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Secret to selling a house in France

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I am trying to sell our home in the Charente-Maritime and am getting pretty fed up with the lack of success. I have dropped the price and received less viewings. It is a big house over 200 sq m and nicely renovated but in a beat up little hamlet which has lovely neighbours. There are no shops but 10mins from local town. Feedback from visits is mostly positive so I just don't get why it hasn't sold. It was with one agent for 6 months and received no visits, changed agent and dropped price and have had about 7 viewings. Should I go multi agency or what. It is a beautiful house with loads of character but after 14 years in France its time to move on. Any suggestions ????

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Serious question this, how big is the lounge 'piece a vivre' ? Is it opened planned with the kitchen ?

It will be the 'piece a vivre' that will always sell a house.

Is it a family house ? How many bedrooms ? Is it in a family 'type' location ? How far from schools, colleges, and Lycees.

Who is your target buyer ?
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We are in the same situation. We are selling, but our place has only been on the market for a couple of months. We have 2 private ads on 2 U.K. sites. They are advertising only and you get to do the advert. If you want the details of them then PM me. I think that the forum would start throwing toys if I posted it on the open forum? Maybe not?

We also have gone the multi immo route with 2 local, one of which also does all of France and international, and one international, based in the U.K. but with agents all over the place. The U.K. based estate agency is not on line yet as we are only just sorting out the mandate for them.

So far we have had 3 visits.

1.  from one of the U.K. web ads, English couple.

2.  from the local only immo, also an English couple

3.  from the same immo, French couple.

So far no response.

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From what I've seen and heard in this area the only country houses that are selling quickly are small houses in a nice village with a few facilities, priced well under 200.000€.

There are 5 large houses near us which have been on the market for many months, even years, all priced over 300.000€. And thousands more like them on LbC.

The only 'secret' I know is attractive photos, which attract viewers but not necessarily buyers.

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Thanks for you email frenchdc.

The house is superb. I really like it. At that price !!!! and a pool table. I am in love. It maybe the 'piece a vivre thing' for French buyers...but it is difficult to tell on the photos. OK 'some' of the decor is personal but I can't see that influencing buyers because it can so easily be changed.

According to meilleursagents it is under priced.


I have no idea why it would not sell. I guess it is because you have exclusivity with one estate agent. How long left on the mandate ??

You need to get that on the bon coin.....and Greenacres I guess.

That should sell.
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LOL beat up village, yes, so many are, but isn't that the 'charm', at least that is what I am told, shabby is always shabby to me and I simply accept it and I don't think that that should be a real factor.

When we sold we tried the UK/ international method first and then went with a local estate agent who put it on the internet, so not 'local only'. Took some time, over a year but we got there, reducing our price somewhat but not a huge amount.

You say you have renovated, one can spend a fortune, is that the thing in this case???? Getting money back having spent money on things that you like????

I mention it as, over the last five years, a very good friend of mine, who will never leave her home, has spent more money on it than the market value, before she did a thing. All for her own pleasure and why not she has the money.

Good luck, it may take some time, we had to be patient, but got there in the end.

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OK it is on the Bon Coin. Just found it.

Some suggestions...

- I don't think the photos are doing it justice. I personally can see the house and the quality of the work done but the photos will not inspire people who can't see 'out of the box' to visit.

- looking at the others houses on Le Bon Coin (which look like junk in that price range) I think it is slightly underpriced.

- I think you need to remodel the furniture. Make the entrance the entrance. Try and create a modern feel.

The TV where it is not a good idea. It looks squashed.

You do need to create a large 'piece a vivre' and that needs to be your main photo.

When I think about it, it is actually the photos that are preventing more visits. Especially how it is presented on Le Bon Coin.
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Many people search within a fixed price range so if your place is above (or below) that they will not see it. Round here it has to be under 200000 euros including agency fees if it is to get a look in.

Whether people will have the confidence to start buying now that the election is over I am not sure, but there is a huge logjam of unsold properties to get through before the market really picks up.
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Not only is there a log jam but most properties being sold by Brits are wildly over-priced. In most cases they paid a inflated price, and then did the place up to please English taste, which will not impress a French buyer. As a rule of thumb I have found that you can offer about 65% of the advertised price for such properties.

This  is not helped by sites such as www.meilleursagents.com which have nothing to do with real prices, and perpetuate the false picture of prices.

Far better consult the official list of real selling prices in your immediate area in the last 3 years or so:

Aide à l'estimation des biens immobiliers dans le cadre d'une

déclaration d'ISF ou de succession, d'un acte de donation ou d'une

procédure administrative (contrôle fiscal, expropriation), de la vente

ou l'acquisition potentielle d'un bien immobilier ou pour le calcul des

aides au logement.



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Norman, the OP has been living in France for 14 years I think they no score when it comes to France.

