Real estate sale: what are the obligations of the real estate agent?

Verified 01 January 2023 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

In a real estate sale, a real estate agent must fulfill several obligations. Must he have a mandate from the salesman? Does he have a duty to advise? What information must be specified in the real estate listing? We're doing an update on the regulations.

Before listing a property, the real estate agent must have a mandate written, signed and valid.

The sales order shall contain in particular the following particulars:

  • Purpose and duration of the mandate (usually 3 months)
  • Designation of owner(s) in case ofdivision
  • Agent contact information and business card number
  • Fees (agency fees), and who will be responsible for them
  • Conditions for the handling of funds and the presentation of accounts
  • Means used by the agent to carry out the sale
  • Registration number of the mandate in the Agency's mandate register

There are several types of mandate:

  • The simple mandate allows the owner to entrust the sale to several agencies and to sell his own property.
  • The semi-exclusive mandate is signed with a single agency and the owner can sell his property himself.
  • The exclusive mandate is signed with an agency, only to be able to sell the property.

In all locations where the real estate agent receives its clients, the real estate agent must display the following items, prominently:

  • Business Card Number
  • Amount of the financial guarantee
  • Address of guarantor

If he receives funds during real estate transactions, the poster shows the following information:

  • Bank and account number where payments and discounts are to be made
  • Mandatory methods of payment.

The real estate agent must display the prices of his services including taxes (including tax).

The scale of his fees is displayed legibly and visibly at the entrance of the establishments receiving customers. Where the establishment has a display case, it must be clearly visible from the outside. Prices are displayed in the same format and location as the normal property listing format.

The scale must be accessible on the trader's website. Prices are also given on other sites or are subject to a reference to information.

Where the proportional fees vary according to the sales price bands of the property, the realtor must state in a very apparent and intelligible way whether they are cumulative.

The poster must also specify for each benefit who is responsible for payment.

The fees displayed must be actually charged at the end of the transactions carried out through the trader.

The trader must provide the following information when drafting a real estate listing :

  • Sale price of the property sold
  • Amount of fees inclusive of taxes (including tax) expressed as a percentage
  • Payment of fees by the buyer or by the seller

If the fees are payable by the purchaser, the selling price is expressed as inclusive and excluded fees. The fee price included must appear in larger characters. The amount of the fee payable by the purchaser, including VAT, is preceded by the mention Fees and is expressed as a percentage of the value of the property excluding fees.

If the fees are the exclusive responsibility of the seller, only the selling price excluding fees must be mentioned.

Where the proportional fees vary according to the sales price bands of the property, the realtor must state in a very apparent and intelligible way whether they are cumulative.

Real estate listings also display the energy performance diagnosis (DPE), which estimates a home's energy consumption and greenhouse gas emission rate.

The real estate agent must inform the consumer about major natural and technological risks, mining risks, the decline of the coastline and soil pollution.

The property advertisement shall include the following statement: ‘Information on the risks to which this property is exposed is available on the Georisques website: www. georisques. gouv. fr ”

This information must be easily accessible whatever the medium used by the trader for advertising (windows, website, etc.).

Announcements about a condominium sale shall indicate the following:

  • Property sold subject to the status of the condominium
  • Number of condominium lots in the building
  • Average annual amount of expenses paid by the seller
  • Procedure in progress due to difficulties encountered by the co-ownership (preventive measures, safeguard plan...)

Yes, the real estate agent has a duty to advise. It must ensure the regularity of the transaction and provide the parties with all the necessary technical information. In order to do so, it shall check in particular the following points:

  • Title of ownership of the seller (in case undivided, all owners must accept the sale of the property)
  • Statutes and minutes of the general meeting authorizing the sale, for a civil real estate business (SCI)
  • Characteristics of the goods supplied by the seller (surface area, existence of possible easements, compulsory real estate diagnostics,...)
  • Solvency of the purchaser by asking for his personal contribution, for example

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