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  • Writer's pictureJameson Farn

Virtual Real Estate in France

For those interested in renting or purchasing a property in France during this time of Covid19, we hope we have some answers for you.

Daily on social media platforms and by emails the main question seems to be, “Can I buy a property in France right now?”

The short answer is yes.

We may be restricted by a pandemic but you can still view, research and even buy French properties with the help of virtual viewings and electronic document signing.

Due to the current Covid19 restrictions, during our now second lock down in France, we are back to where we were during the first lock down that happened mid-March when it comes to viewing properties.

And along with people in general wishing to experience France, there has been a rush of people wishing to start procedures on obtaining a residency in the country before the Brexit deadline, you can feel the sense of urgency when it comes to renting or buying a home.

Physical visits to show potential prospects around properties for sale or rent in France are currently forbidden during this confinement period. This restriction is being done to try and slow down movement during a pandemic for the safety of everyone.

What can be done though is virtual visits, if the client is genuinely serious about a potential property, after an agent has submitted as many images and descriptions as possible, and if an agent in that specific location is not restricted and can possibly visit a property (if they feel it is safe to and willing too) but still, only with the permission of an owner or caretaker in charge first a property can be personally visited. Strict guidelines will be in place and must be met throughout that time.

Once a confirmed time is set between the agent, owner and client, this is the time an agent can do a virtual live tour with their phone or other electronic device by taking additional video and photos, and ask any questions you might have throughout the short viewing time. Please keep in mind this is still considered more of a very last resort in viewing a property during this restricted time period.

An agent in the meanwhile can continue to ask an owner questions and gather as much information as possible to pass on directly to you. Many of us may be working from home but we are still talking to clients daily by phone, email, social media and video chat via apps such as Zoom, FaceTime and Whatsapp.

Another question that comes up is. “Can you visit an estate agency?”

The government laid out a clear list of companies and guidelines for them, it seems for every industry except real estate agents which is still under discussion but so far the consensus is no.

In theory the directive is clear: work from home unless that is not possible.

We are personally seeing for the most part many agencies have closed their business doors at this time and are working online from home.

Technology has come a long way so buying remotely is perfectly possible for an investment property. It is a harder leap for some when buying a home for themselves but it could be also be a bigger risk letting 'that' specific property get away. In fact, before the Covid19 situation took effect, it wasn’t unusual for us to have clients from around the world wanting to rent or buy a property just from photos alone. It is a renting or buying process that has been quite common for a while now.

Also keep in mind if it’s a luxury villa rental you are interested in possibly booking for next summer or chalet for this winter’s ski season, this is also possible by the same method as real estate viewings.

In the end we all have to evolve and decide for ourselves our personal comfort level, and how far we can push ourselves for that ultimate reward but let’s all try our best to do this safely for everyone during this pandemic and restrict movement.


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