Can anyone recommend a website/s where we can advertise our house in France for sale? Preferably a site that attracts British buyers.
The French Estate agents associations have been talking about it for years, and there are some feeble attempts with the SIAs and AMEPI, but these are limited to sole agency properties. The whole attitude of French agents would need to change as well as restructuring the mandats and legal contracts, for them to even consider doing such a thing as a common database of properties. It might happen one day, but don't hold your breaths!
You are right of course.
I agree, however, the big obstacle is in your own sentence: 'where agents work together'. Impossible.
I think whoever implements a US style MLS (Multi Listing Service) in France, where agents work together and split the C, will make a fortune.
Further to our exchange of emails, I've tried to email you again but my messages are being returned undeliverable. My husband tried too in case it was just my server but same with him. Do you have a different email address I could try? Many thanks. Kathy
Would it be possible to email me your list of pointers please? My address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Many thanks.
Hi, I totally agree with ever thing Dan Newton has said, if you have an agent such as Newton's providing they have an agent in your area, they advertise your property on approx 30-40 sites covering France and the UK as well as other European country's, all of this cost is covered by the agencie, which dose not cost the vendor a penny and you may even sell your house, so in my view is well worth doing.
I don't understand what you mean by the illegal practices you mention. I am also advertising property under Immogo's name on other sites, like the Dutch Marktplaats. This is not illegal. Could you give me an example of those illegal sites and services? For I have the feeling you are trying to scare people with a fanthom problem. If there is an illegal service active on the french market, it will quickly be take to court by the FNAIM. Heck, they even take legal services to court! This seems to be the way French property agent try to handle the competition. In stead of outperforming them... take them the court!
You say people are unhappy with the success rate of local agents because they don't listen to the advise of said agents and ask too high a price. Still, you give the advise for buyers to go to the local agents where they will find a better deal. I'm sorry, but the reasoning seems flawed there somewhere.
If you have a car you can take it to the Ford Dealership. But the official dealers' garage is expensive and may not even give the best service. You can also - like many people do - ask a mechanically clever friend to do the hard parts and change the tires yourself.
You can advertise on LeBonCoin and one or two good international sites, the notary can advise you on market values, inheritance laws etc. and do the compromis de vente, you ask a friend with photography skills to take the pictures (most of the brokers I've seen work have shitty camera's and 'run' through the house taking pictures), get a specialist in home staging to advise about the presentation. You can even hire a surveyor to make a technical report about your property to prove that it is sound. And then still, with all these specialists, you will be paying a fraction of the price of an agent immobilier.
Which doesn't mean I don't find the agents useful for sellers. They are often better salesmen than the vendor. They can help with the negotiations and ease the buyer into taking the leap. But as a buyer I would always try to get around using an agent. He is working for the competition and only wants to make a sale for the highest possible price. And in the end he will make me pay for it, as well.
We got valuations from local agents then advertised our property in the Pyrénées on leboncoin (as the French don't want to pay immo fees), green-acres.com, and with two estate-agents. Over the 8 months it was on the market we had about 40 viewers; 85% of came via leboncoin, none through green-acres and the rest (British mainly) via one local (Scottish) immobilier; none via the other (French) agent.
We sold to a French family via leboncoin, and it was easy. Our Notaire gave us contact details of diagnostic firms (you must get the report before advertising your property) and as soon as our prospective buyers had agreed a price with us, we sent them along to our Notaire.
Tip: Get valuations and don't price your property too high, but do take into account that if you get offers, they'll be tens of thousands less than your advertised price! Get your energy diagnostics and all your photos, floorplans, measurements etc in place before advertising. We lost an early sale due to not having the diagnostic report soon enough (most serious viewers wanted to see it) as it was a pont filled May :-(
Thanks Jane. I tried to PM you but we have to be 'friends' before I can message you. When you have accepted, I will send you my email address (but promise I won't pester you again!)
Sean - a great contribution. A year ago I sought similar advice when launching my own sale (having been totally frustrated with local agents) and would have loved your informative reply. Our sale did go through well and its as a result of the lack of support, what I put a tips and hints pack together for other sellers. Every sale is of course different and we all need to find the route that works best for oneself. It is however, nice to broaden the options!
