The real estate agents inserted want to mark their difference from the networks of real estate agents, these brands without agencies which compete with them. But for the buyer, what are the differences?
Fnaim hardens its tone against intermediaries who usurp the title of “real estate agent.”However, “inserted” professionals are not the only intermediaries able to offer housing for sale or for rent. This is also the case for agent networks, these brands without agencies born in the 2000s and made up of sales agents working from home.
Moreover, these new players continue to gain weight in this market (12% of sales among professionals). When buying a home, does the use of a network of agents or a classic real estate agency change anything for the buyer? Do we have the same guarantees, the same level of service, equivalent prices? While individuals do not always distinguish between one or the other of these models, there are differences.
The fee war between real estate agents
Some of these platforms have built their success on lower fees than traditional neighbourhood agencies. Indeed, these brands do not have to bear the costs incurred by the operation of physical agencies. This allows them to better remunerate their salespeople and display attractive prices, around 4% on average.
“The prices vary greatly depending on the territory, but we ask our agents that their prices be 25% to 30% below the average fees of the districts where they work”, the largest agent networks (9,000 sales agents). The gaps tend to narrow. The arrival of these new players has forced the agencies to lower their fees.
In the secrecy of negotiations between the agency and the seller first and foremost and more visible today. “Professionals are required to display the prices actually charged for the services they have been providing since 2017. As a result, the prices have approached those charged by the agents”
Real markers but which tend to fade
In agent networks, several hundred sales agents can be attached to a single professional card, that of the network manager. Each commercial agent is therefore required to take out civil liability insurance. This insurance covers financial damage resulting from professional misconduct. They cannot benefit – unlike agency employees – from the guarantees of the card holder.
While real estate agents have the ability to establish these documents in order to secure the parties’ agreement quickly, most of the time they choose to have these documents signed at a notary. This hardly differentiates them on this point from a commercial agent,1