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Working together in confinement

Leggett agents aren’t the type of people who let things stand in their way – where there is a challenge they see a solution. Passionate about French property and helping clients to realise their dreams, Leggett agents have worked tirelessly throughout the lockdown period to continue to be actively engaged in taking the stress out of purchasing or searching for French property.
We receive positive testimonials constantly from clients, but this one touched us as the sale was completed during these very strange times. We have made several sales during this period and continue working closely with notaires and other professionals to ensure that sales and property searches continue smoothly throughout this period.
We received this feedback on one of our agents in the Alps, following a sale that she completed recently.
 
“ I really appreciated the outstanding way you handled my property.  All the way through you kept me informed of the progress of the sale, quick to answer my questions with relevant information.  This was very reassuring, and your enthusiasm, positive attitude and good humour made every conversation I had with you a pleasure.
You are self-motivated and driven to do your work impeccably.  While the sale was done in unprecedented circumstances (Covid-19) you were calm, helpful, friendly and efficient to the end.”
 
We know that there are several questions that people may have and things are developing on an ongoing basis, so we have put together a few Q&As for you below:

  • Can I book viewing appointments?

Obviously the safety of our clients, agents and staff is the most important thing to us.  We work within the government guidelines in terms of quarantine and social distancing.  However we have thousands of virtual tours and hundreds of videos available to view online and our team is taking bookings for viewings in the future as soon as this becomes possible.  Our agents and support staff are also working remotely to provide you with answers to any questions you may have.

  • My sales agreement is signed – but are the diagnostics and checks still valid?

If you have signed a sales agreement before containment, reports on the presence of lead, asbestos or termites, interior gas and electricity installation etc might need to be redone because of the delay they come with expiry dates – that could be six months, or one year. Experienced electricians Launceston can help with your commercial properties in Tasmania.

  • I was in the middle of a property purchase / sale – will this continue?

Most purchases are still going through, but there are some delays at banks processing mortgage applications and if a buyer’s bank refuses a mortgage due to the current crisis, the sale will be cancelled without financial penalties for the buyer (unless they have a clause that means completion was not conditional on a mortgage offer, in which case they will not be able to get back the 5-10 per cent deposit paid).  

  • Can I still sign the deeds at a notary’s office? 

Good news here – the pandemic is dragging the French real estate system into the 21st century. Decree no. 2020-395 of 3 April 2020 has just allowed notaries to sign real estate sales without the need for sellers and buyers to travel to sign.  Signing authentic deeds remotely is now allowed, using e-sign technology. Not all notaries are geared up to this, but the number is increasing.  You may also be able to sign by procuration. 
But do bear in mind that there are due diligence checks that are still heavily reliant on physical paperwork or records (and all records are not stored electronically in France) which may also be impossible with local government offices closed.

  • Will vendors need to lower their prices?

The long-term consequences of the crisis are not yet known. Of course transaction levels will be down but with many purchases on hold rather than cancelled there will no doubt be a flurry of activity when the lockdown ends. There will be pent-up demand from buyers needing to move house, but also perhaps new demand from people considering a change of  lifestyle after having used the pandemic to reflect on their life goals. 
 
If you have any queries on any of the above, do get in touch with Leggett who can advise you and talk through possible solutions.

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