Obligatory steps PRIOR to putting your French property on the market…

You’ve made the decision to sell — or rent out — your house, but surely you’re not surprised that you can’t just place ads and sit back to watch the offers roll in?! This is France, after all, and no formal procedure is possible without rules to abide by, and steps to follow…

And the rule to respect, and steps to follow, that I am dealing with here is obligatory property diagnostics — diagnostics immobiliers — which allow us to protect the health and security of residents, the house itself and the environment.

Both the mandatory and optional property diagnostics are valid for a specific duration and these must be closely checked before any sale or lease transaction. If the diagnostics that you attach to your compromis de vente — primary sale contract — are no longer valid, then the sale process cannot be started by your Notaire.

Property sale: how long are your diagnostics valid?

Property rental : how long are your diagnostics valid?

Tips & Tricks for re-using your diagnostics

Given that diagnostic validity varies from 6 months to infinity (and beyond… Sorry, couldn’t help myself!), make sure the set you provide your potential buyer or tenant is absolutely within their dates in order to protect yourself.

If the validity date of a diagnostic no longer complies with current regulations, the owner / landlord is at risk to incur liability in case of a dispute. In fact, the law requires provision of accurate diagnostics to inform the prospective buyer or tenant of the current state of the property. If they are non-existent, or not valid, the owner or landlord is found liable for any consequences from the lack of information provided.

For short life-span diagnostics — 6 months only you should plan for them to be carried out so that they are still valid in a sale or a rental. These diagnostics can sometimes be ‘insured’ — be sure to ask your diagnostician if an updated copy of theERNT / ERNMT diagnostic can be included in your contract if, for example, you do not find your buyer or tenant within the initial period.

Diagnostics are nominative

Having valid sales or rental diagnostics is not enough: you should also make sure that they are in your name. Indeed, if the diagnostics you have are from a previous transaction and are not in your name you are not protected by the professional liability of the expert who carried out the diagnostics in case of litigation. You can be accused of hidden defects — vices cachés — and be obliged to reduce the sale or lease price.

To protect yourself and the transaction as far as possible, you should get redo the mandatory diagnostics for your property in your own name.

Post-works diagnostics

You will have seen from the duration of validity tables above that some validity durations are dependent on whether works have been carried out or not. Therefore it stands to reason that if works have been carried out that affect the m² of your property then fresh diagnostics are a must.

Sale diagnostics ≠ Rent diagnostics

The same tests and evaluations are not carried out on a property for sale as those on a property for rent. Therefore, just because you have a set from when you bought the place does not mean you are exempt now that you want to get a tenant in. Your expert will be able to advise which in your set of diagnostics can be reused.

Who carries out the diagnostics, and where can you find them?

Becoming an expert property diagnostician is time-consuming, and requires regular reviews of current rules and regulations, as well as techniques to use.

The best way to find an expert near you is to search in pages jaunes for diagnostic immobilier in your town. The costs can be kept down by using a local as you are assured of a low call-out fee.

It is still worth while getting an online quote as a basis for comparison, so search in Google for comparateur prix diagnostic immobilier to get an online quote on the job.

Bonus Tip!

As these guys give you a very specific measurement of your place (for apartment sales called Loi Carrez), many also offer an additional service to give you a detailed floor plan, and excellent bonus when selling your home!

Good luck with finding your buyers!

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