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hi, we are in the process of buynig a very large stone barn + outbuildings + about half an acre, in lower Normandy. we agreed to the full asking price (42,000euros) as we fell in love with it on sight! plus it has 90% good slate roof, stone floors, a columbage attached that will make a separate two bedroom accommodation and the location is lovely. in short it ticked all our boxes. but at 8,000euros, the agency fees far exceed the 10% max norm; though we accepted this as we considered the property to be a bargain and our English agents very helpful.However, two weeks later we discovered another agency selling the same property with fees of 20,000euros almost half the price of the property!! surely this sort of profiteering cannot be allowed?As you might guess, we are very glad we did not see their agency ad first, and suggest seeking out other possible ads for your dream home before settling on the first one.Sometime previous,we had the chance to spend some months living in an area about 40mins drive away from the property (we're not rich just got lucky!) and got to know the French people and their ways. Our use of the language was very limited at that time but they helped us with this and seemed pleased that at least we tried so we recommend, if at all possible, try living with the natives (if only for a couple of weeks) and learning at least enough to get by for starters if you don't already speak the language and don't forget we had hands before we had language a very useful backup!best wisheslaraine

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