How not to market your French property for sale
PUBLISHED: 15:08 09 November 2017 | UPDATED: 10:15 20 November 2017
Putting your French property on the market? Make sure you don't make these common mistakes when listing your house in France for sale
1. Taking few and rushed photos
Photos are absolutely essential in a property listing and yet, frustratingly, we come across so many property listings with only a couple of blurry photos. Make sure you get photos taken on a bright, sunny day; get different exterior perspectives, including garden and outbuildings if there are any; take plenty of interior shots, showing off the kitchen, living room and bedrooms at least. If the room is big, such as an open plan kitchen/dining room, take pictures from different angles.
2. Not tidying up
It’s baffling to see pictures of homes for sale sporting dirty laundry, stacks of plates, the TV or computer on, a messy bedroom and cluttered living rooms. You want viewers to be able to imagine themselves in the house so tidy up, get the vacuum cleaner out, do the washing up and chase the pet out of the room!
3. Leaving the house looking too personal
While you want to give the impression that the house is lived in (empty houses can be a little off-putting for some people), you want buyers to be able to imagine putting their own decoration and style in. Take family photos, kids’ drawings and any personal items away but leave plants, books in shelves, fruit bowls and other ‘neutral’ decorative elements on display.
4. Writing descriptions that are too short or far too long
You want to inform potential buyers of what’s included in the sale and make them want to take a closer look but you also don’t want to bore them with a long and wordy description. Balance is key; give the essential facts, add extra details that sell the dream and write in a clear, concise way. It might be an idea to have a nice, descriptive introduction and then divide the listing into sections and bullet points so that people can quickly find the information.
5. Giving vague details
People want to know how far the house is to the nearest shops, schools and transport options. “Close to”, “near” can mean very different things to different people so try and include an estimate of travel times between the property and amenities or other towns. Your language needs to be honest, precise and clear: What’s the surface of the kitchen? How big is the garden? In what condition is the outbuilding you mention?
6. Using caps and exclamation marks in your description
Using all capitals online can sometimes convey feelings of anger and hostility. Using all caps, particularly in the first line (eg: IN TOWN CENTRE, DETACHED HOUSE IDEAL FOR RENTAL) can seem shouty and over the top. Similarly, an overdose of exclamation marks can seem a little too keen (eg: Unique!! Longère style property for sale in Breton countryside!!! Not to be missed!!). Again, keep the language clear, calm and detailed but also inviting (eg. A beautifully renovated farmhouse with land in Aveyron)
7. Using jargon
Some listings try to be too clever and use property jargon. Instead of giving a good impression, you’re more likely to confuse potential buyers with complicated words, acronyms and abbreviations. Write words out fully, explain terms such as ‘duplex’ and keep it simple.
8. Withholding the price
There’s nothing more frustrating than seeing ‘POA’ or ‘Price on request’. Even if you’re marketing the property at a premium price or are willing to negotiate, put a price down so that buyers know where they stand and don’t waste time requesting a price, only to find it’s not in their budget.
9. Leaving spelling/grammatical errors
Spelling and syntax mistakes in your listing seems unprofessional and can turn people away so make sure you get several proof-readers to check it over. Worse, you could be misleading or confusing, particularly when spelling French location names wrong. Type the location into Google maps to make sure you’ve got the correct spelling before including it in the listing.
10. Overlooking the garden and outbuildings
Many British buyers appreciate the amount of land and property they can buy in France when compared with UK properties. Make sure you highlight the amount of land and the size of the garden. If you have outbuildings, mention them and explain what they are and in what condition; is it a barn? A shed? A small annexe house? An old forge?