If you’re looking to sell your home in France, you’ll need to follow a relatively lengthy process, just as when buying. Most sellers, however, find this reassuring – just like the buying system, it’s designed to protect all parties involved in the transaction, and make it very difficult for anything not to be fair and above-board. So, whether you’re moving on to a new house in France or moving back to the UK, what are the key steps to selling your home in France?
Find your agent
First thing first is to find a trustworthy agent. You want someone who speaks both English and French, unless you are confident enough in France to sell entirely in the local language. Going with someone with international experience opens up your market to overseas buyers from abroad, making it potentially easier to make a sale – especially when you consider that areas the French are fond of are not always the same as areas expats are fond of (and budgets can be quite different).
Sometimes, an agent may ask you to sign an exclusive mandate, meaning that you only go through them.
Have reports drawn up
As a seller, it’ll be your responsibility to ensure that all the diagnostic reports are completed and provided to the buyer. These include the Diagnostique de performance energétique, or DPE, which gives information about energy consumption, insulation and emissions. There’s also the dossier diagnostique technique (DDT), which includes gas and electricity checks, surface area, smoke alarms, lead and asbestos tests and sewerage (including the famous fosse septique commonly found in much of rural France).
There’s no need to be present for these – your agent will help show the property to potential buyers, although some people do like to be there. If possible, it’s often worth ‘staging’ your home. This essentially means removing most personal items and keeping the interiors as neutral-looking as possible, such as by removing bright pieces of furniture or unusual artwork. You want people to be able to ‘see’ the house, rather than the furnishing and so on that (usually) won’t be staying.
Compromis de vente
This step you will be familiar with from the other side of the process. When selling a home in France, once an offer is made that you are willing to accept, you’ll sign the compromis de vente, normally drawn up by your notaire. This is commit you to the sale. Note that you’ll receive the figure stated as the prix net fendeur – the prix de vente includes your agent’s fees.
Acte de vente
The final sales act, or acte de vente, will come around three months later, once the notaire’s work is done and if the buyer hasn’t had to use any termination clauses. The act will be read out by the notaire at his or her office, known as an étude, and you will then hand over your keys and register the purchase.
If you would like further advice on the selling process in France, download your free France Guide.
Don’t miss your free tickets to the next Your Overseas Home shows in Birmingham, Chester, Harrogate and Epsom to meet property, financial, currency, legal and removals experts from France.
Why not split the cost and double the fun of owning a holiday in France by buying with family or friends? Read our guide to Buying Abroad with Family
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