Whilst it’s easy enough to come up with a price for a house in a town where there are a lot of similar houses around and a regular turnover, it’s an entirely different matter in rural France.
For a start, once you get into the countryside, houses aren’t all the same. Even two similar looking cottages won’t come with the same price attached because they’ll be in different locations with different views and so on. And, of course, they’ll not be the same inside either nor will they have been equally well maintained. Finally, there just isn’t the regularity of turnover of housing in the French countryside as you get in a typical town in the UK.
So how do the French price their houses? Well, first off they look around at the various estate agent brochures that seem to be in every place you could possibily find them. The French don’t have a single estate agent selling a property usually so there are even more brochures than you might expect.
They look for vaguely similar houses to what they have to sell and take a view on whether their’s is worth more or less than the price being asked. What they don’t do usually is to ask the estate agent what the price should be and therefore the prices listed aren’t necessarily realistic. In fact, most are actually conversions from some relatively arbitrary figure in French francs with the estate agent commission being added on (hence the slightly peculiar sums that you sometimes see being asked).
So, don’t take the price in the estate agents brochure as gospel. It’s usually not based on any firm idea of what the house should be worth so you may well be able to negotiate either the price or what’s included in the price.Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.