Find and buy a house in France
If you are looking to buy a house or other property in France, of course you start by browsing the estate agent sites with private FSOB offer, like Immogo. Our internal search engine allows you to search on region, price, special features or key words like construction, water mill, B&B, tourist business, holiday, mansion, ruin or castle. Or you could search for particular hobby-related words, special properties or city names: golf, fishing, ski, kayak, hiking, pond, vineyards, South-Burgundy, bread oven, Louhans, Macon or Quimper. This way you have more chance to find the house that fits your needs.
Buying ‘entre particuliers’
More and more property buyers in France are seeking to buy directly from the private owner. One of the reasons is the price: estate agents ask from 5% to 10% commission. And even though the seller has to foot the bill, it does make a difference in the negotiation margin. No wonder almost half of the French property transactions take place without an ‘agent immobilier’.
In the local press and the free distribution newspapers like ‘paru vendu’ and ‘Bonjour’ you will find many estate agents' classified ads. If there is no mention of an agent, or it says "part. à part.", "agences s'abstenir" or there is just a phone number, it usually means that the private owner wants to do business without an intermediary.
The estate agents
Still... for a complete view of the market it is hard to go around the agencies. If you do want to work with an estate agent, please remember he will usually show you only those houses for which he has been commissioned to sell. If you want to get an insight into what's on offer in the whole region, you will have to visit several agents.
Fortunately, more and more agencies have an internet site. So you can compare their properties and their prices before knocking on their shop doors. Once you start visiting houses with an agent who is nót asking you any fee, please keep in mind that he was hired by the owner and will be paid to sell as quickly as possible for the highest possible price. So stay alert and use your own judgement.
The notary public
In France, many notaries see the property trade as their core business. They advertise in local media and on www.immonot.com. If you find a house through the office of a notary and you decide to buy, the seller will have to pay an extra ‘negotiation fee’. This is generally about 3,5% and will of course influence the price. Many notaries have less commercial motives than the estate agents, and sometimes they have surprisingly good deals. Certainly worth a house hunting visit.
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