I would like to hear from other about their experiences with real estate agents in and around Geneva. Here are some of my (mainly bad) experiences:
First the good. For six years a private landlord has been the best thing I have found in Geneva. He has been response, civil and generally tried to live up to his responsibilities. He does not always keep the apartment up to sniff as he likes to do his own work, whether he is qualified to do so or not, but he seems better than any regie I have had to help others deal with.
Second, my recent experience with Regie du Rhone showed them to be very uncaring and even verging on illegal activity. I brought a signed contact to the Regie Du Rhone office in Lancey for a friend. A young woman named Ms Flubacher first refused to sign that she had received the contract, then refused to provide me copies of the contract to bring back to my friend, and then Ms Flubacher said she would not even confirm receipt until four days later, after the time had passed for my friend to give notice to her current landlord. I thought that was bad enough but it also appears that another representative of Regie du Rhone lied about the apartment having a cave (at least Ms Fulbacher said it did not) and lied about the necessity to rent a parking place (my friend has not car and had been told that she did not have to rent a parking place by the Regie du Rhone person showing her the apartment, Ms Flubacher however insisted that a parking place had to be rented...then said it could be sub-rented, then refused to agree to give permission to sub rent it as is required by the contract of rent). In all I found that during this experience of assisting my friend, Regie du Rhone acted very dishonestly.
Another friend, tried to buy an apartment that was being built from Comptoir Immobilier SA. The provisional contract was signed but then Comptoir Immobilier SA's Philippe Corbat pulled out of the deal without explanation and first tried to keep the 20,000 CHF deposit and then refused to pay any interest on the deposit that had been held for several months. Surprisingly Christ Notaries where involved in this matter. I had know to Jacques Christ to be a very reliable and honest notary, but after this experience I have steered associates away from him firm.
Finally, yet another friend want to buy a house in Ferney Voltaire in France. It was a nice place near Voltaire's estate. Preliminary arrangements were made with with I2C immobiliers, but no money changed hands. As the place was likely a listed property or had some restrictions on modifications it was suggested that my friend meet with the Ferney Voltaire architect. To their dismay and surprise the person selling the property was not entitled by law to sell it because he could not divide it from other property to which it was attached. If my friends had bought the place the French government would not have even recognized them as owners. Did the immobilier know this? How could they not have known as it was public information?