And how a simple phone call could change the way you approach buying a French property for ever.
In France, you often find multiple listings for the same house at different prices! Now you can avoid confusion and cut straight to the need-to-know-info on each property you like... By working with someone experienced who lives locally, with local knowledge and local contacts.
Immobiliers are not always as responsive as you would like. Now you can work with someone who understands customer service... And get answers to your questions without you having to ask twice.
A local agent only gives you a snapshot of the properties for sale in a given area. Now you can work with someone who can scour the whole market for your ideal property... You'll even get access to 'Off-Market' Properties.
Finding your dream house in south west France by yourself could take more time than you anticipated. Now you can have someone pre-visit properties for you and give you a frank and honest opinion...No more frustration and wasted time!
The home you choose will 'speak' to you the moment you see it. There will be quite a few 'near misses'. Possibly ones you would love to have but, for some reason, you fail to strike a deal.
Some list prices bear no relation to 'true' value.
The number of properties that represent value are not easy to find. Passing the quality/value test is tough.
Some vendors do not recognise a good offer when they see it. A chateau in the Dordogne, we know, was on the market for €10m in 2008. The vendor has refused several good offers since. Now, the list price is just under €3m.
Looking for a second home in France can feel like a marathon...
Can you dedicate yourself to finding that ONE property?
A real estate agent finds buyers for properties. A buyer’s agent finds properties for buyers. A real estate agent is there to sell you a house, any house. A buyer’s agent’s is there to make sure you buy the right property in the right place at the right price. And, get value for money.
The best real estate agents or immobiliers, as they are known as in French, are the small local ones that know their area well and, in turn, are known by their community too.
Because they are so focused, they have an ear to the ground. They know the off-market properties. The ones which are for sale but never appear on a website. Most of these are personal friends so it's easy for us to find out what we need to know.
As a wealthy investor, your first reaction could well be to contact one of the big international franchises. One of the global brands.
But how can they have their ears to the ground in Bordeaux, Beijing and Buenos Aires, all at the same time? With one licencee in each place, they too can only offer you a snapshot of what is available...
7 Facts you need to know
With little spare time, several time zones away and the challenges that exist, what is the best way for you to find the property of your dreams?
Before you even consider stepping on to a flight to France, you need to have confidence in your short list. That confidence needs to be based on solid research.
You need to analyse high resolution images not just the photos you see on the web
You need to see Video clips of things not shown in the agent's listing. Good and Bad...
You need to see sketch floor plans to help you visualize how the interior spaces flow.
You need to research the local area, the schools and local planning applications to tell you more about the community you may be buying into.
You need to know whether the vendor is a serious seller not just on a fishing trip
And more... much more
The bottom line is that you need to feel confident about whether or not a property is right for you before you decide to make a visit. If you do, you will avoid disappointment & frustration AND save time & money.
Having someone who lives locally who can give you impartial, independent advice could fast track your property search.
Someone with local knowledge.
Someone who is on the ground and knows where to look and where not to
Someone who could provide answers to your questions quickly and efficiently.
Someone to work with you to make sure every property worth consideration is checked out
Someone with a tried and tested network of the best real estate agents (immobiliers), across the south west.
Someone who knows the hot spots in the south west and the the less obvious but equally attractive places to look too.
Someone to pre-visit a property to tell you more than any long-distance conversation with an immobilier ever could.
Having someone like that, in your corner, would make your search that much easier, Wouldn't it?
When you get on the plane to start your viewing trip, you will have complete confidence in the shortlist of properties, you have. In fact, you'll be excited. Excited because you will know that two or three are hot prospects. You'll be almost sure you've found the ONE you are looking for...
When I began looking for a place in France, Rory had an almost immediate sense of what I wanted and quickly found several properties that met my requirements. He answered every question I could think to ask, took the time to preview properties I thought I might like to see, and best of all, did this with an unfailing energy and good humour.
Find the right property in the right place at the right price
And get great value too
Our exclusive service is reserved for special clients who have exacting requirements and a budget minimum of €1,000,000 in cash.
To start with, we take a detailed brief from you including all your must-haves and pet-hates as well as your preferred location and maximum budget.
We then scour our network of agents. Check the ‘Entre Particuliers Market’ (private sales). And speak to local notaires to find out if they know of a property discreetly for sale. Finally, we tap our contacts to find off-market properties within your budget.
We discuss with you all the properties we have found. We then provide more detailed information on any ones of particular interest including property taxes, plan cadastral, available pictures and tell you about the local area based on our experience.
Whether you’re searching for a chateau, a manoir or a vineyard, we laser focus your search based on your criteria. Through our extensive network which accesses the whole market including all agent immobiliers, notaires and private sales. We often find luxury real estate that never appears on the open market.
Here's the complete step-by-step list of what I do...
The concise List
Exclusive Property Search Service
I have never known anyone, in any profession, easier to work with. I only wish I had the money to buy, with his help, more than one place.
My goal is to find the ideal property for you. That, by definition, is time consuming and means, I can only work with a limited number of clients, at any one time.
So please understand, that I cannot work for everyone who contacts me
Each of the handful of clients that I am working with at any one time, are at different points in the process.
When one signs a compromis, I am happy to take on another client.
Contact me to schedule a time when we can have an initial discussion with no commitment on either side. If I am not able to start working with you immediately, I will say so I look forward to hearing from you…
You are fully protected by our 100% Satisfaction-Guarantee. If you are not happy with our service for any reason even if you don't have a reason, just let me know and we'll refund your deposit
It is focused on your search criteria. It is tailor-made to find your ideal French property. You are my top priority. That’s the way it should be.
This is how we can work together
I ask you to sign an ‘Search Mandate’ which commits you to working with me exclusively for a minimum of 3 months.
The fee for my 'Exclusive Search Service' is based on your budget, your search criteria and the urgency of your request.
My typical fee is 2.85% (+ TVA at 19.6%) of the agreed net selling price of the property you buy.
I also ask you to make a down payment of 2% of our search fee to cover expenses based on your budget minimum or €1m whichever is the greater. This deposit is only refundable against the full search fee which is payable the day you sign the acte de vente.
Here’s how that works in numbers
Minimum Budget (net of agents Fees) €1,000,000
Exclusive Search Fee @ 2.85% of Budget € 28,500
TVA @19.6% € 5,586
Down Payment of 2% of our Search fee € 681.72 (non-refundable)
NB: Agents Fees, notaires fees, government taxes & land registration fees not included
The 'Down Payment' includes 3 pre-visits with video clips, high res images, sketch plans, renovation budget (approx), and value/price report.
Contact me to schedule a time when we can have an initial discussion with no commitment on either side. If I am not able to start working with you immediately, I will say so. I look forward to hearing from you…
"I have worked with a number of real estate agents over the years, some of them quite good at what they do, but no one in my experience has been as good as Rory Ramsden.”
P.S.: Avoid the frustration and disappointment of viewing properties that are of no interest at all because the agent did not understand your search criteria or because the images/description were in some way misleading or did not explain that the property is right next to a noisy road, smelly farm, nuclear power station, vineyard spraying noxious chemicals etc…
Wouldn't it make sense to have someone with local knowledge and experience on your team?
PPS: Conducting the search yourself may start out being fun. Then, it becomes a marathon. Driving long distances across the French countryside. Late arrivals. Early departures. Wasted journeys and wasted weeks looking at the wrong properties in the wrong places.
If you have never bought a house in France before or even if you have a long, long time ago, wouldn't it make sense to have an experienced hand on your crew?