Gîtes for Sale in France
Specialist estate agency based in SW France
Many of our faithful customers will not need reminding that GITES à la française is not an ordinary agency … nor is it run by ordinary people!
Firstly, it’s a specialist agency dealing in only gite complexes, B&Bs and associated tourist and lifestyle properties. We don’t sell ordinary homes. This means that our approach is quite different to other agents. A gite business is not a 2-bedroomed flat in the suburbs of some big city. It is (usually) a going concern with a history of turnover figures, costs and marketing strategy. It will normally be sold as such including all the furniture, fixtures and fittings needed to exploit the premises immediately.
We sell businesses
This ‘business’ aspect means that we have to communicate with potential buyers before the viewing process takes place. We want to know if the buyer is ready to make the move (this year), whether he has funding in place, whether she knows the difference between a gite and a chambre d’hôte.
The buyer will want information on turnover, costs and location. She may enquire about development potential.
Only when both parties are satisfied that they have enough information to warrant a viewing does the next stage start: arranging a morning or afternoon (most viewings take about 2 hours: time to visit the whole premises and time to chat with the owners – always present) to view the property with myself. Not a 20-something who knows nothing about property but a personally-accompanied visit with the MD of the agency. Buyers are making a 2000 km trip in many cases and we are driving up from our base in Toulouse – often a two hour journey – so it is inconceiveable that we will be able to respond positively to the odd client who rings us and says “I’m in the Dordogne this afternoon: any chance of viewing a few properties?”.
The same goes for summer visits. Unlike other agents we don’t do summer viewings. This is when our vendors are hard at work making the vast bulk of their income. The last thing they need is curious buyers taking up their time and poking into (untidy) guest bedrooms. So do not expect us to arrange viewings in the high season: 7th July – 16th August.
Serious buyers of gite businesses and B&Bs use the summer months to familiarise themselves with the different French regions: Dordogne and Lot with their chateaux and twee villages, the Tarn with Albi at its centre, Languedoc and the mighty citadel (and drawing power) of Carcassonne. Then, in September/October they ask us to organise a two-day trip to view up to 5 properties. We spend from 9am to 6pm with them, viewing, explaining, lunching (the two-hour lunch-break not dead yet in France!) and, above all, talking with the vendors. At the end of the visit they make a short-list of say, two properties, which they will visit again later in the month with a builder or advisor.
The next step is to sign a compromis de vente with the owner at the notaire’s. Three months later (January or February) the sale is completed … giving the buyer plenty of time to prepare the new season.
In short: please understand that we cannot respond to curt requests to “view a property tomorrow”. We don’t work like that: there must be a mutual exchange of information first and, secondly, the vendor’s position must also be considered: she may not be able or willing to show her property in a short timeframe or during the high season.
Finally; as we are on the road most of the time we cannot take phone calls between 9am and 5pm. Much better is to send a short email requesting information on this or that property. You’ll get a full run-down on the business with turnover figures and costs later that evening.