Gites à la française is a French-registered estate agent based in Toulouse, Occitanie.
However, unlike other agents we ONLY sell gîtes (self-catering holiday homes) and B&Bs. Nothing else.
These properties are, for the vast majority, sold as GOING-CONCERNS. That means that they are “businesses” in the eye of the law. They must be registered with the local council and with the tax authorities.
What does this mean for buyers?
Firstly, there must be an exchange of information between agent and buyer before any viewings can take place. We describe the property in a general way on our website. Buyers then contact us for more information. This is where we give them the details concerning turnover, costs and development possibilites. We also try and list the negative as well as the positive aspects of the property/business (Yes, there’s a fine view of the mountains … but there’s a main road 10 metres from the front door). In return, the buyer is encouraged to give us more information about her project, her timing (this year or next?) and, above all, the state of their funding. If the buyer needs a big mortgage or has to sell their house first, we need to know.
Secondly, if both buyer and agent agree on the conditions, it’s time to arrange a viewing. Not the next day, but on a day which suits everyone: vendor, buyer and agent. The visit is a serious event, taking up to two hours with viewing of every building and room in the presence of the owner. We insist that the owner be present to answer buyers’ questions. They know more about the business than the agent ever can! We NEVER show buyers properties that they have not asked to view.
Clearly, we cannot show businesses of this type in the very high season. Between 14th July and 15th August, France is on holiday and gites and B&Bs are full of guests. Owners are working flat out to ensure their yearly income. Buyers are not welcome during this period and WE DON’T DO VIEWINGS 14/07 – 15/08 ! We encourage potential buyers who are on holiday in the summer to use their time to familiarize themselves with southern France to better identify the region they prefer: Carcassonne and the Aude vineyards? Albi and the Tarn? The Pyrenees?
Serious buyers tend to view in September and October when vendors have time to chat with them and show them around. They sign a compromis de vente perhaps at the end of October and then complete the sale 3 moths later in January … leaving them with plenty of time to prepare the new season.
So …. DO ask for more information before deciding on a viewing: you’ll get a concise and informative reply within 24 hours.
DON’T ask for a viewing ‘tomorrow because I happen to be in the region’. The answer is always NO.