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Estate agents and agence immobilieres, one based in the UK, the other in France. They ostensibly perform the same function: to sell your house in the quickest possible time or, alternatively, to help you find that dream home.

 

There are however a few key differences between the two…

 

Average Age:

 

Estate Agent: 20 – 30

 

Agence Immobiliere: 60 – 70

 

Location of business premises:

 

Estate Agent: Centrally located in heart of city/town/village

 

Agence Immobiliere: Centrally located in heart of city/town/village

 

 

Likelihood of finding dogs on said business premises:

 

Estate Agent: Very Low

 

Agence Immobiliere: At least one.

 

Will they smoke on said business premises?

 

Estate Agent: Smoking on business premises is illegal in the UK (so not while you are there)

 

Agence Immobiliere: Smoking on business premises is illegal in France (so not while you are there and occasionally while you are there)

 

What’s the lighting like inside said business premises?

 

Estate Agent: Bring sunglasses

 

Agence Immobiliere: Bring a torch

 

How they will greet you the second time you enter said business premises:

 

Estate Agent: ‘Hello, can I help you?’

(Translation: ‘What do you want? I’m nearly at level 80 on Candy Crush Saga!’)

 

Agence Immobiliere: (after warmly shaking your hand/kissing you on both cheeks) ‘Bonjour Monsieur/Madam (insert surname here). Ca va?’

(Translation: ‘Hello Mr (Insert surname here) how are you today?’)

 

How they will greet you the fourth time you enter said business premises:

 

Estate Agent: ‘Hello, can I help you?’

(Translation: ‘What do you want? I’m trying to upload my photos from the Ibiza trip to Facebook!’)

 

Agence Immobiliere: (after warmly shaking your hand, kissing you on both cheeks) ‘Bonjour (insert Christian name here) voulez vous une cafe, ou une boisson?’

(Translation: ‘Hello (insert Christian name here). Would you like a coffee or something to drink?’)

 

Likelihood that your agent will be related to someone else in company:

 

Estate Agents: Low

 

Agence Immobiliere: Them and that other person over there, you know the one that looks like a younger, female version of them? They ARE the company.

 

Routes to market for your property:

 

Estate Agent: Targeted email campaign, Facebook campaign, personalised brochure, open house days, local area leafletting, placement on multiple websites.

 

Agence Immobiliere: Placement on website of agency, discussion in queue at bakers, discussion in queue at butchers, discussion in queue at gunshop, discussion whilst out walking dog (s).

 

Number of Photographs that will be taken of the properties:

 

Estate Agent: a minimum of 10 or so photographs, depicting the interior, the exterior and everything that could possibly show the property in its best light.

 

Agence Immobiliere: A minimum of 1 or so photographs, sometimes the same photograph, 3 times, showing the same aspect, just slightly closer each time.

 

Will the agent ever take photographs as if they were taken by someone who has had a restraining order imposed on them and is not allowed within 100 ft of the property and thus has to resort to taking photographs when the house is fully shuttered on an overcast day from quite a distance away?

 

Estate Agent: Never

 

Agence Immobiliere: All the time

 

 

Will you move furniture around to get a better shot?

 

Estate Agent: Yes

 

Agence Immobiliere: No

 

Will they move people/animals out of shot?

 

Estate Agent: Yes

 

Agence Immobiliere: Sometimes

 

Have they mastered the art of taking a photo in a room with a mirror without appearing in said mirror?

 

Estate Agent: Yes

 

Agence Immobiliere: No

 

You are selling a house for over 200k, do you think people will want to see more than 3 photographs, one of which is of a bush?

 

Estate Agent: Yes

 

Agence Immobiliere: No

 

Do you think this looks like a good photo to have on your website?

 

Capture

 

Estate Agent: No

 

Agence Immobiliere: No

 

So why is it there Agence Immobiliere? Don’t you understand the term ‘correct photo orientation’?

 

Estate Agent: (Sniggers)

 

Agence Immobiliere: (shuffles feet)

 

I don’t know what you are laughing at Estate Agent, here’s one of yours:

 

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Estate Agent: (shuffles feet)

 

Agence Immobiliere: (Sniggers)

 

Do lots of your properties look like they are haunted?

 

Estate Agent: No

 

Agence Immobiliere: 75%

 

If you are selling a property who will accompany the prospective buyer?

 

Estate Agent: Ostensibly the estate agent will arrange all viewings, with the promise that you will not interact with the prospective buyer at all. In reality they will text you to tell you that they have ‘gotten held up’ and ‘could you be a gem and show the house for me?’. The buyer will then arrive 30 minutes late (or early) because the estate agent hasn’t relayed the correct information to them. This will only happen 8 out of 10 times though.

 

Agence Immobiliere: The agent, his/her son/daughter and his/her dog (s).

 

Potential timescale for the sale of a property?

 

Estate Agent: Days/Weeks/Months

 

Agence Immobiliere: Months/Years/Decades

 

How they will greet you when you enter their business premises after the successful completion of your sale/purchase:

 

Estate Agent: ‘Hello, can I help you?’

(Translation: ‘What do you want? I’m bidding on an ab-toner on eBay and it ends in 2 minutes, I need it to look good for my next holiday to Ibiza!’)

 

Agence Immobiliere: (after warmly shaking your hand, kissing you on both cheeks) ‘Bonjour (insert Christian name here) voulez vous une cafe, ou une boisson? Comment vont les enfants? Merci encore pour votre enterprise’

(Translation: ‘Hello (insert Christian name here). Would you like a coffee or something to drink? How are the kids? Thanks again for your business’)