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Selling Privately

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Sorry if I offended the o/p if their post was a perfectly genuine plea for info'.  However, maybe I'm getting cynical in my old age, but I'm afraid that as soon as I see a post saying anything like "How do I sell my...?", my suspicious side always thinks it's a rough translation of "Would anybody like to buy my...?"  Particularly when it is described in any detail, and in this case RD, was very specific in that you said you wanted a "private sale." 

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  • 3 weeks later...
Hi I agree with what you say about the agents if the one's I've contacted are anything to go by!!! I WAIT AGES FOR RESPONES to my e.mails some are rather negative saying I need to have sold first not even saying would you like to view!!!!! I am in the UK and hope to visit on the 14 th August but at this rate I'll never get any properties to view, SO NOT BOOKED MY FLIGHT YET!!!
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[quote user="flanny"]Hi I agree with what you say about the agents if the one's I've contacted are anything to go by!!! I WAIT AGES FOR RESPONES to my e.mails some are rather negative saying I need to have sold first not even saying would you like to view!!!!! I am in the UK and hope to visit on the 14 th August but at this rate I'll never get any properties to view, SO NOT BOOKED MY FLIGHT YET!!![/quote]

You do not have to book viewings from the uk.You could peruse the outside of at least 10 properties a day just by walking in to any estate agents/notaires office.

By looking at lots from the outside you will be able to disregard most of them and also get a feel for areas/price

I would only want an escorted viewing after I had perused many on my own



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Just getting back to the original subject and to help Red Devil along.  We have found a buyer for our French cottage ... funnily enough through a car club, getting chatting, etc., though I know that doesn't help anyone in finding theirs.  However, we were going to advertise privately anyway.

So this chap came to view and has offered, which we have accepted.  Then I thought "help, what do I do next" since it's usually the estate agent who sorts it out.  Taking advice from this forum (yes, there is some useful advice out here) I have now made an appointment to see a local notaire tomorrow.  I haven't had the asbestos/lead/energy/termite report done yet but have called our local mairie to get the name and phone number of someone that they recommend (mayor's secretary is the font of all knowledge!).  The survey will probably happen next week and the notaire cannot proceed without it but at least tomorrow's meeting with the notaire is to inform him and find out how we proceed.

I asked our buyer for his full name, address, date and place of birth and his marital status (divorced as it happens) since I know this is put on the compromis de vente.  I am going to the notaire with the deeds of the house, a copy of our taxes fonciere and habitation and also a copy of our house insurance policy.  This should be sufficient for him to start the necessary searches (there's no mortgage against the property, if there had been then the notaire would have wanted details of this) and prepare a 'skin' of the compromis de vente.  when the house surveys come through then they will be sent to the notaire and I think he will have enough to prepare a copy of the compromis de vente for our signature, tehn it's off to the buyers.

By the way, we agreed a price in £ sterling but of course I had to agree a Euro rate with the buyer, taken as the date that he emailed to acknowledge acceptance of our offer.  I had worried about this, wondering if the notaire had an 'official' rate but apparently they don't.  You just go to the notaire with the price that you and the buyer have agreed and leave the rest to him.

I was quite worried about selling privately and the nitty-gritty details of what to do next.  I guess if you find a helpful notaire then it's pretty much plain sailing so I'd get a recommendation about a helpful notaire.  Remember, however, that the buyer pays the notaire so it's actually the buyer who can select the notaire to use (or he can use his and you use yours and they split the fee).  However, our English buyer has asked us to sort this out so I took advice from people who used this notaire and they said he was very helpful and friendly, hence my choice.

Anyway, I'll keep you posted as we go along but do p.m. me if you have any questions.  I can only offer information as we go down this private selling process !

Good luck with finding a buyer. 

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Just as an update to my last message, if anyone's interested in this link.  I went to the notaire and gave him our title deeds plus our details, as sellers, and the buyer's details.  He was quite surprised that they weren't at his office but I explained that they'd returned to England but were happy to be corresponded with.  He wasn't comfortable with that and explained that he had a responsibility to the buyers and wanted to explain to them what he was doing, their responsibilities and talk through the various ownership options, hence he would like to see them (I've emailed them to set up a meeting).  He also said he wasn't happy to post stuff to England since signed-for letters weren't reliable.  As the Compromis de Vente contains a 7-day retraction, from the date of signature, then he wouldn't be able to monitor whether they had exercised their powers under this clause or not, as the post could take over a week.  Fair point, I guess.

He then told me that I had to get energy/asbestos/lead/termite surveys done and gave me the phone number of someone he recommends who does these quickly (in two days' time actually) and a copy of the survey will be sent directly to the notaire and one to me.  I'll have to pay for this but it will be allowed against the Capital Gains Tax on the house.

Anyway, we then discussed Capital Gains Tax (plus valuer) and I presented him with a batch of workmen's bills for various stuff that had been done.  He asked me to represent it to him in a different format - i.e. each bill had to be numbered and listed on a sheet saying exactly what the works were and the amount.  I had just listed all the bills by date, enterprise name and amount but he wanted it classified as "central heating", "installation of bathroom", etc. with all bills clumped together by subject.  Also, he said he could only allow against NEW improvement work, not replacement.  So the installation of new electricity wiring (to replace the ancient wall switch that was hanging off and the single light bulb) could not be allowed since, technically, there was already electricity to the property!  So the work we had done was only a replacement and didn't classify as an improvement.

I think he's a fair notaire and he has a good reputation around here.  Although it's inconvenient to ask the buyers to make a second visit just to sign the Compde Vente I can see his point ..... after all, as the seller I could be telling him anything. 

But I'm learning a useful lesson here and since I haven't seen any other postings about the actual process of selling privately I thought I'd catalogue by experiences for the benefit of others.  Is anyone interested in me continuing this thread as I go along ? 

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I used to have a thread on this forum relating to a French property sale.  (Please Note: I am a private seller NOT a professional immo). As a result of that thread I received lots of weblinks and hints and tips that have proved most useful and cost effective - and the odd one that was rubbish! Ho hum!

I have given my word to the moderator that I would not discuss these (perfectly legal) tactics and tips on open forum - but please feel free to mail me privately. I'll be happy to share my two cents with anyone in the buying-selling process (Just realised how suspicious that all sounds .. it's nothing fishy honest!).  Ian

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