Tired of wasting valuable time and money on unsuccessful viewing trips?
Why you should ignore every realtor, estate agent and immobilier in south west France
And find your dream house the smart way…
And how a simple phone call could change the way you approach the French property market for ever.
Hi, I'm Rory.
I live and work in the south west of France.
I'm a buyer's agent and French property finder.
Buying a home is an emotional journey
Buying a home is an emotional journey. The home you choose will 'speak' to you the moment you see it. There will be quite a few 'near misses'. Even more, that you should never have even bothered to visit.
Some list prices will bear no relation to the value of the 'chateau' in front of you.
The number of properties that truly qualify to join the luxury real estate market in south west France is not that many. There are those that aspire. Yet, few truly earn the ranking. Fewer still pass the quality/value test.
Then there are owners who simply 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 south west France can be a frustrating business...
Can you set aside the time, in your busy life, to find the ONE property?
The one that ticks all your boxes AND is value for money...
If not, you've come to the right place.
Our Exclusive Search Service is tailor-made for you...
A Buyer's Agent is NOT a Real Estate Agent
(and that's a good thing)
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.
To help you avoid a poor buying decision...
So a buyer’s agent is the opposite of a traditional realtor. He does not take instructions from vendors wishing to sell their properties. He takes instructions from you, only. He is impartial, independent and scans the whole market without fear or favour.
7 Facts you need to know
Getting to know the French property market takes time. When you make your first viewing trip you quickly find out that all is not as you had expected. It's not like the one you are used to.
Overpriced properties are still common. Some vendors are fishing rather than being serious about a sale. This leads to unnecessary frustration and wasted time/money on your behalf.
This can be good news and bad. Multiple listings lead to confusion. You never really know whether the price you are given is the real one.
A local agent can only show you a limited number of properties. He certainly won’t be instructed on every property for sale in his area.
French real estate agents/immobiliers may not be as responsive as you would like. Customer service is a novelty in France.
Finding for your ideal property in France takes time. It has to match your criteria AND have an owner with realistic price expectations. Not that easy to find together.
Taking tax, inheritance and finance advice is important. How to structure your investment to best suit you, as soon as possible, is sensible.
Foreign investors buying second homes in France
80% of foreign investors are looking for a second home in France. Like you, they do not have the time to do all the background research themselves. Like you, they want to delegate that to someone they can trust ‘on the ground’.
We are licensed luxury buyer’s agents & French property finders.
They are one and the same
You need to see high resolution photos so you can zoom in and see the details. You need to see Video clips to see things not shown in the agent's listing. You need to see sketch floor plans to help you see how the interior spaces flow. And you need to research the local area, the schools and local planning applications to tell you more about the community you may be living in.
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, save time and money.
Local Resident. Local Contacts. Local Knowledge
Having someone who lives locally who can give you impartial, independent advice will fast track your property search.
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 but also knows the less obvious but equally attractive places to look too. Someone with local knowledge. Someone to help you find the right property in the right place at the right price.
Having someone like that working with you would be an invaluable resource to have at your disposal.
When you get on the plane for a long weekend viewing trip, you will have complete confidence in the shortlist of properties that you are going to visit. In fact, you'll be excited. Excited to know that two or three are hot prospects that you are fairly sure you will want to make an offer on.
When negotiating with a vendor, you'll be in a far stronger position because you can choose to walk away when you like. Just make sure the vendor knows this too. It will make striking the right deal much easier.
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.
One Exclusive Search Service. One Goal
Our exclusive service which is reserved for special clients who have exacting requirements and a budget which starts at €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.
The minimum budget, you should have, is €1,000,000 in cash
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.
We will also tell you why the current owner wishes to sell and whether he is in a hurry or just biding his time waiting for an inexperienced buyer to come along who can be be persuaded to pay his price.
Next, we make a provisional shortlist with you.
Now we get to the exacting part...
We pre-visit properties of particular interest to you. For each property visited, we will take detailed pictures and make a series of video clips focusing on elements that do not appear in existing photographs.
If floor plans do not exist, which is usual for old French properties, we make them for you so you can see how the spaces flow together. These are sketch plans not architectural drawings. We can then discuss what upgrades may be necessary with you and, with your agreement, contact an architect to review your ideas and suggest a renovation budget.
Finally, we make value to price comparisons so we can all make an informed decision about the 'real' price of the target property.
Our goal is to ensure you make a shortlist of properties to view which you are confident about.
Then we organise all your visits and give you an itinerary so you can book hotels (we make suggestions here too). On the day, we accompany you on your visits and act as interpreters.
When you decide on the property you wish to buy, we advise you further on price and negotiation strategy. Then guide you through the buying process.
If you do not have financial, legal and tax advisers who are expert in the French system, we can put you in touch people we have used before. It goes without saying that structuring your investment to meet your unique situation is crucial.
Later if you need help finding an architect or artisan or just about anything else, we are happy to help
We access the whole market for you
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.
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.
The concise List
Exclusive Search Service
1. Working with you to define your search criteria.
2. We scour the whole market including agents, notaires, private sales and off market properties
3. Identifying properties that match those criteria.
4. Detailing property taxes, plan cadastral, additional pictures and Google map reference on properties of particular interest
5. Give you advice on the local area based on our experience
6. Advising you on why the owner wishes to sell
7. Creating a provisional shortlist with you
8. Pre-visiting 3 properties of particular interest to confirm they match your criteria
9. Providing additional images not available from the agent
10. Making video clips of particular features
11. Creation of sketch floor plans
12. Suggest renovation proposals and approximate costs
13. Reporting back to give you a frank opinion as to value/price ratio
14. Finalizing your short list of properties to view with you.
15. Arranging your viewing schedule
16. Recommending hotels and car hire/limousine firms.
17. Accompanying you on your property visits.
18. Advising you further on price and negotiation strategy
19. Recommending expert Financial, legal and tax advisors to help you structure your acquisition.
20. Guiding you through the buying process
21. Being on call after you have moved in to answer any further questions that crop up.
This service is different. It is for you and you alone
It is focused on your search criteria. It is tailor-made to find your ideal French property. You are our top priority. That’s the way it should be.
This is how we can work together
We ask you to sign a ‘Search Mandate’ which commits you to working with us exclusively for a minimum of 3 months.
The fee for our 'Exclusive Search Service' is based on your budget, your search criteria and the urgency of your request. Our typical fee is 2.85% (+ TVA at 19.6%) of the agreed net selling price of the property you buy. We also ask you to make a down payment of 2% of our search fee to cover expenses. This deposit is only refundable against the full search fee which is payable the day you sign the compromis 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.
Our goal is to find the ideal property for you. That, by definition, is time consuming and means, we can only work with a limited number of clients, at any one time.
So please understand, that we cannot work for everyone who contacts us.
Each of the handful of clients that we are working with at any one time, are at different points in the process. When one signs a compromis, we are happy to take on another client.
Contact us to schedule a time when we can have an initial discussion with no commitment on either side. If we are not able to start working with you immediately, we will say so. We look forward to hearing from you…