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Advice on selling please

Hi all

I’d like some advice please from you kind, helpful people about selling my house in France.  My apologies for the long essay!

I returned to the uk over two yrs ago due to a very close family member here being ill. who died a few weeks after my return. Hence my lack of thank you posts to all you kind people who helped me so much for my return, bringing cat back etc, for which I apologise and owe you a huge debt of gratitude. I’ve been trying to sell by various methods ever since. Some people I know in the village, whom I shall call A,  have the keys and are showing people around as I have long-standing illness and am unable to go there.

I’ve been trying to sell on Leboncoin for a few weeks. Near 6,000 have viewed the ad and a number of people have messaged me. Some people have asked numerous questions and eg asked for photos of the basements and attics, and although I have answered (truthfully!) with what they would seem to wish the answer to be, such as are you on mains drainage, answer yes, and also where appropriate sent further fuller info on the house to that in the advert, either I don’t hear for them again or they come up with more increasingly bizarre requests for info or they visit and complain that there is work to be done, which is clearly specified in the ad and fully explained in the info I send them. Few people give their name or any other details, though some have written simply asking me to phone them on a mobile number, no name. One even messaged me saying she wanted to see the house in two days at a certain time, then wrote again almost immediately saying she had meant the day after at a different time and to phone her and when she was phoned denied that she had stated times and said she was too far away to view the house at short notice and terminated the conversation. Some replies seem to me to be from scammers.

I have had an ad on pap for around 6 mnths and the only responses on that have been a very few emails to which I have responded but never hear again, tho again seem to have given them the answer they were seeking, or numerous calls from estate agents  who pretend not to be,  but it emerges that they are later in the conversation. The ad tells estate agents not to contact me.

I’ve been trying to sell since leaving France. One person after another in the village where the house is has led me to believe they wanted to buy it but after long delays proved to be time wasters with no intention of doing so. A notaire gave me an estimation before I left, at a ridiculously low price, and 40,000 euros less than a much smaller house on his website that needed lots of work, so I didn’t engage his services. I had an estate agent at one time but that went very badly with the sale, for a ridiculously low price, falling through after the compromis was signed.

Some months ago I contacted agents in three towns nearest the house and only one replied – by email, just about three words, almost illiterate, ignoring questions I’d asked, just saying he wanted to visit the house to do an estimation. I then decided to take matters into my own hands and went with pap, advised by a very helpful man there, who also set the price, which I have since reduced by 40,000 euros, just to sell, which is way below other houses for sale in the area, even smaller ones. As pap didn’t bear fruit, a few weeks ago I did the ad with Leboncoin, with the results above. For obvious reasons I haven’t put in the ad that I’m no longer living in the house.

Due to my experiences with messages on Leboncoin I am naturally wary of people who message me with no name etc given and ask for my phone no. Today I had a message on Leboncoin from someone who gave no name, asking numerous questions incl how high is the livingroom ceiling, could be run a business from there, and asking for my phone no, and when I replied as best I could, apologised that I couldn’t provide all the info he needed and asking for his name, I had a very abusive reply, saying in effect that he thinks I’m a scammer. I shan’t reply. That comes in a week when I had water pouring into the bedroom of the house I’ve not long bought, the next day a burglary and this evening the security light going on again. I have a very debilitating and tiring illness and am spending all my time replying to Leboncoin and pap messages and calls, to no avail.

I’m now thinking of  putting an ad on ebay uk, which has a section for French houses, and listing it as a classified ad, cos I can’t find definitive info on listing any other way and don’t want to run the risk if it inadvertently going as a bids ad and selling for £1!

I know the French don’t like doing work on a house, but why are they looking at mine which is about 300 yrs old and I have clearly stated the work needed (though much has been done and by French artisans to the norms, new roof, rewiring incl, tho I don’t expect to anything like get my money back) if they don’t want to do work? I can only put it down to curiosity. “A” being involved isn’t ideal, tho I have little alternative, particularly as, eg, he said I should reduce the price to an incredibly low price as another house in the village has sold recently as the vendor reduced the price to next to nothing. I suspect that his attitude might be colouring viewings, tho I have told all potential buyers that all questions must be directed to me.

Where do I go from here? Anyone else had similar experiences with pap and Leboncoin? Anyone used ebay uk? I know that houses in France take a long time to sell and that the current circumstances and uncertainty obviously aren’t helping, but I must at least keep trying and do seem to have had an inordinate number of timewasters.

 

Kindest regards

 

Loire

 

 

   

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Re: Advice on selling please

LeBoncoin, I placed an ad with a photo for a Blue leather Chesterfied a while ago and someone messaged me asking what colour it was????? I can assure you my photography skills aren't that bad. A very strange place Lbc, be aware, lots of scammers, some from as far away as Africa.
NickP
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Re: Advice on selling please

After over two years of trying routes similar to yours we have just sold our house. We tried exactly the same methods as you, PAP and LeBoncoin, with equally bizzare visits (we were still living in the house so met all the people). We sold after taking 25% off the initial valuation. In the end we put the house in the hands of one local agent (French). They actualy contacted us and asked if the could market the house. The second agents were an international one (L*gg*tts, don't know if I can say their names in full). They sold the house.
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Re: Advice on selling please

Hi NickP

Thanks very much. Exactly my experience of leboncoin, tho the experiences have been many and varied. An eg, similar to yours, message  simply asking how much my house is when it's clearly stated in the ad, another - does it have outbuildings when the ad states that it has. Don't hear again after my very polite restrained reply. Defo scammers too.

Phew, feel better after your post!  Think it's ebay for me now and if that doesn't work, horror of horrors, might have to be a local agent as no alternatives left and would at least remove the very negative "A" from the equation. Any info on best way to go about ebay from anyone on here  v gratefully received, or indeed any other advice on selling. There is however one Brit potential buyer who is talking sense, seems genuine and probably wants to see it in March. Hope that comes to something.

Kind regards

loire

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Re: Advice on selling please

Hi Lehaut

Thank you too for that very helpful info. "A" had been implying, tho carefully not saying, that the faults all lay at my door and that I was deluded to expect to sell a house that needed some work (tho mostly done and to a very high standard) for anything over about 20k and that the lack of interest from viewers reinforced that as they were all very gentils!. Had been beginning to wear me down.  As ever with the input from you lovely fellow members I am revived, restored and can shake off the negativity that has been thrust upon me!

Sorry Lehaut, am I right in my understanding that it was Leggs that sold your house? Was the local agent any good?

Thanks very much to all the people on here who advised me on bringing my beloved cat back to the uk with me. Could never have managed it without you. Horrid time at port when none of the chip readers would read and she looked ready to escape, but eventually worked. The cat, who didn't even like being in carrier for 5 mins vet trips didn't make a peep in 15 hr journey and loves it here! 

Kind regards

Loire

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Re: Advice on selling please

How about an advert on here? not the forum the magazines attached to the forum.

Also Survive France Network will allow a free advert.

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Re: Advice on selling please

Another suggestion - a property auction.
You probably wouldn't get much that way. I would guess most buyers at auctions are investors.


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Re: Advice on selling please

Hi

Thanks very much Thieire and Patf. Have tried the property avenue you suggest Thieire, plus an exhibition, unfortunately only one reply and that was an agent, trying to pretend she wasn't.

I'll also try posting ads around here in shops etc as well as orher avenues. Lots of people here have second homes abroad, and hopefully more looking!

Kind regards


Eleanor

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