Nine tips for buying a house in France

Plan ahead when buying a house in France. Preparation is everything.

1. Take a look around The French Property Agents website.

Buying a house in FranceOur French property website is regularly updated not just with French properties, but is full of pragmatic, common-sense advice on buying a house as well as living in France. We have a selection of properties from our French Property Agents as well as vendors, in popular parts of France. All the prices you see are inclusive of French estate agency fees. You won’t pay anything extra by looking at properties with us.

2. Contact us for more information, pictures or for an informal chat.

The French Property Agents team are here to help. On every page of the site there is a quick contact form where you can ping us questions about properties which interest you, or we can arrange a time for a chat and to talk through your requirements. Email us now to arrange a callback!

3. We can organise property viewings for you

We work with bilingual French Property Agents across France. Our network would be delighted to spend some time with you, and show you round the properties which match your criteria. Once you have bombarded us with questions, poured over the photographs and Google maps, we can book a series of appointments for you.

4. Property viewing trips

Buying a house in FranceLooking at property to buy in France is hugely exciting, and you’ll remember your first French property-hunting trip forever! That said, if you don’t organise it for maximum efficiency it can become very time-consuming and expensive. France is a big place, and often, particularly when looking at rural property for sale, France can be even larger. It can take much longer than you think to get from A to B, particularly if you are driving in a hire car. We can help advise on how to maximise your viewing trip so you can see as many properties as possible.

5. Preparing the shortlist (or the long list!)

After your viewings, whether you’re back at the gîte or on the way home, you’re one step closer to buying a house in France. Time to make the shortlist. You’ll have the property details from your agent, as well as your own photos or films taken on your phone. Remember, being organised is everything – don’t mix up the properties! Try and be objective, especially if you have several properties which are close runners. Measure them against a benchmark, write down pros and cons or give them a score out of ten.

6. Making an Offer

Buying a house in France can now start to get pretty nerve-wracking. You’re about to make an offer on a property, in another country and potentially in another language – but don’t worry, we and our local French Property Agents will be with you all the way. Our local bilingual partners will make it as easy as possible for you to secure the property of your dreams, and we are here as always with sensible, common-sense advice and to walk you through the offer stage.

7. Negotiating

In the current market, it is pretty rare that the first offer will be accepted. Usually potential buyers will begin with an offer 10% to 20% below the asking price, but in any event our local French Propery Agents will be able to advise on what level of offer will be accepted. After all, they know the vendors and will be talking to them regularly. Don’t forget, when negotiating there are a number of elements which could have an effect on the outcome.

These could be:

– Whether you are a ‘cash buyer’ or potentially seeking a French mortgage
– How quickly you are able to sign the Compromis de Vente
– Whether you will be using your own legal representation
– The vendor’s financial situation and how urgently they need a sale

8. Completing the paperwork and concluding the sale

Buying a house in FranceOnce your offer has been accepted, our English-speaking French Property Agents will walk you through the sale. You will be clear about what’s happening, every step of the way, from the completion of the Compromis de Vente through to the Acte de Vente. Some of this house-buying process will take place through the local Notaire.

9. Take a deep breath, turn the key…and enjoy!

Many of our clients end up being friends for life, as buying a house in France can be an emotional experience, there can be ups and downs, and indeed some property transactions don’t make it to completion. Our team of French Property Agents are like a family, and we will continue to be available to you even after you have taken possession of your new property.