If you are looking for a house or a property in France, you’ll of course start your search by surfing the real estate sites specialized in the sale between individuals, such as Immogo. Our search engine allows you to search by region, price, characteristics of the property or keywords such as construction, mill, host, gîtes, ruin, mansion, to retype or castle. You can also use words to describe an activity or region: golf, fishing, skiing, kayaking, mountain biking, pond, vineyards, southern Burgundy, bread oven, Louhans, Mâcon or Quimper. You will thus have a better chance of finding the rare pearl corresponding to what you are looking for.
More and more buyers of property in France are looking to deal directly with private sellers. One of the main reasons is the price: real estate agents ask for 5% to 10% commission. And even if it is up to the seller to pay the bill, it still makes a difference in terms of the negotiation margin. No wonder that almost half of real estate transactions in France are done without a “real estate agent”.
You will find many real estate classifieds on the French site ‘LeBonCoin.fr’, where you can filter out the professional brokers and opt to see only properties from private sellers (Particuliers). Furthermore there is a wide offer on Facebook, in groups like Immogo’s own Dutch/English group “Huizen zonder makelaar / Houses without agencies“
Using the real estate agencies will not give you the full picture of the market, because an agent will generally only show you the houses on which he will have his commission in the event of a sale.
If you want an overview of the entire real estate market in the region where you are searching, you will need to visit several agencies. Fortunately, more and more agencies have a website.
Once you start the visits with a real estate agent, keep in mind that he has been mandated by the owner of the property and that he will be paid once the property is sold at the highest price possible. So be careful and use common sense.
In France, many notaries consider the real estate market as their main activity. They advertise in the regional press and on www.immonot.com .
If you are looking for a house through a notary’s office and you decide to buy, the owner will have to pay an additional negotiation fee. This is generally around 3.5% and will of course influence the price.
On the other hand, notaries are often less “commercial” than real estate agents and sometimes there are really good deals to be had. So it might be a useful hunting ground for finding the house of your dreams.