When your agent visits your property be sure to answer his questions truthfully and do not mislead him as this could cause a problem later down the line. For instance, if the neighbour has rights to use your well, if there is an access for a farm vehicle through your land etc.
If you purchased the property as a renovation project or with work required you may not get the monetary return on the property you have input into these works. It’s often a conception of a vendor to think his property is worth more than the purchase price plus the price of the updating works he has carried out.
Your agent is able to take into consideration any major works and advise you as to whether these will effect the sale price when estimating the value of the property.
You will be required to have the DPE ( energy efficiency rating) study carried out prior to the agent being able to publicise your property. The agent will be able to arrange for this to be carried out. The cost for this is payable by you, the vendor.
Should you wish to have any other of the diagnostics required for the sale carried out at the same time you may get a small discount from the Diagnostic company as only one visit is required. The down side to this is that some diagnostics have a validity date and if your property isn’t sold prior to expiration the report may need to be re-evaluated and you would be charged for this. Another aspect to remember is, should the regulations alter concerning an area of the report carried out, a new report may be required, again at your cost.
Often vendors choose to have the DPE carried out initially and have the other diagnostic reports carried out when there is a potential purchaser showing interest. These reports can usually be compiled within three or four days.
The diagnostic studies are payable by you, the vendor and the costs vary depending on property size, outbuildings and age of the property.
- DPE- Energy efficiency rating
- AMIANTE- Asbestos related materials
- PLOMB- Lead amounts in paint and other products
- ELECTRICITY- Electrical installation and wiring
- TERMITES- This is only required in certain areas.
- MERULES- Not an official requirement but is offered in certain areas. ( Fungus)
- ASSAINISSEMENT- Sewage . A certification from the Mairie is required if connected to mains sewage and a full installation report is required if the property has an individual system.
All of the above are payable by the vendor.
A mandat is a legal requirement in France, giving permission for the agency to publish the details of your property for sale. Within the mandat are the vendors’ details, the Net vendor price and the description of the property for sale. The mandat has an expiration date and is renewable after this date.
There are two types of mandat – Mandat exclusif / Mandat non Exclusif
A mandate exclusive requires you to give the agency the sole rights to advertise your property for sale for the duration of the mandat terms. This is usually for a three month term, renewable for a further three months. Many agencies offer incentives to clients when signing an exclusive mandate, perhaps a discount on the diagnostics, placing the property details on specialist web sites or at property shows.
A non exclusive mandat gives you the option of advertising your property for sale with numerous agencies and Notaires alike.
Depending on your situation and whether the property is a main residence or second home, it may be more effective to give the agent a key to the property, allowing short notice viewings. If a main residence, you may prefer not to leave a key with your agent, however it is usually best if you do not tour the property with prospective clients and the agent. Allow the agent to show the property as clients frequently ask more questions and feel more relaxed if the vendor isn’t present.
If you accept an offer you will be asked to sign an acceptance form.
At this point the agent will, if he hasn’t already, give you a list of the paperwork and details he requires from you in order to prepare the compromis.
Once you have signed the compromis please remember to remove it from sale with other agencies and web sites. It is also important to request the return of keys given to other agencies.
The Notaire designated to complete the sale is normally your chosen Notaire. The purchasers however, may prefer to designate their Notaire or request the sale proceeds with two Notaires involved. This doesn’t often happen and would not hinder or delay the sale in any way.
Taxe Foncières and Taxe D’Habitation
You will be required to pay the Taxe d’Habitation payable on your property for the current year in which you sell your property.
The Taxe Foncières for the year in which you sell the property will often still be sent to you. You will need to pay this and send the Notaire a copy of the receipt. The Notaire will then request a pro rata reimbursement from the purchasers. Sometimes the Notaire will have calculated this at the signing of the Acte De Vente, depending what time of year the sale was completed and the purchaser would have already paid this to you in advance.
It is often a good idea, if leaving France, to retain your French bank account for a few months. Any utility refunds or final bill payments can then be received or paid without the extra cost of changing currencies.
Capital gains tax is calculated and payable on the day of the sale. The Notaire will deduct this from your sale proceeds prior to payment. Plus-Value is not payable if the property is your main residence, whether you make a large profit or not on the property and you are registered as having been living at the address for more than a year. It is payable on second homes. Plus- Value is only payable on the profit made, the difference between the purchase and sale price. It is payable on a decreasing percentage scale over a period of 30 years, when no plus value is payable.
Some renovations and works carried out on the property may be taken into consideration when calculating the percentages. Items such as sewage systems, or a new roof are usually able to be counted, items such as kitchen units and fitted wardrobes are not. Talk to your agent for more information and details.
If the property was purchased by a couple, say husband and wife and they own the property jointly-50% each. Then the profit is split between the two and the capital gains is payable on each vendors share of the profits.