price of the property.
The agency fees are additional costs to purchase a property, just like the notary fees, the property tax, and the housing tax. It is the commission charged by the real estate agency.
Many sellers delegate the sale of their property and the search for buyers to real estate agencies. In this case, the seller pays a commission to the real estate agent, the amount of which has been negotiated before the start of the sales process. In practice, this commission is then paid by the buyer.
Note: It is essential to know that we commonly speak of “agency fees,” but the official term is “fees”.
Agency fees: calculation methods
Real estate agency fees are negotiated between the seller and the agency. They generally amount to between 3 and 10% of the sale price and are proportional: the higher the sale price, the lower the percentage of agency fees.
When you see an advertisement in an agency, the agency fees are included in the selling price of the property.
Costs to be paid by the seller
Nowadays, real estate agency fees are usually paid by the seller. However, a clause may provide for :
– payment by the buyer ;
– a split between the buyer and the seller.
In practice, even when these fees are payable by the seller, the latter passes them on to the final sale price:
– the seller sets the net selling price;
– the agency adds its fees to the total amount of the sale.
Agency fees: lowering the bill
Of course, the buyer has the right to make an offer to purchase that is lower than the sale price of the property. This reduction can be borne by both the seller and the real estate agency: it is a matter of negotiation between one and the other.
The seller can also negotiate the agency fees on his side: the best solution is to put several agencies in competition. If he negotiates the agency fees, this can be reflected in the purchase price paid by the buyer. Real estate agents’ fees are freely fixed, so it can be interesting to negotiate them, especially if their amount is higher than usually practiced in this field.