Selling My House in France

Last week we went home to put our treasured home in Neffies up for sale. I'd made appointments with 2 immobilier in the local area. One in Clermont L'Herault and One in Pezenas. I'm not up for blatting your house in every shop window so I thought that would be sufficient.

We spent a couple of days cleaning & tidying up and planting new palms to replace those we've lost from those dreaded palm butterflies (they lay eggs and kill the palms - one palm we'd had for 10 years & brought from England but it fell victim this year unfortunately).

Tuesday morning we were all set - kids were dispatched with Papa to the Cafe where we keenly awaiting Immo No 1. After 1 hour we realised he was a no show. The house returned to normal (with 3 young kids, toys, discarded clothes & breadsticks everywhere).

Wednesday morning - immaculate condition restored. Kids & Papa dispatched once again. 1 hour later - no show. This time I called the Immos - No 1 had made an erreur, sorry Madame we'll come this afternoon. No 2 - well that was my mistake they were coming tomorrow. On the plus side I bumped into my friend who recommended another Immo and saw a couple who were in the progress of selling their house with Immo No 2 and their house had only been on the market 2 months. My friend sold her house with Immo No 2 & bought their new house in our village with them too. All very positive. Ok kids - do your worst again...ah no - STOP...Immo No 1 is coming at 4pm.

So Immo No 1 arrives and takes it all in...he's not a very positive fella, my hubby gets a negative vibe. Apparently our Character Stone Village House with original stunning (albeit low) beams would not suit Dutch people as they are too tall. Ok so the Dutch market is out. That's fine by us, afterall we're in France not Holland. He does remind me that I need the DPE & all the other seller diagnostics and books an appointment with a chap from Pezenas before I have chance to say DPE. I'm sure there is some sort of kick back going on here as he was Mr quick.

This bloke takes photos, tells us his recommended price, points out the few negative aspects buyers might say (I rebut saying if they don't want the house then that's fine...find me someone who loves it - I'm sure it won't be hard work) and then says he will return with the Mandat. I tell him (when I can get a word in edgeways) that we have other Immo's coming and will call him when we've met with them. My husband's face said it all.

Time for a bottle of something special from La Cave.

Thursday morning - Immaculate again, kids & hubby dispatched to Cafe. 2 lovely immo from Clermont Herault arrived ( I gave them the tour of the house & they were extremely positive. They appreciated all the work we have done and the quality of the fittings and interiors. They said they would go away and discuss a realistic market value then come back to us. No pressure.

Immediately after, Simon arrived, who our friend recommended ( and I gave him the tour of the house. As Simon is English, my husband did some of the tour and chatted about the market and the renovation. Simon too appreciated the work we had done & gave us his recommended price & rates.

We were very happy to go with either of the 2 immo we had seen today so the question was - sole or multi agreement. We know in France it's common to see the same property up for sale with many agents and at differing prices (often due to varying commission rates/valuations) however we were keen to market the house at the same price so we were pleased when all 3 immo came up with a very close valuation and seemed agreeable to setting a consistent price. After much discussion we've decided to go joint.

I did of course have to pluck up the courage to let down Immo 1 (who spent 10 minutes telling me he could sell my house quickly, pop over with the mandat that afternoon, said he too is very optimistic & positive...) Eventually I managed to explain my husband had made his decision for now & we'd come back to him later if we wish to expand our coverage. I hate being pressurised though I'm not sure this chap is used to someone refusing him.

So that's it, our house is up for sale. We bought it in 2004 as a second home, we renovated it to keep forever, then we made it our permanent home & started our family there, so many memories already...I love our house, I wish I could keep it but life moves on. We have another project to do so it will be sold to fund that but I'm in no rush...afterall this is the midi and life moves at a much slower pace here - thank goodness!

Feeling fleeced again today. Just paid out 150 euro for the bloke to have shot my walls with his radio gun looking for lead which of course he didn't find. Well if its any consolation - apparently the next buyer if they sell the house won't have to pay for this test again...