Established in 1989, Sifex, a small specialist company with an international client base, has built up a reputation for handling the successful sales of numerous prestigious properties throughout France: Châteaux, Manoirs, Maisons de Maître, Bastides, Mas as well as Vineyard Domaines and Luxury Villas.
Why Choose Sifex?
We at Sifex are not ‘Estate Agents’. Our role is that of an unbiased intermediary, acting as a consultant and providing a neutral but informed overview of the property market in France. Our advice is not influenced by anything other than our commitment to give our applicants the best possible service and the widest possible choice of properties to match their requirements. We leave no stone unturned to this end and we receive a number of referrals from previously satisfied buyers. In many respects our service more accurately mirrors that of a ‘finder’ in that we are primarily acting for the buyers in everything we do. The French agents whose websites feature the properties they have been mandated to market and sell inevitably represent the seller. We also regularly alert would-be buyers when we are aware of any negative features or ‘nuisances’ affecting a property.
Our success is driven by our passion and enthusiasm for France – and is also attributable to the excellent network of agents throughout France with whom we collaborate. We guard our ‘niche’ in the marketplace jealously and only work with established agents, all of whom hold a ‘carte professionelle’. We take considerable care in our relationships with buyers, agents and vendors alike and are very focused in our approach to our work. We are able to offer advice on which areas are most likely to offer what potential buyers are seeking, and are generally aware of the fluctuations of prices and values in different parts of France, a valuable insight we are able to share with our applicants.
We are extremely experienced in assisting overseas buyers who generally have a finite window of opportunity in which to achieve their aim of finding a property in France. Since time is frequently as much an issue as fulfilling their criteria, we are accustomed to organizing itineraries (which are often extensive and complex) to ensure that the schedule of appointments dovetails sensibly and is realistic in terms of distances undertaken in the days available and in order to make the best possible use of both the applicants’ and the agents’ time.
Our portfolio is sizeable and varied and it is an ‘open secret’ that the majority of vendors of prestigious properties in France are keen to have them listed on the Sifex website – something we are happy to encourage.
When a sale takes place to an applicant who we have introduced, the French agent remits a share of their commission to Sifex – hence our service does not represent an additional cost to the buyer.
Our Modus Operandi and what we need to know:
It is vital for us to know which other agencies have already been contacted in France. We are unable to intervene if an applicant is already in touch with one of our colleagues in France, even if it is for a different property, as that particular agency will recognize the applicant as a direct contact. Once we know, we are able to make the introduction to agents who are not already involved but would be a good contact for the person in question.
In order to verify with our colleagues whether or not they already know an applicant, we do need sufficient contact details to identify them – e.g. name, address and telephone number. Before making appointments we also need a mobile phone number that can be used in France for agents to make contact when necessary, as often meeting places are in the countryside rather than in an agency.
Knowing when and where applicants are planning to arrive in France is very helpful. It is also useful to be aware of where they are going to be based and when and from where they will be leaving. Once the decision has been made to go on a viewing trip we can send an update on recent listings including properties which may not yet be on our website.
It is also helpful if clients notify us of subsequent trips as we may have new properties to propose or know of properties that are especially negotiable or represent outstanding value. We may also have properties that are confidential or not yet listed on the site – so it is important that applicants keep in touch concerning their plans.
Sifex has a good track record for assisting would-be buyers to achieve their goal, but the degree of our success does depend on the level of cooperation that we receive from applicants and the relationship we are then able to develop in understanding fully their requirements and time scale. It is worth noting that we are also able to put buyers in touch with mortgage brokers, currency specialists, tax advisers and bi-lingual lawyers if required.