Real Estate

How to sell your apartment in Paris – France

You once decided to buy an apartment in Paris that you fell in love with. Perhaps you purchased it a couple of years ago, or maybe you’ve owned it for decades. It could have been your home since then, or perhaps a holiday apartment. Maybe you even rented it out to Paris residents or to holidaymakers for short-term accommodation. However, you have decided that it’s now time for you to sell your apartment. Whether you’re moving elsewhere, upgrading to another property or simply cashing in on an asset, you need to make sure you go through the right process to sell your apartment. You need to follow the rules, and you want to try and make a profit on your purchase too.

As anyone who has bought property in France will know, there can be a lot of bureaucracy to get through. When it’s time to sell, you can have the same, but you’ll be a little more experienced and knowledgeable. If you want to make the most of the selling process and sell your Paris apartment for the right price, follow these tips.

1. Understand the Legalities and Selling Process

Whenever you sell or buy in France, you have to make sure you know the regulations and the processes you have to follow. There are strict rules on the things you need to do to make the sale of your Paris apartment legal. For example, an estate agent needs to have a “Mandat de Vente” to market your property. Although there are several types, the most common one that estate agents use is the “mandat de vente sans exclusivité”. You can also use one of these to market the property yourself. Here is some important information about this document:

  • It includes a description of the property and any land included
  • The property owner needs to sign two copies for their estate agent – one for the agent to file, and one to keep
  • It’s possible to cancel the Mandat de Vente if you change your mind about selling

Another important legality before you sell your property is the pre-sale tests. You have to have your apartment tested to determine its energy performance, insulation and anything that could affect the cost of heating. The test is called “Diagnostique de Performance Energétique” (DPE). There’s also the “Dossier Diagnostic Technique”, which tests for potential dangers in the property. These include:

  • Lead and asbestos presence
  • Gas and electric issues
  • Risk of flooding and other natural problems
  • Pests
  • Sewerage
  • Smoke alarms

There are certain things you are required to declare when you sell your property. These include any defects and, when you sell an apartment, the total surface area of the property. You also need to say if there are any interests in the property, such as a tenancy. When it’s time to sell your property, a notaire will help you deal with two important documents. The Compromis de Vente and the Acte de Vente must be signed at the notaire’s office, usually a few months apart.

2. Do Important Repairs

Before you put your Paris apartment on the market, it’s important to do any important repairs that might be necessary. Even if you’ve only owned your apartment for a short while, it can be easy for wear and tear to make its mark on the property. Perhaps you have been renting out your apartment for short stay with a view of the Eiffel Tower, and people are constantly coming in and out. This can mean that you’re left with minor aesthetic damage, or there could even be bigger problems to deal with. If you have any repairs to do, it’s best to take care of at least the most pressing ones. Otherwise, any potential buyers might decide to take more off their offering price than you would like.

Some important repairs to think about include:

  • Structural repairs
  • Electrical repairs
  • Dealing with potential pest problems

3. Find the Right Estate Agent

You can decide to sell your Paris apartment privately. However, many people choose to use an estate agent to make the process easier. The estate agent can market their property in a number of different places, as well as handle the paperwork. Choosing the right estate agent in Paris, whether your apartment overlooks the Champs Elysées or is in Montmartre, doesn’t need to be difficult. If you want an estate agent that speaks English, you can find a few different options. There are services designed to help expats and foreign investors who might not have the level of French needed to negotiate a property sale. However, if you do decide to use a French-speaking agent, you can hire a translator.

The potential things you might look for in an estate agent in Paris include:

  • Location – if you’re selling in the 6th arrondissement, you probably don’t want an estate agent specialising in the 16th arrondissement
  • Language – having an estate agent who speaks your language is very useful
  • Marketing channels – where and how will the estate agent market your property?
  • Services available – which services will the estate agent carry out for you?
  • Legalities – does the estate agent follow the law for selling property in Paris?

4. Marketing Your Property in Different Places

Whether you use an estate agent or decide to sell your Paris apartment privately, you need to think about the best places to market it. Before you put your property on the market, you should think about who might want to buy your property and for what reasons. For example, if you have a city centre property in Paris centre, is it more likely to be purchased by a family or by a single business person or couple? Are you looking for foreign buyers who will be moving to France long term or could your potential buyer be looking to buy for students? Some buyers will be buying property to let, while others will want to live in the property they buy. These are factors to take into account when you think about where you or your estate agent can market your property.

An estate agent can market your property through a number of potential channels. These might include:

  • Online, through their own website and other listings sites
  • At property exhibitions – estate agents that attend these exhibitions take their listings with them to show prospective buyers
  • In the press – your property could get noticed in both print and online publications if your estate agent has the right connections
  • International property marketing channels – as well as listing on local sites and media, international portals are also useful

5. Choose the Best Time to Sell

When you sell a property, whether it’s in Paris, somewhere else in France or in another country, choosing the best time to sell can make a difference. This can matter in terms of what year you decide to sell up, as well as the season you choose to put your house on the market. If you want to make a bigger profit on your property, you might be better off waiting until the housing market looks healthier. On the other hand, the market might already be doing well, and it could be the perfect time to list your Paris apartment. In terms of seasons, choosing the right one could make for a quicker sale. For example, perhaps you want to show off how good your apartment looks in the summer.

6. Get Everything Clean and Tidy

To advertise your Paris apartment, you need to have quality photos. You might already have some if you’ve been advertising it as TripAdvisor or Booking.com holiday accommodation. But if you haven’t, you might not have any good photos. The first step to getting some is to have a clean and tidy apartment, which is also essential for when you have viewings. In addition to performing any repairs, you can do some minor work to take care of less serious things. Maybe there’s a little chip in the paint on one wall, or you can polish all your door handles. Make everything look neat and tidy at the very least.

7. Stage Your Home

Not everyone decides to stage their home when they sell it, but it can be a great technique. You can spend time making everything look great, and perhaps even borrow or hire furniture to get it all looking perfect. It’s a great thing to do before you take photos too, so that you can market your property well. If you’re trying to sell a chic Paris apartment close to the Eiffel Tower or in St Germain, you should put some effort into attracting the right people.

8. Promote What’s Best About Your Property

If you have an estate agent managing your property sale, it’s their job to show buyers why they should choose your apartment. But you can also play a part in promoting the best parts about your apartment. Whether you talk to your estate agent and any viewers they bring to your home, or you market your Paris apartment privately, you should know what the attractive parts of your property are. They could include:

  • Location: does it offer somewhere cheap near the Champs Elysées?
  • Benefits of the building: is there a pool, gym or other facilities in the complex?
  • Potential rental income: how much could someone earn renting the property to Paris residents or for vacations for tourists?

There’s a lot to think about if you want to sell your apartment in Paris. Choose the best channels to sell to make it easier to complete the process.