Feedback from FrenchEntr
At FrenchEntrée Languedoc-Roussillon we often get emails or phone calls from prospective property hunters looking for information about buying and selling property in the region. Here we take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions and ask whether you know:
• what is the most popular area for property hunters in the region?
This is a tricky question, because it really depends on what the buyers particular requirements are – the diversity that the region offers means that almost everyone’s idea of a dream home can be met – from Mediterranean villas, to mountain chalets; farmhouses surrounded by vineyards to chic city apartments.
Certainly, one of the most popular areas in has been the historic city of Carcassonne – thanks in large part to the introduction of a Ryanair hub at its airport, as well as its Mediterranean climate and its proximity to both the Pyrenees and the sea.
For vendors, it would seem that location, as always, is key: anywhere under 15 minutes drive from Carcassonne with a nice garden and all the necessary shops nearby would qualify as a relatively easy property to sell.
• how BIG the Languedoc-Roussillon is?
It’s a funny question, but an important one because the region is vast (covering 27,376 km2 to be exact, which is just a little bit bigger than Wales!), and if you are property hunting it pays to know how long it is going to take you to get from A to B! The fact that most buyers are looking for houses in more rural locations only adds to the distances travelled. When we were house-hunting we actually spent an entire day visiting just three properties thanks to the winding country lanes! So, make sure when you plan your visiting trips with your agent that there will be sufficient time to see them all properly, and that you’ve got enough time to really explore, and that you haven’t done anything silly like plan to see properties up in the Cevennes in the morning and then down in the Albères in the afternoon – unless you really, really like driving under pressure!
• why agents are sometimes reluctant to give out the exact location of a property?
Well, it’s simply a way of protecting their commission. The property market is a highly regulated industry, and agents are reluctant to give away crucial information that might lead to a private sale or to you finding the property advertised elsewhere. This is why it pays to really do your research and have a very clear idea of exactly where in the region you want to be. This way you can tell your agent your requirements – they can then tell you if the property falls into the area you’re looking, and thus you can make sure that no time is wasted visiting areas that are unsuitable.
• that you can sign a “mandate de recherche” with your preferred agent and have him/ her search for suitable properties for you?
The best agents in the region have strong local networks meaning that if they don’t have your dream property on their books, they can find it for you by contacting other agents or private vendors in their area. This means that just one reliable contact may be all you need to see you through all stages of the property search and purchasing process!
But, if you do sign a “mandate de recherche”, be sure to clarify your position regarding commission payment. If your searching agent sources a property for you that is for sale privately then you will be required to pay your agent a commission – best to be agreed upon before you visit any properties. On the other hand, if the searching agent sources a property for you that is being advertised by a different agency, then the advertised price should be inclusive of a commission to that agency who will then split this with your searching agent according to whatever arrangement they have between each other.
• that FrenchEntrée works with a number of very well connected locally based Premier Partner estate agents?
Through our experience of living, working and buying property here, we know how important it is to work with a trusted estate agent, so we only work with agents that meet our quality criteria:
– properly registered under French law
– have English-speaking staff
– offer at least 100 high quality properties
– provide accurate, reliable information
– handle viewings in an efficient and friendly manner
– provide excellent customer service before, during and after the sale