Property Forum: A case of a sale that went awry!

RR-forumThis is a Property Forum topic that has been received through Riviera Radio regarding a sale of a property that went completely amiss and a prime example of a situation that probably could have been entirely avoided all together.


Una from Dublin writes:

We had an apartment near Cannes for sale for over a year. The agency hardly got anyone to have a look at the apartment. When we put pressure on them they said you need to lower the price. The answer is always lower the price.

We said, but you are not putting any effort in to the sale besides listing us on your website. I felt a little spent on some advertising would have opened the net to a wider so we could have found a buyer at a better price. The agency, when they eventually answered the phone said, “no we don’t think that will work” and they never got us an offer in the end.

My French friend offered to advertise the apartment as that was the only offer we got. Can’t help but wonder if we had more time and did some marketing and print outs could we have lost a lot less money.

Initially we planned to buy another apartment close to Menton, but now think we will hold on and just rent.

Losing 300,000euros on the sale of an apartment is outrageous! Could have this been avoided? Absolutely.

When selling your property here in France and go through an estate agency, you should ask them specifically how they are marketing their properties.  Only putting a picture on the website, as they did in this case, is simply not enough.

You can also ask to send you frequent updates on your property with potential interest and initial feedback.

Asking around locally to see if this agency is well respected is important to do. Have they sold properties near your property? Has anyone in your immediate area used them before?

A good real estate agency should know the local market very well and be highly visible and active in the area, and should have a strategic marketing strategy in place.

If they don’t answer the phone…that’s a sign.

Without seeing the property in this case, it is impossible to determine if the price was really an issue. Having a correct price is important, overinflated prices are useless when the value of the property does not correctly correspond with the price and potential buyers will get immediately turned off.

Another aspect to this situation is to property prepare your home for viewing.  Homestaging your home will not only get your property sold faster, but will give you a bigger return on your investment.  And finally, it is catching on here in France.

The fact is potential buyers are not interested in seeing your personal items nor are they interested in personalized decor ( i.e. colored walls). In fact it is the opposite. Freshly painted off-white walls creates visual space and allows the buyer to see a blank canvas where they can envision themselves living in your property.

It is imperative to fix broken, old or unsightly fixtures, getting new towels for the bathrooms, light colored bed covers, and de-cluttering your kitchen counters.  The main point here is less is really more.  Adding a couple of fresh new plants is also a nice touch.

Do not forget that any renovation work on your property can eventually be deducted from your capital gains tax. So in the end, your property will get seen and sold faster with better offers.

Please know that this situation is not the norm. By working with a truly professional real estate agency, you will most likely sell your property with a profit.