Selling your property in France

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Money Transfers France-UK

There is a lot to consider when selling your property in France, not least of which is how you are going to convert the proceeds of your French property sale. At Regency FX we help you achieve the most from the currency you are converting.

As an independent currency specialist, we have lower overheads than the banks enabling us to pass the savings on to you.

We can also discuss and agree on the right time to exchange your money, rather than using a bank or online-only system and having to accept the rate they give you on the day.

All money transfers are conducted through safeguarded client accounts.

Let us explain what a ‘safeguarded’ account is and how it benefits our clients who need to transfer the proceeds of their land sale in France.

Regency FX keeps your funds in a separate account which blocks access by third parties and keeps your money safe until you are ready to transfer the profit from your French property sale and this includes land for sale in France!

Apartments for sale in France are also popular and there are many factors to consider. We take you through these below. Read on so you can make the most of your French property sale.

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Advice on selling your property in France.

Selling a property can be stressful, time-consuming and costly; I am going to share with you some advice that can increase the sales price and make the procedure a lot faster and easier for you.

The '8 second' rule

Generally, when people are looking at buying property their mind is made up quite quickly after seeing the property.

It is known that people make up their mind whether they are interested in purchasing a property in 8 seconds of viewing it.

Many people are quick to judge nowadays, and they make big decisions such as buying a property with the feeling in their gut rather than the logic in the situation.

There are three easy ways to improve the way your property comes across:

1. Create kerb appeal

Buyers are quick to notice the little things about the property before even going inside to look at it.

Cost-efficient (a few hundred euros) and simple ways to ensure that kerb appeal is at its highest with your property are:

  1. ensure that the lawn is mowed and looking fresh,
  2. have a nice sign or number,
  3. plant some fresh flowers,
  4. repair any small things that need repairing such as steps or pathways,
  5. clean the windows and shutter,
  6. get rid of cobwebs and dirt

and it could also be a good idea to put a nice little bench outside the property.

2. Clear away the clutter

Even the items that you personally think add a nice touch to the property you should clear away as the buyer is there to look at the property and not your personal belongings also it keeps the buyer's attention on the property.

Buyers are trying to picture themselves with their stuff at the property, if your stuff is in the way then the image that they are trying to create becomes difficult to imagine.

3. Fastest and most cost-efficient way to add thousands onto the sale price.

Dingy, unfinished painted walls can easily put a buyer off property as well as peeling wallpaper. The best colour to paint the walls in order to attract buyers would be a neutral colour.

A nice paint job on a property can transform it dramatically.

By doing just a small change like this it can add a lot of money to your property!

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Small repairs make a dramatic difference to the sale price.

A British ex-pat selling a property in France will know that there is a high chance that the buyer of the property could also be a British expat; British ex-pats are normally someone who is looking for a nice holiday home or someone that is retired.

If you have not repaired the little obvious things, then the potential buyer might be put off the property as they may think more into the little things thinking that there are bigger issues with the property.

Some buyers will just walk straight away from properties that need repairs, and if they do not walk away, they will expect a rather large discount off the price.

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How much is your French property worth?

Before getting in contact with estate agents it is a great idea to check out some other properties like your own to see roughly how much it is worth.
You can do this by going onto websites such as, Rightmove, Green Acres, French Property or Cle France.

Finding a good estate agent

Estate agents are not always very trusted but if you find a good one, they can positively affect the property sale experience!

You need to ask around a little bit to find out some starting information about the different estate agents; good estate agents will get properties sold and not just have loads of them listed.

After you have gathered some information on a few of them, meet them in person to get a better gage of what they are like.

French estate agent charges, what are they?

Commission rates involved with selling a property in France can vary from 4-10%, the smaller valued properties usually create the highest commission as the agents still need to make a good fee.

The higher-end French properties generate around 4-5% commission.

The commission rate is not fixed it can be negotiated.

Generally, the smaller agents are more negotiable.

If the agent thinks that the property will sell quickly then they are more likely to accept a lower commission rate, also if the property is in a good location, they will also be more open to accepting a lower rate.

Furthermore, if you stick with one agent it then they will accept a lower rate as they do not have to split it with multiple agents.

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Tips on negotiating

The most stressful part of the whole process can be the offer stage.

It is common for the price gap between the buyer and seller to easily be in the thousands and each party is not sure where the other party is at.

There are points throughout the process where you are thinking “what do I do now?” and that is completely normal!

