Flexible and Bespoke Property Searches and Acquisition Advice
Our expertise ensures that your property acquisition or rental runs smoothly and that you end up with the best property for your requirements. Needless to say, we also share with you our local insider tips and contacts.
Full Property Search and Purchase Service
1. Your Wish List
When you first contact us we’ll send you a detailed questionnaire and listen carefully to your requirements. Based on your brief and budget we determine the best target area for your search. At this stage we’re also happy to recommend experts to help you with finance, tax and legal issues to ensure that you structure your purchase in the most efficient manner.
2. The Search
Once we have agreed your brief and you have signed the exclusive search mandate agreement (which sets out the search fee and your search criteria) we start your search. We visit local agents on your behalf, scan the Internet and look for private sales. We have excellent agency relationships, which means that we can get a lot more information on properties than you could on your own.
We pre-visit those properties that seem to closely fit your brief and stay in touch with you throughout, sending you frank reports with photos highlighting the negative points as well as the positives. Only those properties that fit your requirements make it to the viewing list.
3. Your Viewings
When you’re ready to come over to Provence, we arrange the viewing itinerary and accompany you on all visits. We always leave time for second visits and discuss each house with you in detail. We naturally also provide information on the relevant villages and towns, transport connections and anything else that is essential before making such an important decision.
Ideally you have your mortgage pre-approved before your viewing trip. We can help you with this and it can be arranged quickly. Many property sales in Provence fall through last-minute because buyers end up not getting financing and vendors are hesitant to accept offers from anyone who still needs to arrange a mortgage. Having your pre-approval in place therefore puts you in a much stronger negotiating position.
Once you have found your dream property we negotiate the purchase price and conditions on your behalf. Estate agents represent sellers and must do their best to obtain the highest price for their clients. Our local market knowledge and negotiating experience tend to result in significant price reductions for our clients.
At this stage we can recommend surveyors for a structural survey, or building contractors to give you an estimate of any work you’d want done.
The initial contract of sale is the compromis de vente, which should always be drafted by a notaire (state-appointed conveyancing lawyer). You have a ten-day cooling-off period after the signing of the compromis. The contract contains the conditions that must be satisfied before completion/closing. We arrange your own English-speaking notaire where possible.
If you’re financing the purchase with a mortgage loan it takes about three months from the signing of the compromis for the notaire to do all the necessary checks and for the mortgage to come through. For cash purchases this process takes about eight weeks.
The notaire then will draft the acte authentique de vente (final deed of sale), propose a signing date, and confirm the final balance due in order for you to organise bank transfers in time.
It is important during this process to discuss your inheritance requirements with the notaire or a dual-qualified lawyer from your own country. We ensure that everything runs smoothly and things are not unnecessarily delayed. On the day of completion we’ll accompany you on the final inspection of the property and the metre readings and come along to the signing, explaining and translating along the way.
7. And Beyond
You can rest assured that once you have the keys to your Provence property in hand we do not suddenly disappear. We will remain your local contact and will always be happy to recommend property managers, caretakers, gardeners, rental agencies, builders or architects.
Relocation and Rental Search Services
This service is available for clients wishing to move to the Aix-Marseille region and who are looking for rental accommodation. Whether you’re looking for furnished rentals for the mid- or longer term or unfurnished longer term rentals, our service is entirely flexible.
If you cannot come over to France to visit the shortlist of properties, we can provide you with full reports and videos so that you can make your choice from afar.
Since 2014, relocation companies must be the holder of a Carte Professionnelle, take out the relevant professional liability insurance and follow the mandatory continuing education. However, most are in violation of these legal requirements. To protect yourself, always ask a relocation agent for their Carte Professionnelle.
For information on our Fees, click here.