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Sophia Mose
Sophia Mose
Buyer's Agent
1318  Profile Views

About Me

PROVENCE SEARCH offers a bespoke property search and acquisition service for clients looking to buy property in the most sought-after parts of Southern Provence and the Côte d’Azur (French Riviera).

Sophia Mose Lives in Aix-en-Provence and is one of only a few Anglophone buyer’s agents with a French estate agent's license. Sophia regularly gets consulted by newspapers and magazines on French property and writes the “Buying Advice” column in FrenchEntrée Magazine. She also has written extensively for other publications.

Sophia worked as an international finance lawyer in New York and London before moving to France in 2005. She has a master’s degree in Dutch & International law (Leiden) and Juris Doctor and LL.M degrees from Duke University School of Law in the US. She is a member of the New York Bar (inactive) and holds Carte Professionnelle T – sans maniement de fonds – № B14-5612 issued by the Préfecture des Bouches du Rhône.

my expertise in the industry

All aspects of French property acquisition, with a focus on Provence and the Côte d'Azur.

Sophia's Recent Activity

Sophia Mose
Graham, I believe that the main enemy of the property profession is public opinion. Politicians tend to pander to public opinion and don’t think things through long term. Although lobbying as one body of course would be a huge improvement, before being able to effectively lobby with politicians, estate agents as a profession, must change public opinion. Although public opinion of estate agents often is based on a few bad apples only, I have a strong suspicion (would be interesting to get your view on this) that the main reason for the public’s lack of respect is the fact that in the UK (or is it only Scotland and Wales?) there is no education or experience requirement whatsoever for entry into the profession. In practice, I’m sure many agents will have a relevant degree or experience. But that’s not the point. I believe that it’s disastrous for the image/perception of the profession that any idiot can set up shop or work with an agency. I’m an experienced commercial lawyer and have worked in various jurisdictions. I have been a licensed estate agent (working as a buyer’s agent) in France for five years now and still am learning a lot on the law, building/construction and other things relevant to the profession. We facilitate and assist with most people’s biggest purchase in life and I find it truly baffling that there isn’t an exam or licensing requirement for estate agents in the UK. You cannot expect people to know the law that governs the profession if there is no minimum education requirement. Here in France the owner of the agency must be licensed, which is only possible if they satisfy strict education or experience requirements. Sales agents who work on commission are registered under the license of the owner and must be supervised. They must make clear in communications that they are not a licensed agent (broker) and they cannot give legal advice to vendors or buyers. In addition, since 2015, property professionals and their agents must follow continuing education in order not to lose their license. Estate agents are often still hated in France (mostly because there's less understanding of conflict of interest than there is in the Anglo-American world) , but there is respect for the profession and the government listens to the trade bodies (there are only two main trade associations here). These trade bodies also have recommended regulations for their members, but I believe that self-regulation is never enough for the image of the profession if entry into the profession itself isn’t regulated in the first place. Not easy to change, but as long as this remains the same, I'm afraid that the UK public won’t respect the profession. What do you think?

From: Sophia Mose 03 December 2016 15:34 PM

Sophia Mose
What I find disappointing when estate agents talk about "customer service" is that they usually don't mean customer service to their own client (principal) - the vendor, whom they have an agreement and agency relationship with. No wonder that the public generally does not hold estate agents in high esteem. By law, estate agents are allowed to represent both parties on opposite sides of the table. We all know that this is not possible in practice however, so why does this absurd situation continue? In practice it means that in a buyer's market vendors are left to their own devices and in a seller's market the buyer is the party without proper representation. In some countries it is standard practice for buyers to hire a buyer's agent and for vendor hire a listing agent. That makes a lot more sense. Why can't the UK and France adopt that system? Does anyone know? Graham, it would be interesting to dig a bit deeper into that. Perhaps buyers would stop being seen as supermarket customers and actually get some solid advice and representation. And vendors would have their own agent who'd advise them and help negotiate the highest price. This false impression that it is possible to represent both parties to a substantial financial transaction can only lead to dissatisfaction. Alison Platt says that there are similarities between selling groceries and selling houses? As a buyer's agent I have to chuckle and say "Thanks Alison, that is helpful and hopefully buyers understand better why they need their own representation." A house is not a bottle of milk, vendors are not distributors of commodities and buyers are not supermarket customers.

From: Sophia Mose 25 January 2016 09:35 AM

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