How to make the best deals in France

However the prices should remain stable for 2016. Because…

  • Interests rates in France are at their lowest.
  • (2% fixed rate for 15 years, 2.3% fixed rate for 20 years, 2.6% fixed rate for 25 years)
  • According to the mortgage broker ACE
  • 0% interest rate mortgage extended to zone C for 1st french time buyers on the 1st January 2016.
  • Slow recovery of the French economy in 2016.
  • Increase of international buyers in France (a third from the UK)

 Why are there more UK buyers in France at the moment?

  • Improved economy and real estate market in the UK
  • Low € and favourable exchange rates for UK buyers
  • Property prices have dropped by 35% in rural France since 2008.


  • Aim for rural properties in SW and W France?1 hour from a city or the sea.
  • Aim for properties that have been for sale the longest.

Why? It doesn’t mean they are not interesting but that they were possibly overpriced in the first place.

  • Aim for properties which have a sole mandate with the agency.

The agent will have a good relationship with the seller and will save you time and money in the negotiation.

  • In the current market aim for properties which have already been renovated? They are usually better deals than renovation projects as they do not always reflect the cost of the renovation.
  • Avoid properties with a nuisance by a road, close to a electricity pilon or wind farm, next to a farm in activity…. If so, negotiate the price.
  • Check how many sellers are involved, what is they relation and how do they get on.
  • Check how far the property is from the motorway, train or plane connections. This impacts the price.
  • Check out the neighbourhood to get a feel for the place.
  • Ask the sellers if they will leave the furniture. Note that you will not pay notaire fees on the furniture items.
  • Try to gather information on the area.
  • Optimise your time with the agent by preparing the visit
  • Don’t overload your agenda with viewings.
  • Allow time. Do not underestimate driving distances between properties.
  • Try to be specific in your search criteria to give credit to your intention of purchase.
  • Come with an agreement in principle from your bank or a mortgage broker for your financing. You will be in a better position to negotiate a deal if funds are in place.
  • Choose an agent to represent you who speaks English, who is part of a network with good reference and expertise, who demonstrates enthusiasm and with whom you feel you are in a relationship of trust. If he  / she is like that with you it means  he/she is the same with the seller and it should facilitate the negotiation.
  • A good agent always make the difference.
  • Think well before you make an offer as it will be difficult to come back on it to reduce the amount. Ask the advice of the agent. Usually an offer less than 10% of the asking price is taken into consideration.
  • Ask the agent to prepare an offer in writing for you to be signed and counter signed by the seller(s).
  • Be Reactive
  • Reassure the agent and the seller of your capacity to move quickly on the signing of the contract and the payment of the deposit.   If it’s a good deal it will sell fast and interest other potential buyers.
  • If you feel in a good relationship with the seller and to speed up the process you may keep his notaire as the sole notaire for the sale.

Director :   Jean-Stéphane VILAIN

Agency: Selection Habitat

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