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Selling Guide

Selling Guide

If you would like a valuation of your property please contact us on France +33 (0)2 96 29 19 23 or email us on and your local LBV Immo agent will be in contact to make an appointment to come out and see your property.

Your LBV agent will value the property based on their local knowledge of the area, similar properties they already have on their books: and the current market conditions: they will be aware what prices have been obtained for comparable properties recently and they will be honest about what you can expect to achieve in today’s marketplace and discuss that with you.

This is not always the easiest conversation in the world because property prices in France have fallen in recent years, and depending when you purchased your property, depends whether that is immaterial to you because you have owned it for a long time and it’s value has over that time increased: or whether it was bought in the ‘boom’ years around 2006 to 2008 after which prices dropped dramatically.

We all prize our properties, and quite right too, and we as an agency have a vested interest in obtaining a sale for you at the highest possible price: but that price still must be in line with market conditions and to be a price which we can attract someone to pay and we never lose sight of that. We will be honest with you about its value, and because we as a business invest heavily in promoting your property for the whole length of the time we have it for sale, it could be that if we can’t reach an agreement with you as to asking price, we will advise you to market it at the higher price you hope to obtain and if you achieve that – and we hope you do - well that’s great. If you don’t achieve it and wish you reconsider us marketing it at the price we have proposed, then you can call us back and we will swing into action doing our very best to find you a buyer.

That said, of course we hope to reach an agreement with you to market your property: with an asking price which tempts people searching on the internet to ask us for more information so we can start a dialogue with them and book them to view your property!

We will need to gather some information to draw up the necessary paperwork for us to have the right to market your property – that’s called the ‘mandate de vente’, literally, permission to sell the property and we will need you (and any other part owners) to sign showing we have your authorisation to market it.

As you might expect, we need to establish you are the rightful owner of the property and will ask to see your proof of ownership – the deeds which you received when you purchased it – and the description of the property on them at that time. That enables us to see what changes might have been made since that date, or if there are any special aspects of it such as having a well, rights of way (droits de passage), etc.

After signing the mandate for us, the only other obligation you as a vendor need to comply with at this time, is to secure a copy of the ‘diagnostic de performance énergétique’ (DPE) which is a compulsory test of energy levels at the property just like the A to E standard on an electrical appliance you buy nowadays, you must have done prior to your property being marketed. You need to engage a properly qualified expert to assess that and issue the report which will be used on all your marketing with any agency you are using to help sell your property. This is something we can organise for you if you haven’t already had it done.

Our agent will discuss any works that you have had done on the property as well as trying to pre-empt any questions that potential purchasers may have, such as the condition of the fosse septic if there is one, the condition of the roof and the yearly cost of taxes.

They do say a picture paints a thousand words and we will make sure our photographs of the property reflect it in as good a light as we can, whilst not misleading. Unfortunately, we are not able to guarantee the weather and therefore it may be necessary to come back on a separate day to take photographs of the exterior of the property. Our agents know it is important for all photographs that we use high resolution images for marketing purposes so if you do have your own photographs, be aware we can sometimes use them but not always for that reason.

We will upload our description and the photographs

To recap then on the process and some of the jargon you might hear:

What is a mandat du vente?

There are several different types of mandat de vente. The one that most agencies use including us, is the mandat de vente sans exclusivité, which basically allows you to market your property with several agencies at the same time. The mandate includes information about every current vendor of the property as well a description of the property, the cadastral (land registry) reference information, the total plot size, the agreed net vendor price, the fees we will charge which are normally payable by the purchaser and the overall advertised price.

The mandate will be sent to you by our central office and needs to be signed by each vendor to say that they agree to the sale of the property and returned. The mandate will then be processed, given a unique reference number and a copy sent to you for your records.

The mandate is valid for two years but can be cancelled at any point by sending a registered letter to our central office.

We advertise all our properties all the time they are for sale with us, not only on our own website but also Rightmove Overseas, French and A Place in the Sun, as well as on social media platforms.

We also attend several property exhibitions in the UK Including, A Place in the Sun (London, Birmingham and Manchester as well as French property events run by the Archant Life group (who produce the well-known magazines, Living France and French Property News) in Wetherby and Newbury.

