What are the steps of a sale in France

What are the steps of a sale?


Before the sale offering

You want to sell? Find all our advice for promoting your property in the best conditions on our page: How to sell your property in the shortest possible time?


Estimating the correct price

The property valuation is the start of all selling venture.

It is difficult to estimate the price of your property.  Being impartial is extremely difficult for the seller. The sentimental value of your house or flat is rarely shared by the buyers. Thus, the notion of fair price is often used in the real estate sector: it represents a factual price based on a number of factors amongst which the most important are:

  • The geographical location and house state
  • The property’s characteristics
  • The current market price
  • The current existing competition on comparable properties in the same neighbourhood

One can expect to sell within 2 months if the house or flat is priced at the “fair price”.

The easiest way to determine the fair price is to call upon a real estate expert, who will perform a property valuation for free generally. The agent will give you the ability to determine the added value you could expect, but also important and useful information for the sale phase.

You can also use online estimation tools but do not hesitate to use multiple ones because their valuations can differ from one to another. Whilst they might be limited if you hope to determine the “fair price” they will give you a price range.

(Find out more on our blog: Can you trust online property valuations?)


Selling Mandate

In France, more than 80% of the property transactions are done with the help of a real estate professional. Even though many sellers put their own ads on dedicated websites, most sales are still finalised by experts. Sellers and buyers prefer the support provided by an agent as it reassures them to have professional and experienced person to contact all along the sale venture.

The selling mandate is a contractual document which specifies the conditions in which the real estate agent will preside but also the fees and the length of the agreement. The selling mandate can take two forms, a simple selling mandate or a sole selling rights agreement.  The former allows the owner to entrust the property with multiple agencies and to showcase on their own, while the latter gives the promotional work to a unique agency.  These mandates are have a period of validity of 3 months with the option to renew or 6 months.

The selling mandate is based on property valuation accepted by both parties: the real estate agency and the seller.

Real estate professionals often offer perks when the seller chooses a sole selling rights agreement. Carmen Immobilier awards perks with its premium mandates.


The Sole Selling Rights Agreement network (AMEPI)

You might have seen or heard about the AMEPI network. It is a network made of real estate professional agents. Regrouping more than 3500 agents it essentially allows them to share their sole selling rights agreements between one and another. What does this mean for the buyer and seller? First of all, this gives the seller the full strength of a nationwide network to promote their property whilst only having to stay in contact with their unique real estate professional. Secondly, this comes at 0 additional costs for them as it is funded exclusively by the agents themselves.

This is an additional guarantee for your selling venture, in the event that the buyer would have missed the advertising done by Carmen Immobilier and its network of agencies.


Advertising your property

Advertising your house or flat is taking advantage of multiple platforms and types of property promotion through which your real estate good will reach potential buyers. It is in your best interest to promote your apartment or house on the maximum amount of the most number of mediums: Property websites, real estate agencies’ websites, agencies’ window showcases, dedicated magazines, newspapers, etc…  It’s best to choose an agency with a strong presence locally but also the means to advertise your flat or house.

If you decide to advertise, without the help of a real estate agency, on the different property platforms open to private individuals note that they are often limited in features. Moreover, to be viewed at the top of the list or to add photos to your ad you will be required to pay for every single platform you choose to promote on.

With Carmen Immobilier, choosing our premium mandates means that we advertise your property for free on the N° 1 spaces of our website carmen-immobilier.com (more than 80,000 unique monthly visitors) but also on property platforms such as Logic-immo.com, Bien-ici.com, Explorimmo, Seloger.com, leboncoin.fr, ParuVendu.fr. Prestige goods will be additionally marketed on Propriétés de France du Figaro’s website.

This optimized online visibility is joined with a presence in our 40 agencies’ window showcases and a space in our magazine Carmen Annonces, 45,000 brochures distributed every 6 weeks in hundreds of local outlets.

Well advertising your house or flat starts with taking good photos. Photos are one of the triggering factors for potential buyers. We encourage you to wait for a sunny day to take outside photos but wait for the sky to overcast when taking photos of the interior so as to limit backlight which dims the room’s light.

Try to have photos that are well cropped and take landscaped photos as they give a better estimation of the room’s volume. Do not hesitate to take lots of photos; it gives confidence to potential buyers.

The ideal is to have a professional photographer take them but this will be another cost… When signing a sole selling rights agreements with Carmen Immobilier, we commission for you for free a professional photographer to better showcase your house or flat.

Of course photos should be joined to a clear, concise and accurate text in order to not loose potential investors. For more information visit our page: How to write an effective property advertisement.


Trade negotiation

As in any sale, there is a negotiation phase. You have chosen a price for your house or apartment but buyers will often offer a different price.  This is called a fair price

Your real estate professional can help you understand this offer and with your trade talks.


Sale’s regulatory steps:


Offer, commitment to sell, provisional sale agreement, private agreement

These terms are used when talking about pre-sale agreements, also called preliminary contract or more generally “private agreement”. They essentially stipulate the main elements that have been agreed by both the buyer and the seller in order to finalise the sale.  The requirements and conditions determined in them are different.

Find out more about Real estate private agreements here.


How does the provisional sale agreement work?

In most cases, the agreement is signed strictly between the buyer and the seller or in presence of a real estate expert (which is of course advised).

After signing the provisional sale agreement or the commitment to sell, the buyer has a withdrawal period of 10 days. Passed these 10 days, if the buyer retracts, the deposit is not retrieved except if a standstill clause is integrated into the contract. The seller is committed as soon as the contract is signed.


The final deed of sale or the notarised deed

The seller and the buyer sign the final deed of sale a few weeks after the offer/commitment to sell generally 2 to 3 months after the latter is signed. This period gives the buyer the time to find the necessary loans and the notary the time to collect the mandatory documents in the case of a sale such as: mandatory diagnostics, mortgages, if the property is in a commonhold the relevant elements, etc…

This final deed of sale is an official contract signed in presence of a notary in order to complete the sale. It ends with the payment of the balance of price of sale (minus the advance made of 5 or 10% when the commitment to sell is signed) and keys being passed onto the new owners.


The notary in the real estate process

Often chosen by the seller, the notary is present in every step of the sale. How to choose a notary? You can make contact with a notary by looking them up in the notary’s directory or by visiting the department’s Chamber of notaries’ website.

The notary’s role is to authenticate the documents and make sure of the sale’s legality. Moreover, the notary must advise both parties on their ventures: the sale is done by taking an appointment at the notary’s where the consequences of certain clauses are explained to the seller and buyer. Your real estate professional can accompany you to the meeting.

Carmen Immobilier is always here for its client at these appointments.

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