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Advice to help you sell property for sale in France

  Do your homework


Planning to sell your property in France? Before you do anything, check out the market place (you could read our “Languedoc property prices and trends” page for starters). Unless you’re forced to sell, steer clear of slumps when prices are depressed (think about letting out long-term and waiting for the market to recover).


  Selling through an agent or notaire, or DIY?


Make-your-mind-up time: are you selling your property for sale in France yourself, or going through an agent or notaire? Naturally we’d encourage you to sell your Languedoc property through our site, but the choice is yours (sell it yourself and you’ll save estate agents fees, which can be as much as 15%).


  The legal process


The legal process for property for sale in France is the same as for buying a property. If you used an agent to buy your Languedoc home, it could make sense to use the same one to sell it, as they will already know the property. The agent will need a mandat de vente i.e. signed authorisation from you (the owner). Make sure you reserve the right to deal with private buyers. Mandates are usually for a three-month period but can be extended, and you can usually terminate the contract – once the three months are up – by giving notice by registered post.


  Who pays the agent’s fees?


Agents’ fees (usually 5-10% of the sale price) are usually included in the purchase price of property for sale in France. A question I really struggled with when buying my home in Languedoc-Roussillon, south France was “who pays the agent’s commission?”, and you may well be foxed, too. Being a bit of a swot I had done my homework, and had it on good authority that the VENDOR paid the agent’s fees (I asked around and double-checked in my favourite book, David Hampshire’s Buying a Home In France). But then when it came to dealing with the estate agent (whose fees were included in the asking price) it became clear that it was Muggins who was going to stump up the entire sum. Confused, moi? I asked my friend James Bowman of Vibo Immobilier to enlighten me. From what he told me, it all comes down to paperwork and legalities: when the vendor signs a mandate for a property for sale in France, it states that the vendor pays the fees, because it’s the vendor who ends up signing the paperwork that allows the notaire to hand over the monies paid by the buyer to the agent (do keep up). So the buyer pays the whole sum – property sale price plus agency commission – to the notaire in France, who eventually gives it to the vendor, once they have authorised part of the sum – the agency commission – to be deducted and give to the agent. And I do hope that clears things up for you, because I’m not going through it all again. 


  Selling through a notaire


If you decide to sell property for sale in France through a notaire, his commission is not usually included in the asking price, and it’s paid by the purchaser. Notaires cannot advertise properties for sale in the same way as agents can, and arguably if you are hoping to sell to non-French buyers, you’d be better off putting your home up for sale on a site like Crème de Languedoc that’s specifically aimed at overseas house hunters.




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