One good thing to keep in mind is do not to assume that the estate agent in on your team!

Even though you are paying the fee. The estate agent is there to fill the gap between the buyers and sellers' prices.

It is also a good idea to not appear to desperate to sell in front of your estate agent as then you will appear vulnerable to them and they will think that you will be willing to accept lower offers than you will.

Many people do not like the negotiating a price part however if you remain firm and confident yet open to compromise, you have no need to worry!

For example, if you are selling a property for €180,000 and the buyer offers €160,000 it would be a great compromise to then agree on the price of €175,000.

This shows that both parties have shown that they can compromise and negotiate!

A general bit of advice for you would be to list your property for 5-10% higher in value than what it is worth as this will give you a nice bit of room to negotiate with the buyer.

The buyer will leave feeling like them have saved themselves a substantial sum of money and you will be in a good place too!

Selling a house in France quickly

It can sometimes take months and months to find a buyer for your property and even after the sale is agreed it can still take 10-12 weeks for the whole process to be 100% complete.

Legal checks and queries will have to be dealt with before anything can happen with the property so it would not hurt to have the paperwork ready and waiting as this will speed up the process.

By having all the paperwork ready it means fast replies to the buyer’s enquiries and it ensures that the sale process is kept moving!

It is common for buyers to keep their options open when looking to buy a property, so a fast sale is good as it does not give the buyer much time to look elsewhere!

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Reducing taxes on selling a French property

There are standard tax rates involving the gains from selling a French property these are: Capital Gains Tax is 19%, Social Charges is 17.2% and Total Tax is 36.2%.

It does not make a difference if you are a French resident or not it will still be the same amount, this changed in 2015, non-residents used to have to pay a lot more!

You will need to pay extra CGT if your property net gain is more than €50,000, it starts at 2% extra and it can go up to 6% on gains over €250,000.

There are ways to lower your tax bill with allowable deductions.

7.5% standard deduction for buying costs.

Adding 7.5% to the purchase price to cover the buying costs and to reduce your net gain is allowed.

As well as this, if you have paid out for any repairs on the property or renovations then you can deduct those costs if you have the invoices for the work that has been done.

With a property that you have owned over 5 years you are entitled to 15% standard allowance for repairs and refurbishing. These allowances are added to the purchase price not the sales price.

No tax for a primary residence

If your French property, is your primary home then it becomes completely exempt from CGT and Social Charges; for this to happen you must be registered to pay tax in France.

You are given a 1-year exemption if you move out, the property must be on the market and remains empty.

Furthermore, if you become a tax resident in the UK or any other country than France then you could lose your exemption.

Falling Social Charges and CGT after 5 years

After 5 years, you will get a discount on the Social Charges and CGT paid; Social Charges is discounted 1.65% per years and CGT is discounted 6% per year.

For example, if you had French property for 10 years there would be an 8.25% discount on the Social Charges and a 30% discount on the CGT!

Saving thousands by turning the exchange rate to your advantage!

When looking at selling a property it can be easy to forget about the exchange rate completely!

The exchange rate can have a huge effect on how much money you receive after the sale and the money transfer; tiny changes can affect the exchange rate dramatically!

Banks can charge you up to 5% when sending your money to a different country!

For example, with a property sale of €280,000 they could charge you €14,000, now that is a lot of money to be paying in fees!

Currency brokers can keep watching the rate for you as it is their job, and they can notify you if the rate ends up moving in your favour! This can be useful as it could save you, thousands.

Currency brokers can lock-in a rate for you for up to 12 months with something called a forward contract!

This can be especially useful when looking at selling property as it can take a while, so it is good to know you have a good rate waiting for you when it is time to transfer the money over.

Who are we?

Regency FX are a UK based independent currency broker, specialising in high volume transfers.

We pride ourselves on our premium level of customer service, you will be allocated your own personal account manager whom you will have direct access to.

All funds transferred through Regency FX are made using client segregated accounts in accordance with the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) guidelines.

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The important thing is the comparison, online rates shown on Google and other search engines are not always accurate for the consumer.

They can often refer to the rates that banks exchange at rather than what is available to you, the customer.

Even if you are just looking for property at this stage it is worth getting in touch to discuss your options.

We can monitor the market on your behalf enabling you to budget more effectively.

As a first-class currency transfer service, here at Regency FX we endeavour to get the best available rate regardless of how much you are transacting.

Get a quote and see how we stack up.