5 Things To Know About Selling A House In France



Real estate investing is becoming a popular day in day out. This is mainly because of the increase in government foreclosures, bank ROE, short sale, and properties in foreclosures.

With the main inventories for sale, a real estate investor needs to decide wisely on the specific one they will purchase and bring the profit. Real Estate Survey can also help you to choose the best real estate investment option.

Owning a property in France can be a wonderful experience. Selling it, however, can be less so. With France’s ever-changing regulatory landscape and heavy administrative burden, doing it all on your own can be stressful and fraught with risk, even if you know the market. Using an agent could be a great option which can save you a lot of both time and money. We explain why.

Selling a house in France can be complicated for a number of reasons, and while you may choose to sell it privately, asking for the help of an agency can make this process much easier.

Using an estate agent in France

Estate agent fees in France are among the highest in Europe, but there’s room to haggle and even less to play hard-boules.

The commission can be anything from 4% to 12%. Only estate agents are permitted to sell properties, although there are also agents who are endorsed by registered agents.

Ask around for recommendations from friends and neighbours, and have a look online for reviews.

Like in the UK, agent fees will depend on whether you get a single agent to sell your home or engage several to increase your chances. Who pays the estate agent fees is also up for grabs in France – it can be the seller or the buyer, with agents keen to promote themselves as being ‘at no cost to you’. In reality, however, a buyer will only swallow those fees if you knock them off the house price.

Selling your French property privately

About 40% of all home sales in France are carried out privately because sellers want to dodge the hefty fees and instead utilise the power and reach of the internet. This works best for cheaper properties but is not so good for that , and could be attractive to an overseas househunter. You can hedge your bets and do both DIY and agency but make sure you’ve not signed an exclusive contract or the agent will still want paying.

Fortune favors the prepared

The French word for red tape is la bureaucratie and the bureaucracy you need to wade through when selling a home in France is not too dissimilar to the UK. Preparation is key. In France there are often a fair number of surveys that the seller is obliged to carry out in advance of contract signing.

Know about notaries?

Notaires are Government-appointed officials and they are involved in every house sale in France. They effectively do the job of the conveyancing solicitor. They check and rubberstamp the paperwork and make sure that all taxes are paid and that the deal is registered nationally. 

They’ll go through all paperwork with you before contracts are signed. Notary fees are charged on a sliding scale of up to 10% of the selling price and are payable on completion. Because notaries are nationally appointed, the fees are fixed so there’s no need to shop around.

Once you sell and the contract is signed, the buyer has a ten-day cooling off period. That doesn’t apply to the seller who is bound by the terms of the contract.

Things to consider

As a result of Brexit, the UK remains in a transition period until 31 December 2020. Whilst the details are still unclear, this could have some bearing on British nationals looking to sell a house in France. So, if you’re looking to sell your French property you might have to pay capital gains tax – a tax on the profit you make. Not only will the amount of capital tax gains you pay change, but also the way you in which you pay it.

              A French notaire must be used when selling your French property, as only the notaire is able to transfer the property between parties.

              VAT is no longer payable on the sale of a property that is less than five years old

              If the property you are selling is worth over €150,000, you will be required to appoint a fiscal representative in France.

              As a seller, you will be responsible for for organising and providing technical reports relating to the status of the property. E.g. gas and electricity reports and energy reports.

Five golden rules to selling your property in France

              Do your research – from what your property is worth to who the best agents are in the area.

              Be on top of exchange rates – they’ll affect your final total unless you’re re-investing in the eurozone, 

o           Be prepared – from sorting the house, to making sure it looks like a ‘must have’ to getting the numerous surveys sorted well in advance

o           Calculate everything clearly – the levels of taxation on house sales in France can be tricky to understand. Work out exactly what will be deducted from the sale price so there are no nasty surprises

o           Prepare to haggle on estate agency fees – a new breed of agents is challenging the establishment in France so there are deals to be had

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