Why hire a property finder in Paris if you live abroad ?

You have made the decision : you are going to buy a home base in Paris ; one issue : you live abroad. How to solve it ? Hire a property finder in Paris. The services of this type of professional in real estate business offer many advantages.

Property finders : tasks and legal obligations

Like other recent professions, the job of property finder was not very well-known a few years ago. The Stephane Plaza show on TV helped to get to know the profession when looking for apartements and houses for viewers. Lately, it has become more and more popular. How can this job be exactly defined ? Let’s start with a reminder of the tasks and legal obligations of a property finder.


The search for an apartement or a house implies different tasks such as : searches, visits, and other legal actions that are time consuming. The property finder hired by a buyer will be in charge of all these tasks.

Concerning searches, if you think that the web is enough to look for and find a property, it is not. The internet cannot be compared to the multiple services a property finder is provides. The property finder offers a tailored service to his or her customers ; besides with his or her personal network and preferential contacts in the real estate environment he or she has a wider offer and not only the internet one.

The property finder is in charge of the pre-visits : if the ad seems to be a close match with the criteria of his customer , he proceeds to a detailed visit. He lists the assets of the apartement and then writes a complete report with pictures. The customer decides then if the place is worth a visit.

When an apartement has been visited by the buyer and the property finder, there is a debriefing and the property finder asks the buyer if he wants to place an offer. The property finder helps the buyer go through different steps : making the offer,  applying for a loan, signing the pre-contract…

Once the pre-contract is signed the property finder has fulfilled his task. However, many property finders are available for further services such as helping with the move and the settlement.

As said before, the tasks of a property finder are multiple : search, pre-visit, legal formalities. Before starting any research for a buyer a legal document must be signed between the property finder and the buyer : The Research Mandate.

Legal obligations

If you are ready to hire a property finder because you live abroad, it is mandatory to sign a research mandate. This is an obligation per law, and means that a property finder is not able to start a search without the research mandate. It is a contract between the buyer and the property finder : the property finder is officially hired by the buyer, that document being signed allows the property finder  to visit properties in the name of the buyer.

The research mandate can be « single » or « exclusive ». If it is single the property finder is not the only one person to look for the property. The validity of a single mandate is 3 months and can be renewed once. The « exclusive » reasearch mandate establishes the property finder as the only person on the search.  This exclusive mandate can be cancelled officially after a period of 3 months at any time with a registered letter.

Concerning doorstep selling the research mandate is subject to the « Scrivener law ». Voted in 1979, this law protects consumers.

Not only the property finder needs the research mandate signed, he also obeys to diverse legal obligations as follow :

He respects the « Hoguet law » (law N° 70-9  january 2nd  1970) : he must posses a certified professional document called « carte T » ; it is needed for real estate transactions, provided by the Police Prefecture or the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The property finder may not ask his customer for any fee in case he has failed his research and no place has been found. The property finder invoices the buyer only when he finds an apartment or a house. The invoice is due the day of the signature of the final deed at the notary. (Only on that exact day and only if all the conditions precedent to the signature have been removed).

The property finder is not entitled to invoice any application fees: it is forbidden by Law. That is to say, if any property finder is willing to charge application fees you have the right to refuse it.

The profession of « property finder » is tightly regulated since he can intervene at any moment during all the steps of the search and acquisition of a home base. If I live abroad why would i use the services of a property finder ?

The benefits of hiring a property finder in Paris when living abroad

First advantage : the property finder is in Paris, right on site

Being on site is an undeniable advantage of the Parisian property finder for a search in the capital. No flight, no ride needed, he is on site. To be in Paris allows reactivity and availability ; Visits are not possible for a Londoner or a New yorker buyer, neither reactivity for a great opportunity.

For example, let’s look at a real case. Mr. Smith lives in Edimbourg and is willing to acquire a home base in Paris for his favorite escapes and eventually a place for retirement. The first step for him is to start his searches, second to make a selection and visits,  and finally to go through legal processes. One issue : Mr Smith is still working and has very little time available for research on the internet, and even less time to travel to France for visits. The best choice for Mr. Smith is to hire a property finder in Paris who will be in charge of the tasks linked to the project and will proceed to visiting in his name.

After a call with Mr. Smith criteria and wishes are well defined , the research mandate is signed, by both parties. The property finder is now ready to start his mission : select properties with matching criteria, visit them, send detailed reports. Mr. Smith will come only once to visit only one or a few chosen apartments.

The fact that the property finder is in Paris is an obvious advantage : it saves the customer time and money. Mr. Smith does not travel for unneccesary visits so there are no wasted expenses.

Second advantage : saving money

Real estate investment means capital investment ; when this home base investment is located abroad, it means additional fees (travel, hotel …)

In addition, the buyer is not certain to find a place right away, which means a waste of money. Hiring a property finder when living abroad is an excellent idea ! the buyer spares travelling to Paris ; the property finder makes the pre-visits in his name. The buyer saves money on travelling and on accomodation.

There is no fee due, in case the property finder does not find a suitable property for his customer. (the property finder ia paid only at the signature of the final deed). That means the buyer has not made any expense.

Another substantial advantage : the property finder masters not only the french judicial system, but also laws regarding Real Estate.

Third advantage : knowledge of the French legal system

If you live in New York or in Barcelona you may not have good knowledge of french laws in Real estate Industry (in constant evolution : Pinel, Alur…. ) The French legal system in Real Estate field might appear complicated for foreign buyers.

Once again the services of a property finder become essential when living abroad : his professional knowledge of real estate laws prevent from falling in  differents traps and ensure to follow regulations.

Along the process of acquiring an apartment, the property finder is aware of each step, and advises on which document to provide. He is able to help his customer write the offer and assists him in the signature of the pre-contract. This assistance is very helpful for a foreigner willing to acquire a home base in the capital of Paris. Being assisted by a professional at each step is reassuring and the buyer is certain to comply with french laws. A way of investing in a more serene manner. There are even more reasons to hire a property finder in Paris for a foreigner : his excellent knowledge of the city and of the status of the parisian Real Estate market.

Fourth advantage : the property finder knows Paris and the real estate market

Are Selling prices up or down in the French capital? Is the bid higher or lower demand? In which areas of Paris do you find most goods? Which districts most closely match my criteria? Many issues can occur to a foreign buyer when it wants to invest in Paris. But sometimes these questions remain unanswered. However, when buying a property, it is important to be clear in the mind of the buyer. This is where the real hunter of Paris for its foreign customer.

True expert in real estate, he knows the Paris market, the prices charged to the most sought after neighborhoods or less needed. It can therefore advise his client and help her choose specific areas according to their wishes and requirements, but also to its budget.

Indeed, the hunter of real estate is also to guide the buyer on the funding issue. If his client tells him a budget that is not consistent with its criteria, it shall inform and help to review its requirements. You should know that works for all types of budgets and adapts its research according to the financial means of the client.

But what are the other benefits of using a property finder in Paris when you are abroad?

Other advantages …

Excellent knowledge of the city of Paris and french laws regulating Real estate, help in saving costs. The reasons to call on a property finder for a foreigner are various. One reason is the fact that the property finder is on the side of the buyer and is aiming to find the ideal home base at the best possible price.

In addition, call on this professional in Real Estate, is also gaining time and playing the security card. Lastly, the property is « neutral » and « independant » and has no link at all with the seller of any property ; these are tremendous added assets.

The capital of France has been seducing foreign investors for the longest time, they definetly have many reasons to call on a property finder.