Unless you have some special long term relationship with the part of France that you are seeking to buy French estate, your information will not be sufficient to make a well informed decision. With a purchase of the size that a property in France is likely to represent information is essential. Whilst there are many agents that offer a service that helps foreigners bridge into France, perhaps the most important tip is the most obvious. Choose an agent that you feel you can trust and who you believe is credible to give you guidance.
1. Find an Agent/or Agents who respond promptly to your initial contact and listens to what you say when you speak or meet with them.
2. Is it an agent or a marketing company/portal? Check whether they have full license of their own: the Carte Professionelle. If possible try to work with the local expert directly.
3. Consider their affiliations and endorsements. For example CIRE (Christies International Real Estate) has a stringent affiliation qualification process.
4. Take a look at the quality of the website content and imagery. Weak content and imagery is often a bad signal.
5. Do they feature the types of property you are looking for? Are the properties you enquire about still available?
6. Do they have a local network of specialist professionals such as accountants, notaires and builders that have been tried and tested over many years?
7. Do they live in the area they are marketing?
8. Select three agents in the area and ‘interview’ each one to determine who is best placed to deal with your requirements.
9. Communicate your level commitment with the selected agent – the more committed they know you are to working with them the more likely they will invest their time in your project given that agency is a speculative business.
10. Are they ‘expert’ in the activity or sector that you are looking at?