How to sell your house in France

Jos Deuling,  Thursday, 6 April 2017

Old doors France 

Selling property in France - Capital Gains Tax

When selling your French property, you must pay a tax on the difference between the buying and selling price. This tax is called in French la Taxe sur la Plus Value or also simply Plus Value. By 1 February 2012 the period during which the Plus Value will be charged, has been changed from fifteen to thirty years. Furthermore, from 17 August 2012, residents of the EU no longer pay 19% but 34.5%. Want to know more about this tax then read the article People with a house in France hit hard by new tax.

Sell your house in France privately

In France you pay on average 6% commission, but in the UK you pay an average estate agent fee of 1.5% to 2%. So you can save quite a bit of money by selling your home privately.

If you want to sell your home privately, without the intervention of a broker, you can put a free ad on my website If you want to sell your French house on the Dutch or Belgian market advertise for free on my Dutch website Another interesting website is, a website with French property from private owners. If you still want your to sell your home via a broker, search for English speaking agents in your French region via Google Maps : Find English speaking estate agents in France. Or try to sell your property via one of the Dutch speaking agents on Find Dutch speaking estate agents in France.

10 tips for selling your home in France

Here are a few tips for selling your gite, farmhouse or holiday home in France. I have selected only 10 tips, in random order. You could probably make a list with 100 tips.

  1. Make sure the house and the garden look good. Obvious, but extremely important. A first impression is very valuable when potential buyers suddenly appear to view your property.
  2. The tax paid on the renovation of your holiday home you can only recover if the renovation is performed by a certified technician.
  3. Until recently you had to pay 19.6% VAT when selling a property not older than 5 years. A ruin that had been completely rebuilt, could be regarded by the French tax as a new building. So the VAT for this "new home" would be 19.6%! Meanwhile, there has been a change of the VAT and one of the results is that you no longer have to pay VAT on the sale of properties. Exceptions are properties that are bought "off plan".
  4. Electra should be installed by a professional. Make sure all electricity is installed by a French qualified electrician. This is an advantage when selling and a reassuring idea for the buyers.
  5. Transition Credit "Prêt Relais". If you want to move out, you can play it safe and sell your current house first. But perhaps a "prêt relais" is well worth considering. A "prêt relais" is a transition credit of two years. Usually at a reasonable rate. You have to sell your old house within two years otherwise you get a problem with the bank.
  6. Sell the furnishings separately. If you sell your house including furnishings, plan to sell the inventory separately. It makes a difference in the tax and is also beneficial for the buyers because they have to pay less notary fees. The asking price has to be realistic otherwise you get problems with the local tax office.
  7. Forced sale. If you are forced to sell your house fast, then you have to accept to sell your property under the initial asking price. You attract more potential buyers with a price set below the current market price. If you gamble on a high bid and then are forced to reduce the price several times, then buyers can get the idea that there is something wrong with the house.
  8. Popular regions. When buying a property you should immediately consider the sale. A house in Central France, for example, is harder to sell than a house in Southern France (Provence, Languedoc or Cote d'Azur). Also, more and more French people are moving from the countryside to the city or to the coast. Living by the sea is popular. A house in a less popular area is much harder to sell than a house by the sea.
  9. Additional selling points. A house near an international airport or TGV station is attractive to foreigners. British people paid in the past, for example, easily 10% on the price for this type of housing. After the credit crisis, it is all somewhat diminished but the proximity to an international airport or TGV station is still a significant plus. Use this as a selling point.
  10. Sell privately. If you are going to sell your property privately and are going to advertise on websites, make sure to get some excellent photos. Hire a professional photographer to take pictures. It is the first impression that counts!

Village in the French countryside
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