Saturday, October 17, 2009

Charente property values - all over the place

Let's get one thing straight.  The valuation of residential property in France is not, and never has been, an art form.

Out here it's usually the vendor who decides how much he wants and then the agents add their fees on top.  That's why you can walk down a high street and see the same property at different prices in each agents window.

Throw in the fact that vendors often don't tell all the agents that they're changing the asking price and I've seen a difference of €70,000 on the same house (I kid you not).

It does seem to have hit new heights recently though.  Ever since Lehmann brothers tumbled and the crise financiere began in earnest property prices seem to have gone haywire.

Some owners have slashed the asking price, others refuse to budge.  Some agents still say they're busy and that the market has not changed (hmmm) while many others have simply shut up shop and left the premises.

I mention all of this because I had a client out last week and at one stage we spoke about value for money.  It's a difficult one to call at the moment and you have to rely upon experience and gut instinct more than ever.

What I can say for sure is that the first house I took him to was a corker.  With an (albeit over inflated) asking price of €475,000 and a nod & a wink from the agent that the desperate owners would accept around  €330,000 it has the makings of an exceptional bargain too.

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