Speedy sales spice up house market

FLATS and houses that have been lying unsold for several months are being sold quickly in a project by estate agents Guy Hoquet, who have taken the idea of shops’ private sales – ventes privées – out of shops and into property.

Aimed to get hard-to-move flats and houses off their books, the agency has been running annual sales for several years with properties priced to sell – and targeted at around 10,000 buyers who have registered an interest in finding and buying bargains.

Speed is the aim with buyers pushed to make rapid decisions but still having access to all the information normally available from the seller and agent – and, if needed, quick agreements on financing.
Prices are reduced by around 6% on average but some individual properties can have a much bigger reduction – with an architect-designed 130m2 house with forest views in 7,500ha of grounds near Ram­bouillet outside Paris selling for €550,000 after being unsold for three years at €700,000.

The agency says that apart from the price reduction this is a typical case, where a property is for sale at above market value but is on sale for so long that buyers are wary of it.
It aims to push through sales with an immediate plus for the seller... and for the agency as it sells more and benefits from more commissions and clears dated adverts out of windows.
The sale period lasts just 30 days (in November last year) with property owners contacting an agency in advance.

It has even inspired a TV show, En quête d’appart, with the programme on BFM Business selling 22 out of the 30 properties that had never been offered for sale before.

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