Selling our house without an immobilier

We have been approached by a company called CAFPI to help sell our house. They are not an immobilier but find their clients by offering a financial package - mortgage, loan, endowment, etc. - and then showing them the properties they are "selling". There are no agents fees but a one-off payment of €500 up front. Has anyone had dealings with them? They say they have clients waiting......!

oh, and don't forget that half of all sales are private - don't ignore the power of leboncoin and others, many simply won't go through agents to avoid the fees and those are potential buyers you can't afford to miss in this economic landscape!

I've sold 4 using leboncoin (and bought as many using it too!)

CAFPI used to be a standard network of agents using the normal mandat system (head office based in Montpellier) but perhaps that's changed...? Go for leboncoin and 3 geographically well-spread local agents ;-)

We have sold a few things on leboncoin and have the house on at the moment.

Neil, how did u get on with this. My parents sold their property on, a FREE French site where u can sell just about anything....the French love it and I would thoroughly recommend it- u just need to take some time writing your speel and putting pics up, if my parents could do it -sure you could!

According to the Frenchies on the immo-forum, it is a scam. I wouldn't go for it.

I used to get calls from companies when I advertised my car for sale on Autotrader, saying they had buyers waiting and for a simple 'registration' fee of £70 I'd be introduced to them with nothing further to pay if it's sold - never went for it, it was a scam with 'boiler room' type telephone sales agents working on commission only. They were extremely pushy. This might be genuine, but it does sound a bit odd.

Thanks for all the info. We are on several sites including Leggetts, Zoopla, etc. and I can't really see if Capfi want to sell properties as well why they don't advertise any. I would be up for an arrangement if they had a potential client who decided to buy then we would pay them a 'finders fee' but I can't see what's in it for them. ! would consider half up front with the remainder if they sold it for us.

Its the age old saying…if itseems to good to be true…well i’m sure you know the rest…

I just asked your question on a French forum ( See what the locals say.

Cafpi are mortgage brokers. It may be that the chap works for them and is trying a bit of estate agency on the side.... Go to a reputable agency. Leggett Immobilier may have a local agent ( Bonne chance!

Good thinking Doreen! That might be just the case. Someone trying to get your money by offering a non-existant service.

Thanks Peter, your fee is on the way. I think CAPFI is probably an honest company as well. Their site looks professional enough and I'm sure their services are fine. But I wonder how they offer their houses to the right people. Their clients asking for a loan probably have already found a house. And if not, how do they know where these clients wants to go and live? And if they offer to sell houses, why don't they have an 'open' property sales site, where anybody can go and find your property?

An 'up front' payment is ok ish if the company offers a reimbursement of the money in the event of a 'no-sale' after a certain time delay.

I put a house for sale with Entre Particuliers a few years back. The property didn't sell with them so I recovered my payment after proving the property hadn't been sold as a result of their services.

Be careful with these comapnies and read the small print. Choose a reputable company.

For example, I can vouch personally for Gregor at immogo, he is an honest guy offering an honest service along with other reputable companies (put the cheque in the post please Greg !) but BE CAREFUL.

Stick with good local agencies, many of which will have links to bigger international agencies.

I wouldn't trust them either. Paying anything upfront is a BIG no-no !!!

I would never pay €500 up front for an 'invisible' service. And they all say they have clients waiting.

Just use two or three good agents (preferably family businesses with modern sites and a high street shop) geographically spread in your area. Then and some international sites like Green-acres and The last one is my own and has good coverage in the Dutch community. And you only pay 1% after a successful sale, so no financial risk!