General information on beginning the search / Where would you like to buy real estate?
House or apartment?
New building or old building?
What does the price of the object depend upon?
Who is your negotiating partner for acquisition?
The current market situation on the Cote d’Azur
Acquisition of an old building / Viewings / Appraisals
Preliminary Contract ( „avant contrat“)
Role of the notary / „acte authentique“
Additional expenses for the purchase („frais de notaire“ or „frais d’acte“)
Purchase of a new building
Purchase of land
Foundation of a S.C.I. („société civile immobilière“)
Purchase on the basis of pension („viager“) as a special form of property acquisition of real estate
Taxation of the gain („plus value“) from sale
Right of succession
Conducting a sale / Preparations for the sale
Landing stage for your boat: Buy or rent?

This chapter could be the subject of a book of its own. There are even professional consultants who have specialised on this subject.

One of the problems when selling the own house / the own apartment oneself, is the strong emotional attachment between the owner/seller and the “object” being sold. For the owner/seller the house is not just an object, but something strongly emotional and very special – and this can be dangerous. This leads, not only to the frequent tendency for owners to considerably overestimate the value of their property, but also to the situation that one tries proudly to enthuse the surprised potential buyers, a modern open-minded worldly couple from London or Paris, with the house – here a slight exaggeration – comfortably furnished in Bavarian style in which one has spent so many hours with friends. We are fairly certain that, in this way, you will miss your chance of transferring even the most high quality house (building quality / location) over to the interested party.

There are good reasons to contemplate HOW one presents the object to the customer:

Of course, obvious disadvantages with faults in location or visible construction cannot, at least not fully, be covered up by a favourable presentation of the object. But location and quality advantages will not even be noticed by your buyers – unless they are professionals (hardly any buyers will be professionals) if an inadequate presentation draws the customers attention, in a negative way.

The worst thing that you can do to sabotage the success of your own selling efforts, is perhaps the case of the “Bavarian style furnishing”(I beg pardon from all fans of Bavarian style furnishing, and assure you that I only have these reservations in connection with the topic of sale-inducing presentations).

The second worst thing is certainly to offer an unfurnished apartment. This normally asks too much of the potential buyer’s imagination. This is not always avoidable, but one should consider alternatives when possible.

What should you consider and keep aware of before you present your “object”? Here are some key points, to show you the right direction, although it is perhaps not possible to realise them all:

- Present the property furnished when possible.

- Friendly chaos is “deadly“. Aim for impeccable tidiness. Yes, even in the children’s bedrooms! Even if it means having a terrible argument with your children: The children’s bedroom should look, ideally, as if it just came out of a furniture brochure. And the only magazines allowed in the living room are those, which you normally see on coffee tables in articles in living magazines. Over the top? Not at all!

- Cellar, garage and attic should be considered similarly. In this connection, please consider that when you move out, after selling successfully, you will have to dispose of the surplus items anyway.

- If you are not a semi-professional gardener (semi-profession is sufficient but anything less is not good enough!), engage a professional gardener (not the Pernod-friend from the bistro who is looking for a job) to bring your garden/plot up to scratch. Do this even (in particular) if you are lover of natural gardens, after all, you are not seeking to sell your “life’s work”, but rather your “object” at the best possible price.

- Your swimming pool, if appropriate, should also receive the same treatment.

- You should have the “small things”, such as the gap in the terrace or in the fence or, or …., repaired before the first viewing. This also is imperative, as these “small things” draw the attention magically, the same as splits in the plasterwork and other things, irrespective of how technically uncritical they are. They are very expensive when it comes to negotiating a price. Don’t let it go this far.

- The question of whether one should decorate throughout before selling or rather allow the buyer to do this according to his own taste, is always arguable. Superficially, alternative 2 appears to be sensible. It is indeed, when looking at this economically. However, we believe that the price reduction which one must rightly accept if alternative is chosen, is usually greater that the amount that would have required for alternative 1. Therefore we declare ourselves fundamentally to be in favour of alternative 1. However, as we said, this question is decided differently even among estate agents. If you have sufficient time, you should not restrict yourself to contemplating this matter, but rather obtain an estimate for decorating and then decide about this question, based on these figures.