The estate agents’ federation Fnaim says many properties lie unsold as they are overpriced, with Bernard Doudet of Citya in Périgueux and president of Dordogne Fnaim saying a badly priced property will not sell but one that is properly priced will sell in 60 days.
Completion times vary across the country from 84 days in Nice, 79 in Montpellier and 69 in Toulouse down to 48 in Bordeaux and 42 in Lyon while the countrywide average is 92.
Apart from taking advice on the market rates, sellers can boost their chances of finding a buyer by making their advert stand out.
Online site ParuVendu says sellers should include the house’s particular strong points, whether it is a garden, pool or panoramic view... but avoid superlatives which can lessen the impact and make the advert less credible.
Say if it is just a short walk into town or if the bedrooms are all en-suite with the aim of giving precise information a buyer can trust and respond to.
Before putting it online, do a major spring-clean and then look at home staging or relooking, which is claimed by those involved to speed sales with the aim of depersonalising a property while keeping its warmth so buyers already feel ‘at home’.
Boiled down, it means taking out some of the furniture to make the room look bigger and less dated, so leaving just the essentials while still selling its best points, such as room for a large dining table.
If the living room is also the dining room, aim to create two distinct spaces for a better feel.
Minor repairs should be done or buyers will see negotiating points to cut the price but a major renovation is a waste: it should be limited to a coat of paint to brighten the room.
Photos, too, should tell an extra part of the story with the main photo needing care as it is what catches a buyer’s eye.
Exterior views gain most views, the site says, but a panoramic shot of the interior can also work well. Aim for a sunny day for exterior shots and open all shutters and curtains, to be welcoming.
Find the spot that gives best coverage and do not take all your photos from head height; perhaps try backing into a corner, or getting on a stool or kneeling down.
Diagnostics immobiliers are mandatory but some, such as for termites and natural risks, are valid for only six months.
If you have been trying to sell for a year or more you may need to get an update.