This profession is a dream for the French but many of those who do it use illegal practices.

Behind the glitter promised by some professionals lies a completely different reality.

This profession is a dream for the French but many of those who do it use illegal practices.

Behind the glitter promised by some professionals lies a completely different reality.

It’s a job that many French people dream of. TV, streaming platforms and social networks have helped it gain popularity, even if it is experiencing a period of turbulence due to the economic context. Becoming a real estate agent, an ambition carried by thousands of people, at a time when Stéphane Plaza and the Kretz family have become icons of the sector. But behind the prestige sold by the cameras, there are illegal practices, unknown to the general public.

According to the Fraud Repression, many real estate agents deceive their clients, mainly on the financial aspect. The report, dated 2022, notes that these professionals sometimes indicate their fees excluding tax, while the price actually paid is 20% more expensive (corresponding to VAT). It also happens that there is confusion about the person who must pay this remuneration (buyer or seller).

Furthermore, during a transaction, certain professionals do not hesitate to exert illegal financial pressure on sellers. Thus, it is prohibited to include a clause requiring the seller to pay fees when he has sold his property by another means. What some agencies practice however.

Largesse prohibited by law while these intermediaries generally receive 6% of the amount received by the seller. But some do not hesitate to pay the 10% fee. These percentages are often criticized for their level, above the European average (4%), as noted by the Competition Authority.

Among other frauds, many obligations are not always respected for rentals. Informational (surface area, charges, deposit) but also, again, financial: the amount of the commission is not always indicated and, above all, the invoices sent for having carried out the visits and the drafting of the rental lease are sometimes higher than permitted by regulations. A scale must not be exceeded.

Despite the importance of the fees charged by traditional real estate agencies (the new 100% digital ones apply a lower scale), the French still seem attached to the figure of the real estate agent. Two thirds of transactions are carried out with an intermediary, a constant figure for several years. The real estate agent remains a guarantee of confidence to carry out the operation successfully. But be careful not to be fooled by certain questionable practices...

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