SELLING A PROPERTY IN FRANCE

An owner who wishes to sell his property in France is well recommended to contact a real estate agent for professional advice concerning the value of his property, his obligations regarding the sale and the terms of the transaction.

Step 1: Evaluation of the property

The sale process of a property starts with the estimation of its value. A professional real estate agent needs to know the real estate market of the French Riviera in general and the property’s sectors and neighborhood in detail. The profound knowledge of properties being currently for sale and those which have recently been sold, makes him to determine the value of the property taking into account the value of similar properties, the real estate market and development of real estate prices. It is essential to apply the right value market “Valeur Vénale” in order to have a real probability of selling the property over a certain period of time.

Step 2: Sale Decision and Price Determination

After discussing the price estimated by the professional real estate broker, the owner makes his decision to sell, determines the price and hires a real estate agent to search for potential buyers. The real estate broker is involved in the real estate negotiation and will accompany the seller until the final sale. For the choice of his real estate agent, the seller shall take into account his experience and reputation, the visibility of his agency, the professionalism and multilingualism of the involved agents / real estate consultants, the product range of the estate agency and the property presentation.

Step 3: Signing a Selling Mandate

The use of the services of a real estate agent requires a written form.
This is formalized by the mandate. The usual types of mandates in France are:

Simple selling mandate

This is a contract, which confers a power to one or more real estate agencies to sell a property. The seller is free to sell by another agency or without intermediary of an agency. In case of a sale by a committed real estate agent, the one will receive the commission stipulated in the selling mandate.

Exclusive sale mandate (sole mandate)

It is a contract, which confers an exclusive power to a real estate agency to sell the property. The seller (principal) undertakes not to carry out the sale by himself or by another real estate agent. The real estate agent on his side is obliged to make every effort to sell the property at the conditions set by the owner in the mandate. The sole mandate must expressly stipulate advertising actions and periodicity of activity reports. The exclusive power granted to a single real estate agent encourages him to do the best to make the sale. By holding the exclusive power of sale, the real estate agent is sure to get his commission. It is therefore a win-win process for the both seller and the agent.

In practice, the seller may also consider concluding other mixed forms of mandates: the co-exclusive sale mandate (the exclusive power to selling is granted to two agencies) or the semi-exclusive sale mandate (the seller hires a single agency, but reserves the right to sell himself)

Step 4: Documents / Information to be provided by the Seller

For the sale of a villa or an apartment the seller has to deliver a number of documents and information:

at the moment of signing the mandate:

  • Property deed (Original Purchase contract)
  • ID card or passport of the owner or owners, if there is more than one
  • Register statement (KBIS) of the SCI identity card of its manager, if owner is a SCI
  • DEnergy Performance Diagnosis (DPE)

if the property is in co-ownership:

  • Measurement of the lots for sale ("LOI Carrez" certificate)
  • Total number of lots in the condominium
  • Annual average amount of expenses split in the estimated budget of current expenditure
  • Information about eventual lawsuits in progress

at the moment of signing the preliminary contract:

  • State of natural and technological risks
  • Lead diagnosis, if built before 1949
  • Asbestos diagnosis (if built before 1997)
  • Parasitic state (Termites), if constructed in an declared risk area
  • Certificate of gas and electricity installations, if they are more than 15 years old
  • Certificate of conformity of the septic tanks, if the house is for residential use, but not connected to the communal sewerage system.
  • Certificate of conformity of the safety of the swimming pool. Private pools must be equipped with a safety device: cover, barrier, alarm or pool enclosure.

if the property is in co-ownership:

  • Condominium regulations and the descriptive statement of division
  • Minutes of the general meetings of the last three years
  • Specifications
  • Current expenses inside and outside the foresighted budget during the two financial years preceding the sale

Step 5: Photo Report

To assure a perfect presentation of the property professional photos are essential. A professional broker engages professional photographers on his own charges. It is very important that the property shall be well prepared for the photo shooting: the vendor shall take care that the house is in good order and clean, the rooms tidy, pool water clear, terraces well cleaned and decorated; in brief: all must be impeccable to present the property in the best conditions.

Step 6: Marketing the property

As soon as the mandate is signed, the photos and mandatory elements are available, a professional real estate agent prepares a brochure with description and photos, and he draws up a marketing concept for the property. He proposes and publishes the property actively to his clients and his networks and organizes viewings with potential clients. A qualified real estate agent designates the client's name before the viewings and gives a report after each visit to the owners

Step 7: Sale of the property

If a client is interested in the purchase of a property, the agent is the intermediary between the buyer and the seller and gets together the different positions of the two parties. He is experienced in establishing bilingual written offers and negotiating them. Trading by a professional agent facilitates the negotiation of real estate transaction, because he is not personally connected to the property and is not overly influenced by emotions. He is able to reinforce arguments and pass on negative comments without either side being offended. After finding an agreement between the seller and the buyer, he will accompany his client through the entire real estate transaction. A real estate agent, who is experienced in real estate transaction with international clients, is able to communicate with the seller in a common language and advises him concerning the terms and his obligations of the sale agreement. He prepares the file together with the notary for the authentic deed of the sale. Before the signing of the final act he organizes an inventory together with the buyer and does everything to make the transaction of the property easy for the vendor. A good real estate agent offers after-sales service. He reads the meters and deals with the changes of the owner of the subscriptions concerning the property, such as for example electricity, water and multi-risk insurance.

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