Services for Sellers

There are few better times than the present to sell property in Paris given an increase in home prices and a more active market, breaking all previous records for property sales per period. However, it can be a complicated process if you’re not familiar with it, and the help of an estate agent is even more crucial than it is elsewhere.

Most homeowners and sellers consider agencies primarily for their ability to market a home. Indeed, this is true of Paris, where there are no multiple listing service databases providing data about properties for sale. It’s up to the buyer and the agent to put in the work. In this regard, agencies play a further key role in providing accurate and objective property values.

Moreover, agencies with experience dealing with non-French native sellers can help them better navigate the differences in law. This includes the reliance on state notaries rather than conveyancers. It might also include help with the many different diagnostics about the condition, size, and ownership of a home that you have to go through before you can agree to a sale.

Below, we’re going to tackle some of the most common questions about selling a home in Paris to help clarify the road ahead and help you take advantage of a market that’s firmly to your advantage.

How do I find the value of my property?

The value of a property is best found out by commissioning and using a trusted and certified agent that operates regularly in the area that you want to sell in. These are most commonly known as Expert Immobilier, a group that’s separated into several distinct categories, including those for private housing, apartments and so on. However, there’s supplemental information that you can use to help you determine a realistic price range for your property, too. There’s a huge database of over 9 million references for property sales managed by PERVAL SA that allows a seller or agent to accurately predict what real value your home has based on price trends and statistics crossing over fifteen years.

Is now the time to sell?

Now is the perfect time to sell. The first five months of 2017 alone have demonstrated a shift in the housing estate world of more home sales than ever and rising property prices. It is truly a seller’s market in Paris and worth capitalising on.

What’s the capital gains tax rate on property sales in tax?

Figuring how much you have to pay in capital gains tax rate on your property depends on a few questions. If it’s your primary residence, you won’t have to pay any. However, even for non-EU European residents, private individuals pay a flat rate of 19%.

Are there any extra costs in selling a property in Paris?

In addition to the aforementioned taxes, there are social charges on top of capital gains for non-residents of 15.5%. At the moment, there is an ongoing court case determining whether or not it’s legal to charge those costs to people who don’t benefit from the French social security system, but it might take years before a verdict is reached and any laws are changed. Diagnostic tests costing between 500-1000 € are the only other mandatory cost.

How should I market a property?

The best way to market a property is in close collaboration with a real estate agent. First of all, they can help through the legal process of marketing it, making sure that you’re representing the property within compliance of the law. Before putting it up for sale, it’s recommended you stage photos that represent the best side of the property, too. Clearing out clutter, using simple décor, and fixing small immediately noticeable flaws can reduce the time it takes to sell from an average of 127 days to a staggering 19-20 days.

How should I present a property?

The most effective way to sell a home in Paris is the same as it is much elsewhere. Again, staged homes sell much quicker. Many sellers will already have moved much of their furniture off-site, but it’s worth considering borrowing or renting more generic, broadly appealing décor choices. If you have time, consider painting over bolder colours and replacing patterned carpets. Make the home look fresh and comfortable, but not too stylistic. Houseplants are always a good touch, as is using a scent to give it a more sensory appeal.

What’s a mandat de vente?

When working with any property agent in France, both parties will be required to sign a written mandat de vente. This is essentially an agreement with the agency and property seller. It includes a right to withdraw from the contract if it’s not signed in either your home or the agency offices, and a time limit to the agreement, which can be set to renew automatically.

Who pays the agency fees?

Another aspect of the mandat de vente states who, exactly, will be paying the estate agent. In the vast majority of them, it is the buyer who pays as part of the property price, which tend to be in the area of 5% for the traditional Parisian apartment. These costs are included in the buying price most often, but the buyer has to agree to it. Most do because they can reduce stamp payable and notaire fees of a property.

What’s a DPE?

An important part of selling a home in France nowadays is getting a DPE. This is a diagnostic de performance énergétique. Regardless of whether you sell with the help of an agency or independently, it is a legal requirement to include an energy performance rating as part of your property listings. These are just one of the obligatory surveys you have to carry out when selling the home.

What other legally-required surveys are there?

As mentioned, the DPE is included in a series of diagnostics that can cost an average of €500-1000, depending on the property. Any notaire you use will also insist on these diagnostics being carried out before you proceed any further with a sale. It includes a survey of defects such as termites, asbestos, lead, natural or industrial risks as well as gas, electrical wiring, and septic tank checks. The loi carrez is another legal requirement of a sale agreement that states the surface area of a property, only obtained with the help of a certified geometre. If a home is sold without a loi carrez or an incorrect one, the sale can be contested and you might be forced to reimburse the buyer for the difference.

How do I organize viewings?

It is best to work with your estate agent to best organize viewings. This is especially true if you’re not in France at the moment. Whether you live there or not, the best way to help an agency sell a home quicker is to agree to short notice viewings and to allow for a high volume of individual viewings. If you don’t, then the agency may be forced to allow multiple potential buyers in the home at once. This can work against their ability to focus their attention on each buyer and doesn’t sell the home in the right light.

Why should I stick with one agent?

You might think that spreading the duties of selling the home between more than one agent will help you reach more people and sell a home more quickly. You may very well have your home seen by more people, but using different agents can cause problems of its own. For one, prioritizing different selling points and advertising conflicting reports, including different prices, can hurt the appeal of a home. People can assume that you are hard pressed to sell, meaning they think they have a stronger position to negotiate a lower price. They might also assume there’s a large flaw with the property.

What does the notaire do?

The notaire is a public official for the French government. They are often involved in the step of property valuation, but they are mandatory in the legal process of selling a home. A notaire checks whether you are truly the owner of the home you’re selling and that you have all the diagnostics carried out. They are also the party that prepares the deeds and is serves as the intermediary that collects the money from the buyer and the keys from the seller. The notaire is an essential part of selling property in France, but they are not to be confused with agencies that can help guide sellers through the whole process.

How long does it take between signing a promesse de vente to the completion of the sale?

On average, it takes two or three months to complete a property sale. This is noticeably longer than other European countries like the UK. This is because the initial agreement to a sale, the promesse de vente, takes place early in the process. An approximate date will be part of the promesse de vente, but this is an estimate and the signing of the final acte de vente won’t happen until the notaire has finalised their checks and the conveyancing process.