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First Impressions – exterior

Given that a potential buyer may decide whether they like a property, or not, within the first few seconds of their arrival for a viewing, first impressions are very important.

A well maintained garden, with hedges, walls, fences, gates, driveways and paths in good order, and a house with clean windows, will add to the appeal of a property for potential buyers, and it need not be expensive to present a property at its best.

First Impressions – interior

People like to live in light, bright, and airy properties that feel spacious.

Vendors should therefore consider removing any heavy curtains from windows that obscure natural light, and painting dark coloured walls a lighter colour to reflect light.

Clean and tidy rooms that have been decluttered, and had a lot of personal possessions removed, will allow potential buyers to see how much space is available for their lifestyle, and their own furniture and possessions.

Pets And Animals

Many potential buyers will love animals, but not all, and some may well be frightened of a barking dog that jumps up to greet them for instance.

It is therefore better if dogs are not present at a viewing, and if a property includes a field and/or outbuildings for horses and other animals, it may be better that theses animals are secured for the duration of the viewing so that potential buyers can concentrate on what they are there for.

Your Bel Air Homes Agent

Your Bel Air Homes Agent is the best person to conduct the viewing, given that they will have the experience of selling properties, and therefore the ability to advise potential buyers.

Your Bel Air Homes Agent has the support of FNAIM ( Fédération Nationale de l’Immobilier ), the national association of estate agents, and the advantage of working with other property professionals on a daily basis, who can provide spet services where necessary.

Allowing potential buyers to view a property with your Bel Air Homes Agent is the best way for them to get a sense of what it might be like to live at a property, rather than what it is like to be there as an invited guest.

Your Bel Air Homes Agent would have gathered most of the relevant information concerning a property from the vendor and other sources prior to marketing the property, though it can he helpful if vendors are nearby to answer any questions, but not essential.


A DPE (diagnostic de performance énergétique) is required before we are permitted to advertise a property with a fixed heating system for sale. The DPE gives the estimated energy consumption (consommations énergétiques), and greenhouse gas emissions (emissions de gaz à effet de serre) for the property.



It is far better if a vendor has all of the other pre-sale diagnostics, the DDT (Dossier de Diagnostic Technique), carried out when we begin marketing a property. Some vendors choose to wait to have all of the pre-sales diagnostics carried out until they have an offer from a buyer though, as some of these diagnostics have a limited period of validity.

The notaire requires the pre-sale diagnostics before being able to prepare a compromis de vente, or promesse de vente, and as there are usually anomalies discovered on most properties, however small, it is far better to be discussing any anomalies with a potential buyer before any offer is made, rather than after, to ensure a smooth sale.

We can arrange to have these diagnostics carried out for vendors if they wish.


Should a property require any repairs, or if it has development potential, it is often a good idea for vendors to obtain quotes (devis) for these works, as it can reassure potential buyers, and help them consider how much to offer for a property.

If works have already been carried out at a property by registered and insured artisans, it can be a good idea for vendors to make the invoices (factures) available during a viewing, by leaving copies on a kitchen table for example.

Accepting An Offer

It is well worth remembering that once a vendor accepts an offer for their property it is binding, so the property is deemed to be off the market at that point.

Your Bel Air Homes Agent will then prepare the dossier for the notaire, and the notaire will then draft the compromis de vente, or promesse de vente, ready for both vendor and buyer to sign. This process generally takes a couple of weeks.

Capital Gains Tax On Property Sales

A vendor will only be liable for capital gains tax (plus-values immobilières) on the sale of their property if it is not their main residence, and they have made a profit, or capital gain.

The rate payable is total of 34.5%, which is made up of 19% capital gains tax (plus-values immobilières), plus 15.5% social charges (prélèvements sociaux).

There are exemptions and allowances that apply, and some costs that are deductible, such as improvements to a property by registered artisans. It is worth noting that maintenance works carried out at a property would not be deductible.

The relevant expert for capital gains tax is the local notaire, as they work closely with the local tax office, and it is the notaire who calculates the amount of capital gains tax to pay, if any, based on the circumstances of the vendor, and the invoices (factures) submitted by the vendor.

There are many free capital gains tax simulators available on the internet.