What is a Chasseur Immobilier and why you would need one? by Dennelle Taylor Nizoux

What is a Chasseur Immobilier and why you would need oneIn 2016 I spent about 600 hours getting a Bachelors degree in French Real Estate. The material was dense (law, regulations, construction techniques etc), and all in French. I’m very proud to say I earned the degree with honors — a lot of champagne was consumed celebrating that success, I can assure you!



Renestance is now a fully licensed Chasseur Immobilier, and if you are considering buying a piece of France to make your dream life come true, you’re just in time!



What do I need to know about buying property in France?

There is no Multi-Listing Service in France, so the agents are working for the seller in 99% of the cases. If you want to visit a property sold professionally, you must go through the agent who has the sales mandate. While there can be pleasant surprises, these professionals are notorious for being difficult. In fact, 68% of French people have a negative impression of real estate agents, the worst score of all professions.


While you might find English- speaking agents and notaires, all of the contracts, diagnostics and financing information are written in French.


Structural surveys are not typically done prior to sale. There are many other diagnostics done (up to 10 depending on the property) that the seller must obtain on the presence of health and safety risks. If you as the buyer want to have a structural survey done, it would be at an extra cost.



How can a licensed house- hunter help me?


For these and many other important differences that come into play, one option (particularly good if you live far away) is to hire a licensed house-hunter (Chasseur Immobilier), to guide you through the buying process. Only a handful of licensed French agents are chasseurs but more and more are joining the ranks as their value becomes acknowledged.



Benefits include:


Your agent works for you, not the seller, and has your best interests at heart. They will take considerable time upfront to understand your personal situation, goals and criteria for your dream home.


You can feel confident in understanding the essential information, explained in English. This is key to sidestepping mistakes that could cost you time and money.


Your licensed agent is bilingual and trained in negotiation so has a better chance of reaching a lower buying price with the seller.


You save time, because you’ll know the process and timelines and will only visit properties with real "dream home" potential.


Your time on the ground is optimized with a reconnaissance trip, if you haven’t yet decided on where to buy in France.


You benefit from support and coaching on the entire move/ lifestyle change, not just advice on the property. (As you may know by now, Renestance has a team of re-nesting experts to help you settle in comfortably!)


You’ll enjoy exceptional customer service — pay nothing until finalizing the purchase, and the support continues after you get the keys.



Why is now a good time to buy?


The housing market in France has been on a steady rise since 2015. In the 12-month period up to February 2017, 867,000 existing homes sold. Housing prices had fallen for four consecutive years but increased slightly in 2016. The surge in activity is mainly due to the historically low interest rates. The average fixed rate mortgage (without insurance) was 5% in 2008 and is currently around 1.5%, but rates started to increase in April. If you’re buying in France with foreign currency, the exchange rates have been stable over the past year. The USD did lose a little against the euro in August, but has generally been quite strong since 2015. For these three reasons, the time is right to buy in France.



Mortgage rates in France


If you want your property to appreciate in value, choose a location that’s accessible to travel infrastructure, has a thriving economy, and a pleasant climate. If you view your purchase as an investment, and are considering renting it out for part of the year, it’s critical that you buy in a place where people want to be. Montpellier was just classed as the third best city in France for real estate investment. With Nîmes and Toulouse also in the top 10, the Occitanie region is the most promising in the country.



Making your French dream life a reality


Purchasing property is always a big deal, even in your home country — there are many decisions to make, and you want to get them right to avoid costly mistakes. In a foreign country, the unknowns and opportunities for missteps ncrease significantly, particularly if you don’t speak the language fluently. This is why t’s important to hire a bilingual professional who has your back.


If you are considering purchasing property in the Languedoc region of France, hire Renestance as your dedicated house-hunting expert and let us advise and support you throughout your purchase.



If it’s another corner of France that you’re dreaming about, we are available to offer consulting and guidance. Let me know how I can help you with your French property project!



To find out more in the meantime, visit www.renestance.com or call me on +33(0)4 11 932 599