We have an extensive database of people searching for properties in the areas where we have agents, and we will ‘mail shot’ via email, all of those whose search criteria matches what your property is offering. That often means that hundreds of people have particulars of your property in the days following you signing and returning your mandate.

Central Office, and the individual agents, will always aim to respond on a same day timescale to enquiries about the properties we have for sale, and to start a dialogue with the interested party as soon as possible.

It is in the hope of attracting the interest of potential purchasers via the internet which explains our concentration on the valuation of your property being correct in today’s marketplace. People hunting for property are very internet aware and keep up to date with trends – if the asking price for your property is not in line with other similar properties, then interest in it will be minimal. We all know that vendors may well be open to negotiation in the final stages of any potential sale, but the initial asking price for it must tempt potential purchasers to ask for more information and not have them dismissing it as over-priced.

You can help an enormous amount by preparing your property prior to an agents visit to talk to you about selling it. It’s a much over-used expression, but if you can ‘de-clutter’ the rooms as much as possible, you will be allowing us to show it off to it’s best potential. If the garden is tidy that helps too, and our photographs show-casing your property will be that much better as a result.

On viewings, if you are in the property at the time, then a low-profile as the vendor is helpful to us. It’s great to have you on call if the visitor has a question we can’t answer, but in the main leave us to do what we do best – show off your property! Often a vendor hovering in the background even with the best possible intentions can mean the person viewing doesn’t feel able to take as long to look around the property as they would really like, or they feel honour bound to be enthusiastic about it when it’s really not for them. We would rather discover that fact sooner rather than later, better that than a false raising of expectations because they have said what they believe the vendor wants to hear.

We prefer if possible, to hold a key so that we can show the property to a potential purchaser with little or no prior notice. Often, we might be already viewing properties with someone when as we learn more about what they really want, we realise YOUR property might suit them. Hence if we have access to it, we can conduct a viewing at little or no notice.

We all have a price we would like to achieve and a price we will accept. Your agent will do their best to negotiate any offer as close as what you want to achieve as possible: however, buyers do drive a hard bargain on occasions, and we will all work hard to bring the two sides together. In your own minds, you need to have a figure in mind that you WOULD accept if an offer comes along which falls below your expectations.

There are too many variables to go into here, this is meant as a brief guide, but your Agent will help you consider your situation and the offer and work with you to achieve the best result they can. There can be outside influences at work – the property may have been a holiday home and its continued upkeep is part of the equation since a sale would allow that to cease – and this is where a very common-sense attitude has to be applied to the figures in front of you. Our whole team will try and achieve the best result possible!

In our agency, we produce an offer document to tie in the two sides as soon as we have agreed a sale price, and we will ask you to sign that in the immediate days after an agreed offer has been accepted.

We will collect your personal paperwork – your circumstances may have changed since your purchase – and that of the purchaser and proceed to the pre-sale contract (often still referred to as the ‘compromis de vente’) as soon as possible, which realistically might still be a few weeks. The purchaser then has ten days after that is signed to change his mind: when that cooling off period is over, then the sale is 100% certain, and we all have a couple of months to complete the process with the Notaire doing the majority of the work.

The most frequently asked question is – how long before the sale is complete – and realistically you need to count perhaps three months between offer and completion. This is France, and we all love the laid-back ambiance, so can we say if that period includes August, the timescale will be extended to allow for the whole country to shut down returning the first week in September.

Before the final day of completion, we will have discussed with you where you wish to receive the funds which will be transferred from the Notaire to your designated bank account.

In the same way that you wanted the highest price for your property, you also want the best exchange rate for your currency if you need to exchange that from euros after your purchase, which most of our vendors do need to do. We have therefore brokered a partnership with Global Reach, who will be pleased to guide you through the simple registration process such that the Notaire can transfer currency to them and they will effect an exchange before passing it on to your designated bank account, often getting you several percent more in the process than if you were to use your bank.

One member of their team is bi-lingual French and English which is an enormous help to you in the final stages, as they can communicate with the Notaire should that be necessary, in their language.

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