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Selling a House in France

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there isn't one so far as i know

your best bet is via the internet as in my experience, immobiliers in france are absolutely useless in marketing property and tend to rely on people coming t them / looking in shop windows etc... it took me over 9 mnths to sell where i used to live in the charente before we moved here to 24... and, that was after being ring-fenced by every estate agent (immo) for miles and the sale (and proper interest in the house) only came about after it went up as a private sale on the internet

diy is probably your best bet


neil (24)

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I so agree.  We found our house on the internet though we had been on maybe 6 or 7 visits to France prior to that and seeing houses with agents.  To be honest, we could have bought about 3 houses from agents but there were factors outside the agents' control such as proximity of sewage works.

There were some agents who didn't bother to answer emails and some who couldn't give us an appointment for over a fortnight and it wasn't easy to go with their agenda as we were making visits that could only last a fortnight at a time.

To cover all options, you could, of course, market through agents and also via an internet site using yourself as an agent.  If you are not resident in the property, you will, of course, have to have someone who will take phone calls and show people around.

Incidentally, we also sold our UK house on the internet although it was also on the books of 2 local agents.

The thing to do is to give very full descriptions, with photos and room dimensions so that all those who wouldn't like the house would have eliminated themselves as potential buyers and, hopefully, the ones who do come to view will already have a very good idea of whether the house is suitable for them.

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What area are you in. I know a lady who covers South West who is always looking for good property to offer to her clients. There is no fee and i'm sure she can talk you through the process. Her name is Tracey and her number is 00 33 67 82 38 766.

If you call her, say Tania says Hi.

Good luck x

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We have bought three times and sold twice through agents, but are very interested in selling privately next time - in fact imminently. 

I believe  there are a number of internet sites where I can place an ad, but I only know of French Connections. I would appreciate recommendations about any others.

We live between Bergerac and Bordeaux.



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We advertised on www.green-acres.com and various other sites - propertyenfrance, totalfrance and ebay(!!). All our serious viewers came through green-acres and we have just sold. The agents (who suggested the selling price) didn't bring round one viewer and when I asked why, they told us that the property was overpriced, which it certainly was with their commission on top!!

I'd heard from friends that a couple of local agents were working in another trade most of the time as business is so bad - folks who are househunting just don't want to pay 10 - 20000+ for agents fees. When we bought our place I think our agent's fees were 1200 and in those days it didn't seem too bad as they also sorted out all the other things necessary, utilities, translations etc. But now.........that high percentage is just stupid!

PS Does anyone want to sell us a house privately in the Midi-Pyrenees??

Sorry Mayennaise, that little diatribe didn't help you much.

All you've got to do, if you are doing it yourself (and after you've found your buyers), is go straight to the Notaire to get the compromis sorted. If the buyers can't be there get all their details including previous names, maiden names, dates and places of birth and, current address and email. Give these to the Notaire who will sort out the diagnostic survey (or give you the telephone number of who does it) - this has just been done here and the guy checked for termites, lead paint, asbestos, and energy efficiency. This cost 512 euros but I think it's calculated on size of property. Find out if your buyers are needing finance (a mortage) as your Notaire will want to put a clause in to the compromis (but they don't like putting an open ended one in). You will also have to negotiate a signing date for the Acte de Vente with the purchasers and tell the Notaire (usually 3 months).

Then sit back and wait for the compromis to be signed and returned to the Notaire and deposit paid; then you can house hunt again in ernest!!

Good luck.
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We found our house through www.french-property.com and the vendor had a tremendous response to his ad.

I often also look at www.frenchpropertylinks.com and have contacted a vendor on a previous occasion.  Unfortunately we didn't manage to see his house (something I wonder about to this day) because we couldn't find the property and our mobile died on us that day!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Do be careful if dealing with third parties. Under the French system it is technically illegal to offer a house for sale on behalf of another person unless you are registered to do so - which means you should be either a notaire or a carte professionelle-carrying estate agent. I'm not saying anybody mentioned here is illegal - there are ways of operating a property-finding service legitimately - but tread carefully. There are many 'pirate' agents around in France; many, but not all, are English, and dealing with such people is just as illegal as being one of them. And in case of problems you will have no redress.

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