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Private property sales in France

Discussion in 'French Property' started by Steve Robert, Jun 13, 2007.

  1. Steve Robert

    Steve Robert New Member


    I have been browsing french property websites and I have seen a few interesting private sale properties on IFP and FPL. The lack of agency commission has interested me but I am concerned about the difficulty in buying direct from a vendor without agency representation.

    My french is ok, so language shouldn't be too much of a problem. Instead I am unsure of the buyer and seller roles in a private purchase. Does anyone have any advice from personal experience or links to good information specific to private sales in France. The only info I have so far found online is the general purchase info found in the IFP Guides section.

    All help gratefully received.


  2. Lynda Saxton

    Lynda Saxton New Member

    Property for sale in Aquitaine

    Hi, Buying a property privately is perfectly safe as it has to go through a Notaire who is a lawyer working for the French Government and doesnt favour either side he can complete the sale for both seller and buyer, he is strictly controlled and must follow the letter of the law all sales must go through a Notaire to be legal.
    I have a 4 bed 2 bath fully renovated property for sale in the South West of France, I urgently need to sell because of a divorce so am willing to discount the property contact: [email protected]
  3. Steve Robert

    Steve Robert New Member

    Hi Linda,

    Thanks for the advice Linda I have been successful in my private sale and in record time, I recommend it to others

  4. Frefs

    Frefs New Member

    Hi Steve

    We operate a site where both agents and private owners can place their own adverts for french properties for sale and over the years I have come to the personal conclusion that private buyers don't drop their prices to below what the market will bear so in reality I don't believe that saving money really comes into it.

    My advice (I followed it myself!) is to get yourself a really good french legal agent who operates a french property finder service acting on YOUR behalf and that will save you money as they are much more experienced at getting a good deal than we are. I would recommend someone like Riviera Home Finders in Valbonne for example.

    The additional bonus is that, no matter how good your french is, they walk you through all the potential pitfalls and hold your hand throughout so you avoid making mistakes in a country other than your own...

    The other important thing is to get a good english speaking notaire (not one of the ones in the UK who just slow the transaction down for no reason) and you can find them at www dot notaires dot fr.

    Get it right and this is a fantastic country to live in so good luck!

  5. Steve Robert

    Steve Robert New Member


    Thanks for the advice. Just to update on my initial search, I am still looking works committments have delayed my relocation. I have found a lots of good French properties online both private and agency marketed. I found the best selection of private ads on IFP as there are long descriptions and lots of photos, most other sites really limit the description and photos. Lots of info is now available on line about buying privately, just needs a bit of googling.

    Last edited: Sep 19, 2008
  6. Krek.

    Krek. New Member

    What Frefs says is true.

    Using a home finder, or in any case someone who knows the market and is on your side, is indeed good advise. But make sure they have no financial relationship whatsoever with the sellers or with the local house brokers.

    Rivere Home Finders may call themselves home finders, but tha fact that they advertise homes for sale on their site means they are also a real estae agent, with an interest in selling the homes they are commissioned to sell. Hardly an independent advisor, I would say.

    So feel free to work with an Agent Immobilier, but always be aware that their interest do not necessarily coincide with yours.
  7. majjidpucit123

    majjidpucit123 New Member

    well i always find IFP best to advertise your property. they have property reviews and snapshots from there you can justify your best deal. now they have best services and well portal.
  8. DPA France

    DPA France New Member

    Remember also that advertising yourself means dealing with 100's of enquiries directly with no "vetting" of clients taking place by a professional agent, the phone ringing on sundays, late at night etc etc not allowing for cranks There is also now a plethera of possible sites on which to advertise so where do you start?

    Also, most private sellers try to take the "commission" for themselves by advertising their property at exactly the same "selling" price as the estate agents who have a business with costs to run....

    Thankfully, most buyers are sharp enough to spot this :)

    The best strategy is probably a combinaiton of 2 or 3 GOOD local agents and a quality private ad on one of the established website such as IFP.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2008
  9. mike28

    mike28 New Member

    The agency fees in france seem very high, I would go with a private seller myself, there are lots of good sites now offering houses in france, just deppends on how you like the layout of the site I suppose myself I like magnoliaproperties but there are many good one's
  10. odond

    odond New Member

    You can avoid the agency fees with the private seller option but just arm yourself with will and patience! Everything goes through the notaire in both situations so legally you are covered, also some agents are wonderful and some not so!

  11. neustria

    neustria New Member

    Also, most private sellers try to take the "commission" for themselves by advertising their property at exactly the same "selling" price as the estate agents who have a business with costs to run....
    Thankfully, most buyers are sharp enough to spot this

    I quite disagree with this post, simply because it assumes that there is ONE selling price for all. The market is a changing thing, and when an offer is made for a property, only then do the negotiations begin!
    If the property goes through an agent, then his/her commission is taken into account when the total cost is calculated.
    Even in a healthy market (which is not the case today) the negotiating skills of the two parties and the ugency of the needed sale (for the seller) are much more determinant in the final negotiation than the commission.
    If you look at any property which has been sold, by the price you will be perfectly unable to tell whether an agent was involved or not.
    The commission therefore is a non-issue.

    The buyer tries to get the best possible price for his acquisition. Whether part of this money goes towards a commission, or directly to the owner of the property, is totally irrelevant to him.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2008
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