Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Selling a house in France is quite different to the UK, or so most people believe. Agency fees are much higher here, and are paid for by the buyer, whereas of course they are paid for by the seller in England. But be honest, if you are selling a house in the UK, don’t the prices reflect the fact that the vendor is going to pick up the tab for say 2.5% fees, and therefore this is built into the price in any event. The main difference here in France is the general lack of exclusivity delas for agencies, so that a property will often be with 4 or 5 agencies and perhaps advertised privately as well. Inevitably, these agencies will all have differing fee structures, so the house appears in marketing at different prices, confusing the buyer. Since they are not paying, some vendors decide to place there property with numerous agencies, with the end result that none of them go out of their way to make a special effort to sell the property, and the house appears on dozens of websites, giving the appearance of a desperate vendor, with a problem property. Going down the private sale route is fine if you can present your property professionally, but many adverts are frankly awful, and you then end up dealing with serial viewers who are not in a position to proceed even if they feel inclined. You also face the thorny issue of negotiating face to face with the buyer, and even if you are up to the challenge, they may not be comfotable! Buyers are also suspicious of how an owner arrived at the asking price for a private sale. The natural assumption is that the owner is being hopeful and this then attracts a significantly reduced offer. In our admittedly biased opinion, there is no substitute for using a professional agency with good internet presence, (since 95%+ of searches start this way), and restricting your choice to 3 or at an absolute maximum of 4 agencies to work with. Feel free to offer photographs that show the property in the best light, and offer to work with your agent rather that against them, and you will enjoy the rewards sooner rather than later.
Peter Elias (Agent Commercial) http://www.allez-francais.com
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