Hi Julia - I used French-property.com. For me they have lifted their game and are more helpful and attentive to your advert. Also I used www'chezdechez.com where Deborah Plowright offers great, informed and supportive help in attracting the right clients through your adverts. However as my notes point out, selling your home is more than just getting the right site - you need to think about your marketing and be ready for viewers. Not difficult but it takes a bit of effort. Do send me your email if you want my tips and hints of what worked for us!
On the other hand, any old shoe salesman can set u as an agent commercial and work on the carte professionnelle of an official agent. There are hundreds if not thousands of hopeful amateurs out there posing as an agent but without any knowledge of the market, the law or building technology. I know, because for a while, I was one.
Hi Carryn, Totally agree with you and for general info we aim at both French and Uk markets.
It was a general comment - from an ex-agent who made a lot of money selling just to English ! But if I were going to sell my house I would target it to the largest and most likely audience - the French - as well as the English But, I agree with your and other comments about agents. You need one. But French agents in general are poor and notaires negotiators worse. The secret is to find one who actually can sell your house and not just will take on any mandat, someone who is hungry, who markets and who has clients looking for the type of house you are selling. But the seller has to be realistic too and present the house properly, be realistic about the actual price and be proactive in chasing the agent. Any agent will sign you up, but if he doesnt have clients for that type of house, or the house is priced over others of the same type in the same area, or is difficult to visit and looks a mess when you do, then no matter how good the agent, he will be struggling to sell it. And English sellers should be aware that it is not unusual for a house to be for sale for several years in certain area
For interest - less than 2% of the Breton sales were to foreigners but of those 72% were British
At the same time, on average there are around 750.000 sales per year, thus 7500 per annum to foreigners, and 2,390 to the English. What they don't take into account is that the majority of those figures are in the major towns where houses change hands often, nor does it take it to account the type of property, (old-new, big-small, country-town,liveable-for renovation, price braket, etc) which when doing a "large" study gives figures that are very approximative there are too many factors to take into account.
After that, it depends whether that was just a general point of interest, or aimed at an agent. Personally if I sold 2390 house a year, I would definitely retire in 2017!
Interesting report published today by Les Notaires that only 1% of French house sales are to overseas buyers and only 33% of those are British So concentrating on this market alone could be very counterproductive.
We sold our house privately 2 years ago. We also had it with local agents. We had one really good agent, one not so good, and one awful. Sorry, but French agents don't seem to put in the effort to build the relationship, nurse you through it and advance the sale the way UK ones do, despite the much increased fees. I have sympathy for them in the current market, but I am surprised that some are even still in business.
We advertised it privately at the same price the agents suggested and were offering it at. We created a website with lots of photos, floor plans etc (far better than anything the agents did (or didn't). We advertised it with a link to our own website on frenchentree.com, frenchpropertyshop.com and french-property.com among a couple of of minor players. I don't know about the legality of these property websites (see Dan Newton comments), but I would think that any based outside France can do what they like.
We sold our house because my wife (who ran the show!), made the effort to build a relationship with the viewers and went back to one who'd expressed interest earlier but had then made an offer elsewhere. Their offer later fell through, so due to her keeping in contact with them, they came back and bought. I wonder what estate agent would do that. She had spent over an hour with them at our house (twice), talking about school bus runs, local amenities and so on, apart from the emails atc..
And sorry but Dan's comment " people can go it alone but they will soon realise that the cost of advertising and all the time and hassle, do build up rapidly, so why not take on an agent to cover the cost!" is rather wide of the mark. We saved 17,000€ in estate agency fees and that was at a negotiated down 4% (from 5%). It was not a lot of hassle once we'd created the site and the advertising fees were £431 !!!
We played fair with the agents and put the house on at what they were asking, rather than undercut them by deducting the agency fees. This gave us the extra incentive to make sure we sold it direct and thus saved a lot of money. And for us 17,000€ really is a lot of money !
Our personal advice would be put it with some agents but try it yourself too, you've very little financially to lose and everything to gain. A house sale is the biggest financial transaction of your life; any house owner I've met thinks it's worth a bit of time and hassle!
Where/how did you advertise your house Jane?