Is there a log jam ???? Yes, but only in certain areas. Mainly the ones that the British buy in. In mainstream areas the market is fine. In fact there is a shortage of decent property.

www.meilleursagents.com is actually a good website. You probably won't understand.

Offering 65%...??? How many houses have you bought and sold to come up with that statistic ? LOL.

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I  can come up with that because I have the actual selling prices of local properties available to compare with the prices asked on estate agents' websites.

As was  said in the other thread, that is a site run by estate agents who

want you to sign up, and it has nothing to do with the real prices

people have paid.

It estimated my house at 125,000€ when in fact the house next door just sold for 37,000€ and looking on the site I recommended which gives the real prices paid and recorded by the tax authorities, nothing within 500 metres of mine has fetched more than 60,000€....

Of course anyone who would like to buy mine at 100k will be getting a bargain according to meilleursagents   Don't all rush...

What I don't understand is your steadfast refusal to accept the figures available from an official disinterested source. Perhaps you don't have access to it?  Do you have a French numéro fiscale and actually live here (necessary to consult that information)  or are you just empty p1ss and wind?

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We have recently sold our house in Charente Maritime, 05.05.2017. It was 220m2 in excellent condition, located in a small hamlet ( 15), very nice neighbours no shops and about 8 minutes by car to the nearest town with commerce.

We sold the house by advertising it for sale on leboncoin. We came to France in 2004, so a bit like yourself we have been here 13 years.

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The secret to selling a house, whether it's in the UK or France is to buy the right house at the right price, and then don't spend a fortune on it. We've sold 7 houses in France, only one at a loss due to health problems at the time.
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It would also be handy to be able to predict the future and where and when the prices will change. The 'right price' now may not be the 'right price' when it comes to parting with it and all I can say is you were very lucky.

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I have sold my house in the process of downsizing, I couldn't afford to stay there on a reduced income, so needed to sell. I was fortunate in that I knew the price of the smaller house I wanted so could afford to price accordingly. I bought it in 2006 for 150,000, put in new bathroom, new roof on both the house and the seven outbuildings, new floors downstairs and painted the outside and the shutters. Plus decoration on the inside. I advertised it for 160,000 plus fees and sold it for 150,000. I'm probably out of pocket by about 30,000 but it sold in 7 months to the fifth couple who viewed. I do think if it is priced right it will sell. ( by the way, it was a four bedroomed three reception roomed farmhouse with outbuildings and an acre of land near I.e. 4kms of a village with all amenities.)
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Anyone can sell their house in France for a price which reflects its current value, in order to buy another house in France without much loss - or gain.

If they want to get enough dosh to buy in, and move back to, the UK, that 's totally different story..............

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Not sure that moving back to the UK would have been all that different a story.

Just done a back of fag packet type of calculation and:

assuming figures of Jo are in euros then

actual house price inflation from 2006 is about 20% averaged over UK.

pound/euro exchange rate is about 25% different - more pounds for your euro.

So, probably about the same loss if moving to an "average" region in the UK.

NB used this

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  • 4 weeks later...
I have just had a look at the site you posted Norman, didn't get chance before. It seems strange to me that you could have a totally Gerry built place with a really well built one beside it and if they were the same area they would be worth the same? Totally on the m2.

It seems a bit like that a good make car is worth the same as a real c r a p job as long as it has the same size shadow with the sun directly overhead?

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Without signing in again Norman that is the same site that quoted both the overall value of houses sold within 5k and a year of us. It gave the price and the m2. I can't be a r s e d to go through that again at the mo, but if you wish I will and take a screen dump of it?

Honestly, that is what I got.

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It seems strange to me that you could have a totally Gerry built place

with a really well built one beside it and if they were the same area

they would be
worth the same? Totally on the m2.

But the point is that those are the actual prices., so even if it seems strange that two were the same it isn't a question of a 'valuation', it is simply a record of what was paid.

That is the difference between that site an an estate agent's.

Flats around mine in the village vary wildly in the price paid per m2.

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  • 2 months later...
Whew! Well I have just signed my half of the compromis to sell my holiday home in the rural Vendée!

It's a big step, after nearly 50 years with a toehold in an area that provided material for my first guidebook, and where I have made many brilliant friends. But the house is looking good, and I am still (just) on top of the garden, so it's the right time.

As mentioned throughout this thread, houses below 200,000 euros are easier to sell and, once I convinced the (French) agent of that, things moved quite swiftly.

The Wooly one and I have spent a week ruthlessly (him) and reluctantly (me) binning up tools, ancient tins of paint, potions, wire netting, hardened filler cartridges, empty jam jars etc to be shared between the déchèterie and Emmaüs. Most poignant are the beach games, kites, fishing rods and butterfly nets (even if a bit mouse-nibbled round the edges) - souvenirs of many jolly family holidays past.

The young French buyers have expressed an interest in keeping a few choice meubles, but by no means all, so things will be getting even harder on the next trip when we shall have to wrangle over disposing of things I actually care about!
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