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The financial issues surrounding house sales in Languedoc-Roussillon, South France

 

Whether you plan to manage your house sale in Languedoc-Roussillon, south France privately or through an estate agent, you need to be aware of the main financial issues. So here they are:


  Selling your French property and capital gains tax

 

Non-residents have to pay capital gains tax (GCT, or impôt sur les plus-values) on the profit made from the sale of a second house in Languedoc-Roussillon, south France, if it hasn’t been owned for 15 years. The amount you pay depends on your status: at the time of writing, non-resident EU citizens are taxed at 16 per cent (note that CGT is not payable on the profit made on the sale of your principal residence in France, provided you’ve been living in it since you bought it, or for at least five years if you didn’t move in immediately after purchase).


  French property sales and dodgy dealings

 

Now I’m going to come over all Goody Two Shoes: never, ever, agree to accept part of the sale price under the table; if the purchaser then refuses to stump up the extra money, there’s nothing you’ll be able to do about it (well, short of sending someone round to Sort Him Out, if you get my meaning), and you run the risk of getting into very serious trouble with the French tax authorities.


  It’s all in the timing

 

Remember that it can take quite a few weeks before you get your hands on the proceeds of your house sale in Languedoc-Roussillon, south France; a phone call or five to the notary and the bank involved might just speed things up, but don’t count on it. If you’re relying on the money from the transaction to finance another property deal, make sure you get your timing right. Allow too much rather than too little.


  Cutting out the middle man and his fees

 

Most folk who opt to sell privately do so in order to avoid having to include the estate agent’s fees within the asking price. As these can range from 5-10 per cent, depending on the price of your house in Languedoc-Roussillon, south France (the cheaper the property, the higher the percentage), you can quickly see that cutting out the middle man allows you to price your property more keenly, attracting more buyers and perhaps getting a quicker sale.


  Advertising your Languedoc property for sale

 

Of course, if you choose to bypass estate agents’ services, you’ll need to think carefully about your advertising. It ain’t free, you know. Agents display property details in their windows, at shows, online and in those free “Immo” magazines that are available in practically every French town and city (look out for the wire racks on street corners). You’re going to have to find a way to get the message out. Placing an ad in a specialist magazine is one way to go (see our Books/Links section for suggestions), but arguably the more targeted your choice of media, the better quality of response you’ll get. That’s why I’d suggest that selling Languedoc homes on a dedicated website like Crème de Languedoc (that’s where you are now, in case you hadn’t noticed) makes good sense. Compare the price of an ad in a UK-published specialist title to that of a listing on this website and you’ll see a sizeable difference.


  Online advertising

 

If you want to sell your Languedoc home and plan to advertise online, there are basically two options: create your own website dedicated to the sale of your property, or pay for an ad on a sales listing website. The first option is expensive to do well, and has to be done properly to be effective. The second option is a cinch, if you know how to sort the wheat from the chaff. There’s an enormous number of websites listing French property for sale; I’d suggest you opt for sites that are good-looking, easy to navigate, and specialist in their approach. Like this one!


  Marketing materials to sell your French home

 

Besides online advertising, you might like to consider producing some printed materials that provide information on your French property for sale. You can put your own together (remember to include plenty of good-quality photographs), or ask a desktop publishing-savvy friend (or your local copy shop) to help you. A CD-ROM brochure is also a nice idea, if you have the know-how, or failing that, the money to get someone else to do it for you! Either of these items could be given out at the consumer property shows held in the UK every year (for French property, the main shows are organised by French Property News magazine at London’s Olympia in January and September), although be warned: the organisers may take a dim view of your attempts at guerrilla marketing (they usually have areas dedicated to private sales, in which they’d undoubtedly prefer you to advertise). All these options cost MONEY.


  FREE marketing tool for Languedoc property sales

 

Yes, that’s right, FREE. We’ve talked a lot about the financial issues surrounding house sales in Languedoc-Roussillon, south France, but this is something that won’t cost you a penny (or a centime, even). List your Languedoc home for sale or for rent on Crème de Languedoc, and you get a free Property Leaflet pdf file, containing all your property’s details and photos, which you can print out (or send out by email) to market your house in Languedoc-Roussillon, south of France. Say “goodbye” to DIY desktop publishing misery and “hello!” to useful freebies. Click here for more details.

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