BUYING a home or investment property in France is exciting!
There is just about every type of home and property one could wish to find, writes David Seymour.
France is a large and diverse country, and you are sure to find your dream home whether it be a superb town house in Bordeaux, a prestigious chateau in Gironde or a holiday home in Lot-et-Garonne.
But you may be wondering how on earth to select the best website and estate agent in France. The same rules apply here, as almost anywhere else.
Wherever you decide to look, it is in your best interests to find an agent who will help you find a French property that meets all of your requirements, desires and aspirations. This should become your French estate agent’s aim also.
There are so many websites offering French properties that finding a professional and experienced agent can be a daunting task. Let your instincts guide you. You can immediately rule out the websites whose links do not work, who do not speak English, and whose websites are cumbersome and badly planned. You are looking for professionals, who will do their job and then go the extra mile to help you find your ideal property.
When trying to decide on which French estate agent to buy through, you should definitely look for a company that prides itself on being professional. Who understands that you, the customer, and your needs with regard to a French home or property are absolutely paramount. This type of company will always put your needs first, and as a buyer, that is exactly the attitude that you should be seeking. A company who takes a thorough approach is essential.
Agents who offer gimmicks and freebies to prospective clients should be most carefully examined. And probably the best guide is recommendations from happy clients. Beware websites that do not offer verifiable references.
Obviously, you will need to contact the website to get telephone numbers and details, as even the most professional and organized of agents is not going to put their customers private details online
A short email, requesting details of happy clients should produce a list of satisfied people, who will verify the standard of services received. The better estate agents will reply promptly and courteously with a selection of clients and their contact details.
If you are given a long list, pick two or three from the end as human nature being what it is, the agent is pretty likely to put the contact details of those clients where everything went without a hitch at the top.
Of course, there are often hitches when buying property but that in itself should not put you off. Your aim is to find a professional and experienced agent who is able to resolve any hitches without delay, and who puts your interests first.
Before contacting the agent’s satisfied customers, you should prepare a list of questions. Keep them short and succinct. Do not stray from the point, and be direct. If you are particularly worried about any aspect of buying a home in France then make sure that your questions cover those points in detail.
There are some very good estate agents out there, it is up to you to put in the time finding those which are not only good, but are professional, experienced and who realise that your satisfaction, as their client, is of paramount importance.
If you found this useful...
+ Stay up-to-date: Get your free This French Life newsletter