What is a Chasseur Immobilier and why you would need one?

In 2016 I spent about 600 hours getting a Bachelors degree in French Real Estate. The material was dense (law, regulations, construction techniques etc), and all in French. I’m very proud to say I earned the degree with honors — a lot of champagne was consumed celebrating that success, I can assure you!

Renestance is now a fully licensed Chasseur Immobilier, and if you are considering buying a piece of France to make your dream life come true, you’re just in time!


What do I need to know about buying property in France?

There is no Multi-Listing Service in France, so the agents are working for the seller in 99% of the cases. If you want to visit a property sold professionally, you must go through the agent who has the sales mandate. While there can be pleasant surprises, these professionals are notorious for being difficult. In fact, 68% of French people have a negative impression of real estate agents, the worst score of all professions.

While you might find English- speaking agents and notaires, all of the contracts, diagnostics and financing information are written in French. Structural surveys are not typically done prior to sale. There are many other diagnostics done (up to 10 depending on the property) that the seller must obtain on the presence of health and safety risks. If you as the buyer want to have a structural survey done, it would be at an extra cost.

How can a licensed house- hunter help me?

For these and many other important differences that come into play, one option (particularly good if you live far away) is to hire a licensed house-hunter (Chasseur Immobilier), to guide you through the buying process. Only a handful of licensed French agents are chasseurs but more and more are joining the ranks as their value becomes acknowledged.

Benefits include:

  • Your agent works for you, not the seller, and has your best interests at heart. They will take considerable time upfront to understand your personal situation, goals and criteria for your dream home.
  • You can feel confident in understanding the essential information, explained in English. This is key to sidestepping mistakes that could cost you time and money.
  • Your licensed agent is bilingual and trained in negotiation so has a better chance of reaching a lower buying price with the seller. You save time, because you’ll know the process and timelines and will only visit properties with real "dream home" potential.

Your time on the ground is optimized with a reconnaissance trip, if you haven’t yet decided on where to buy in France. You benefit from support and coaching on the entire move/ lifestyle change, not just advice on the property. (As you may know by now, Renestance has a team of re-nesting experts to help you settle in comfortably!) You’ll enjoy exceptional customer service — pay nothing until finalizing the purchase, and the support continues after you get the keys.

Why is now a good time to buy?

The housing market in France has been on a steady rise since 2015. In the 12-month period up to February 2017, 867,000 existing homes sold. Housing prices have fallen about 10% in five years. The surge in activity is mainly due to the historically low interest rates. The average fixed rate mortgage (without insurance) was 5% in 2008 but currently remains at historical lows of around 1.5%. If you’re buying in France with foreign currency, most exchange rates have been globally stable since the second quarter of 2018. While the daily rates may seem to vary widely, the overall fluctuation of the GBP/Euro rate has only been about 5% since September 2017.For these three reasons, the time is right to buy in France.