Professional Property Search Services - Agents de Recherche - We Help Keep The Fun In It!

House hunting can be one of the most exciting things you do in your life, but it can also become overwhelming and frustrating if you are trying to do it from afar or have a list of requirements that essentially begins and ends with " I'll know it when I see it"...  We understand you and we are here to help.   Plus, hiring an Agent de Recherche does not need to be expensive... it can be one of the best decisions that you can make financially in your search process.  It costs nothing to visit properties with real estate agents, but this process can be too time consuming for the vacation / visit you have planned to France.  By hiring an Agent de Recherche, you can streamline this process and continue to enjoy your vacation as well as the house hunting process....  read more

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Save Time & Money

Most people buying property abroad underestimate how much time it takes.  It can be a particularly long and difficult process if you are trying to do it from a distance without good local knowledge.  Do you have the feeling that you know the perfect property is out there waiting for you, but each trip seems to add to the confusion? Avoid the frustration of multiple visits that end back where you started.  We save you time... and help you keep the fun in the process!

House hunting abroad can also be an expensive business and wasted viewings equate to wasted money. The cost of trips to France, the car hire, fuel and tolls, plus hotels and meals all add up. We aim to save you valuable time and money by doing all the hours of groundwork for you.  No more wasted journeys.  We make the first visits for you - and so your house hunting trip becomes more focused and leaves more time for the fun of it.  We save you money!

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Local Knowledge

We live in this area and we know this region well.  We speak the language.  The geography of France is much more diverse than most people imagine.  Climate can change dramatically in South West France in just a few kilometres.  We know the difference between areas that may seem similar because there is less than an hour drive between them, but that vary dramatically in terms of rainfall, sunshine, wind and average temperature.

We know the villages with the best markets and which ones have views to take your breath away.  We also know which houses may seem fantastic in photos but which we know to be situated next to busy local roadways.  Best of all, however, is that we can spot a property that offers wonderful potential that may not be initially evident.  We offer the peace of mind that comes with expert local knowledge!

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More Choice

Because we are able to act as an independent property finder, we are able to work with every estate agent in the region.  You are not limited to one agent’s properties... you have professional level access to every property for sale in the region. And because we are agents ourselves in the other part of our business, we know how agencies work.  By bringing qualified buyers to them, we have a fast track to new properties that may be coming on the market and may not yet be marketed publicly.   Plus, we are able to negotiate with them on your behalf without worrying about commission sharing and conflicts of interest.

In addition, we work closely with the local Notaires offices as well as lawyers who deal with family estates.  Many more properties change hands privately in France than by agency involvement.  We can bring you a wider choice of properties!

How Does The Professional Search Process Work?

1. The search process is all about you.  We begin with a lengthy phone conversation to understand your general requirements and, more importantly, to get to know YOU.  We want to have as much information as possible before we start our search.  Finding the perfect home is a very personal business, so the more we know about you, your plans for the future, your family and the way you live the better.

We will also ask you to start a notebook - online or physical - where you put photos of properties that catch your eye - for whatever reason.  The whole of the property may not be right, but if the stone facade with a tumble of roses flanking both sides of the entrance makes your heart skip a beat... we want to know that!  If for some reason we believe that we cannot find you what you are looking for, within your budget, we will let you know.  As we mentioned earlier, we are about saving you time and money in your search and we mean it.

2. The next step is the point at which we start our extensive search, doing all the groundwork for you. Our search will include speaking with all the local agents, the local Notaire and lawyers on your behalf as well as scanning local papers and the internet for private sales.  We narrow down the list of properties you wish to consider - from all that we suggest and you find yourself online.  Then we visit each and every one of these properties for you.  We devote a week to you and the process - and more if necessary.

3. The next step is to put together a report on all the properties that we believe are worth your time to visit.  For the properties we will suggest you visit, we include photos, videos and google earth maps in our reports as well as a full description of our visit with as much history of the property as we can get.

4.  We will then create a visiting schedule for you.  We will organize all the details, accompany you on all visits, translate for you and offer our honest and unbiased advice. Our goal is to make the search and buying process as stress-free and enjoyable as possible for you.

5. Once you have decided on the property for you, we will help you negotiate the best possible price. Because we are based here in the region, we have a very good idea of local housing prices and trends.  We also will have a good idea of how much room for negotiation there is within an asking price. We can also ensure that a seller is not quoting one price to local buyers and another to foreigners.

6. We consider our search successfully completed when your offer is accepted and you have moved to Compromis de Vente.  The complete buying process takes several months and is rarely done in less than 3 months.  Although our search may be complete, we are with you throughout the entire process.

The Compromis de Vente is what ties the seller to your accepted offer and restricts them from accepting another offer.  However, as the buyer, you still have a 10 day period in which you can withdraw your offer for any reason at all.  You will also have access to the required diagnostic test results to better inform you about the physical state of the property.  A 5-10% deposit is typically required at the end of this 10 day period as well.  The property officially becomes yours when the final Acte de Vente is signed by all parties involved.

7.  FEES - We structure our fees in two ways so that you are assured that we remain completely unbiased.  This is important!

First - you simply pay for our time and our expertise.  Once we have agreed to work together, you will pay a deposit for 1 week of our undivided time working on your property search, which covers the week in which we visit all of the properties on your list and prepare our detailed report on each one.  This covers all of our travel expenses as well as paying for our complete focus on your mission.  This deposit is €2500 - TVA of 20% is included.

With our report, you are then free to decide which properties you wish to view during your visit.  We plan your itinerary and maximize the time you have to enjoy your trip.  If, at the end of your visit with us, you make an offer for one of the properties and ultimately move to Compromis de Vente, the second part of our fee structure is activated - 2.5 % of the agreed upon purchase price (minus the €2500 that you have already paid) subject to a minimum total of €5,000.

If we agree that our search will require visits to communities that are farther than a 2 hour drive from our offices, we will require reimbursement for extra fuel expenses and meals on the road of €500 added to the initial deposit.

A Final Word... It is our aim to help you save thousands of Euros in wasted visits and to also give you peace of mind... safe in the knowledge that you have seen the best of what the market can offer and have found the right property at the right price.  This is an exciting and exhausting process, but we aim to make it one of the best memories you will have as you start your new life experience here in La Belle France!

To Get Started...

To start the Professional Search Process, please email Jennifer at jennifer.catharcountryhouses@gmail.com with a short note about the area you are interested in searching and a list of suggested times for a personal phone conversation.

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