Just picture it: you’re standing in a beautiful chateau in rural South of France while your estate agent smiles and gestures enthusiastically at the incredible view. You turn on a tap in the kitchen and it gives a disheartening splutter followed by a dribble of brown water. What was that asking price again?

As an overseas buyer, it can be difficult to understand the local laws and regulations that govern property prices. If you come across structural or plumbing problems, particularly in older properties, the current homeowner and estate agent will probably readily explain that it’s an easy fix, but will neglect to provide a cost estimate. French buyers are unlikely to accept this state of affairs, but many purchasers from abroad have sadly been caught out in this way.

The Difference Between UK and French Property Valuations

The first questions we must ask of any property, whether we intend to live in it ourselves or not, are is it in good repair, and how much is it worth? These should be questions with simple answers, but unfortunately that’s rarely the case.

For whatever reason, it’s become a commonly accepted factoid that it’s essentially impossible to acquire a proper valuation and survey on property for sale in the South of France (or indeed anywhere in the country.) This is categorically untrue.

Whilst the market is much less regulated than in the UK, where property valuations are considered such a significant marker of the socioeconomic climate that they regularly make the front page of newspapers, there are still plenty of options for getting a property valuation in France.

Who Can Provide a Valuation on Property for Sale in the South of France?

The most commonly cited source of valuations is the ubiquitous French notaire. Whilst these individuals are certainly able to provide them, they tend to be for legal purposes rather than general enquiries.

An alternative and perhaps more appropriate option is the “Expert Immobilier.” The Expert Immobilier will usually specialise in one area of property, be that private, commercial or farmland. Their main role is to assess the condition of a property and provide a valuation based on that, plus a variety of external factors such as local demand, the presence of desirable amenities and transport links.

Expert Immobiliers are governed by the Civil Code and will have Professional Indemnity Insurance. As such, they are considered to be a trusted and well-respected source of information.

Finding one can be as simple as looking them up in the Yellow Pages, or you can contact the FNAIM Chamber of French Real Estate Experts. Their website provides a handy search bar so that you can find a local expert amongst the 776 that are currently practicing.

If you would simply like a general estimation of a property for sale in the South of France, you can look it up online through LaCoteImmo by Seloger. You are able to enter a specific address or provide information such as the area, number of bedrooms and square footage to be given a guideline figure.

For a highly accurate and personalised service, you can also contact an experienced independent surveyor like Charles Mackintosh. He has been providing property surveys and valuations in the South of France for almost 30 years, and regularly coordinates renovation projects for properties in need of updating. Charles helps British clients source the best South of France properties and, having been through it all himself, is a great source of information on building a new life in France.

If you would like to know more about obtaining a valuation on property for sale in the South of France, please contact Charles today.