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Old 13.09.2016, 21:22
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Commission for real estate agent?

My husband and I are attempting to sell our apartment in Geneva on our own, without hiring a real estate agent. We just put up some online ads a few days ago, and we have had a few responses already.

One is from a real estate agent who works for Stone Invest. She wrote to us saying that she has a client who is looking for an apartment in our district and in our price range, and she would like to bring the client by for a visit.

I apologize if this is a stupid question, but I'm just a bit confused about how this works. I assume that the client is paying for her house-searching services, as advertised on the Stone Invest website.

Will she also expect to receive a commission from us if her client ends up buying our place? Should I clarify this before the visit?
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Old 13.09.2016, 21:29
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Re: Commission for real estate agent?

I would absolutely clarify that and make sure that they are not "double-dipping". And it is not an unreasonable question to ask.
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Old 13.09.2016, 21:32
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Re: Commission for real estate agent?

If there's no written contract between you and the agent, I don't think she can claim any commission from you. Just be careful not to agree to anything like that during the visit. If she says buyer is her client, presumably she has a contract with them to do the search and will get the money from him.
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Old 13.09.2016, 21:33
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Re: Commission for real estate agent?

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If there's no written contract between you and the agent, I don't think she can claim any commission from you. Just be careful not to agree to anything like that during the visit. If she says buyer is her client, presumably she has a contract with them to do the search and will get the money from him.

Better double check to make sure!
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Old 13.09.2016, 21:36
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Re: Commission for real estate agent?

She just wants to look at your property & get you to sign a sellers contract.
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Old 13.09.2016, 21:43
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Re: Commission for real estate agent?

Tread very carefully!

Say nothing that could be in anyway construed as a verbal contract, and certainly sign nothing without legal advice.

Make no assumptions. The relationship between you and the agent, or the acknowledgement that there is no relationship, no payment expected, must be absolutely clear, in writing, and checked by your lawyer.

In my area, in this scenario the agent will expect you to pay him the full commission.

(Chances are there is no client... and if there is, assume the agent is working against you - all the while expecting you to pay him/her for the privilege.)

I'll say it again - get legal advice!
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Old 13.09.2016, 21:56
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Re: Commission for real estate agent?

Pre-empt her, send her a written reply saying you have no problem however you will not be paying any commission to her and that this is an arrangement between her and her client and you have no financial responsibility towards her whetrher the house sells or not.

The downside of course is the client will offer a price that is slightly below what you could expect to get and then the difference will be paid to the agent.

At then end of the day, the property sells for it's right price, it's more a question of division.

If you want to send me a private mail with some details, it's possible i may have an interest to purchase.
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Old 13.09.2016, 22:11
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Re: Commission for real estate agent?

A real estate agent is usually paid by the seller and this one will also assume that. Is the agent bringing her clients with her? She may not know that you are selling it yourself
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Old 13.09.2016, 22:39
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Re: Commission for real estate agent?

Unless you know the market very well and and are (somehow) convinced that your valuation is correct, I'd (in this situation) at least consider using an agent to sell. The amount you could lose by not getting the optimal price could outweigh the savings in agent fees. Also, you are more isolated from the potential purchases, which could be good, especially for weeding out purchasers who have no real hope of securing the necessary finances. But, an agent may require a provision of around 3% of the transaction price for a property sale. However, agents fees can be offset against tax on any profits you may make from the sale,
Having said that, an agent must be chosen with care. The client should chose the agent and not vice versa and maybe you should get some competitive quotes/valuations.
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Old 13.09.2016, 22:52
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Re: Commission for real estate agent?

Spoken like a true salesman

Quote:
I'd (in this situation) at least consider using an agent to sell.
All you know about the situation so far is that they're not using an agent... hehe
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Old 13.09.2016, 23:02
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Re: Commission for real estate agent?

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Spoken like a true salesman


All you know about the situation so far is that they're not using an agent... hehe
. . . and that they seek advice on an internet forum about conducting a private property sale. I am not a salesman and never have been one.
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Old 13.09.2016, 23:22
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Re: Commission for real estate agent?

When my wife's parents' house was sold, it went for 500k more than my (and my wife's lawyer's) 1.3M estimate, thank's to the agent.

So, well worth the fee.

Tom
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Old 14.09.2016, 12:46
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Re: Commission for real estate agent?

You can have three agents visit your house and give you a value estimate for free and still sell the house yourself

Selling and buying is a tricky business. Now the market is slow I would say using an agent may have some benefits. But according to another thread there are not a lot of good ones out there..
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Old 14.09.2016, 12:58
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Re: Commission for real estate agent?

A better use for the large sum of money you'd pay to an agent might be to hire a lawyer to deal with the sale. Show the house yourself, turn the legalities over to the lawyer.

I'll also second Mrs D's suggestion of consulting the HEV. Their valuation services, advice, etc. might be a reason to consider joining.
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Old 14.09.2016, 13:20
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Re: Commission for real estate agent?

I'd be very careful. You may find that the 'customer' cancels at the last moment but the agent wants to come anyway. Or shows up with a friend who is only for show.

Not saying these guys are not ethical but there are many agents out there in a rapidly shrinking market. They appear to believe that their agency gets more buyers if it has a lot of listings.

The number of times we were told that an agency had a client, but really didn't are too numerous to count.
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Old 14.09.2016, 13:46
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Re: Commission for real estate agent?

Many thanks to all of you who have given your advice. You've been very helpful.

meloncollie, I looked back through the thread but couldn't find any poster named "Mrs. D" or any mention of an HEV, so I'm not sure what you're referring to.

I Googled HEV, and they appear to be a German-speaking homeowners' association. Their website is only in German, which I don't speak. Do you know if there is a French-speaking equivalent in Suisse romande?
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Old 14.09.2016, 13:53
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Re: Commission for real estate agent?

I think this is the closest equivalent in almost-france: http://www.fri.ch/
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Old 14.09.2016, 14:00
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Re: Commission for real estate agent?

Perfect, thanks.
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Old 14.09.2016, 14:07
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Re: Commission for real estate agent?

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meloncollie, I looked back through the thread but couldn't find any poster named "Mrs. D" or any mention of an HEV, so I'm not sure what you're referring to.

I Googled HEV, and they appear to be a German-speaking homeowners' association. Their website is only in German, which I don't speak. Do you know if there is a French-speaking equivalent in Suisse romande?
Oopa, I was toggling between this and the other currently running thread discussing difficulties with estate agents...

The HEV, the Hauseigentumerverband, is an organization that promotes the interest of home owners, sort of like the Meiterverband/Asloca does with tenants.

The general Swiss website is here:
http://www.hev-schweiz.ch

Variousl cantonal sections of the HEV can be found here, click on the map:
http://www.hev-schweiz.ch/verband/he...eiz/sektionen/

It looks like the relevant group in Geneve might be:
http://www.cgionline.ch/FR/index.html

My French is awful, so I may be misunderstanding - but it looks like this group isn't exactly a section of the HEV, but rather a related organization. Still worth looking into.
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Old 14.09.2016, 14:10
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Re: Commission for real estate agent?

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meloncollie, I looked back through the thread but couldn't find any poster named "Mrs. D"
She's talking about Mrs. D.
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