Properties for sale Dordogne

Properties for sale in Dordogne are highly sought after by foreign buyers. This is due to the attractiveness of Dordogne which remains perfect for vacations with idyllic landscapes. Moreover, the area is still quite affordable (compared to Provence area for example), even though the price trend has been upwards for a few years. 

More and more buyers (including French residents) are looking to find holiday properties in this area and less and less people are selling. Automatically this has resulted in demand exceeding supply, all of which ultimately resulting in a rise of prices.

However, buying a property in Dordogne carries risks that are even higher when you are a foreign buyer. Indeed, the language barrier and the lack of technical and legal knowledge can be big problems when looking to properties for sale  in Dordogne. 

Many foreign buyers end up encountering difficulties that sometimes cannot be reversed. This often results in a loss of time and especially money. Let’s take a look at the market of properties for sale in Dordogne.

Properties for sale in Dordogne – market situation

The properties for sale in Dordogne market has one very important particularity to consider. 

On average, the southern part of the department (consider Périgueux as the northern most limit) is 2.5 times more expensive than the northern part. This is due to the attractiveness of the southern part which also gives proximity to the airport of Bergerac but also to the lack of attractiveness of the northern part which many buyers desert because windy with real estate prices not evolving. 

Properties for sale South East part of Dordogne

This part of the department concentrates a large part of the most expensive properties for sale in Dordogne as it is the best part of the area. 

Expect to pay an average of 2,500€/sqm with prices exceeding this threshold in the vicinity of Sarlat-la-Caneda. For properties for sale in this area, buyers will mainly concentrate on famous villages such as Castelnaud-la-Chapelle, Domme, Daglan, Lalinde, Le Bugue and many others which offer a lot of what people are looking for.

Properties for sale South West part of Dordogne

 This area is not as attractive as the eastern part and so the average price of properties for sale in this part of Dordogne decreases slightly.

Expect an average of 1,600€/sqm with higher peaks near Bergerac. Below a 400,000€ budget, it may be worth considering this area more than the eastern part as the quality of your home and its features will be better.

Prices evolution of properties for sale in Dordogne over the previous years

As we explained earlier, the trend has been increasing over the past years. Several factors can explain this increase. 

The first factor is the construction of the TGV line between Paris and Bordeaux in 2017, which has allowed wealthy households from Paris to reach the Dordogne in 3 hours (count 2 hours between Paris and Bordeaux and 1 hour between Bordeaux and Bergerac by train). 

Many Parisians saw in this the opportunity to acquire a holiday home in an attractive area with affordable prices. This event has logically led to an increase in the price of properties for sale in Dordogne.

Second factor, the Covid-19. With the democratization of home working, whether in France or abroad, many people are looking for a second home in Dordogne. We can understand that some people prefer to work in the countryside by their swimming pool than in busy environments like Paris or London!

Third factor, the ratio between quality of life and real estate prices is among the best ones in France. With prices still very reasonable and a diversity of landscapes and activities available, the Dordogne remains a preferred destination for real estate buyers looking for a holiday properties.

Below, you can find a graph showing the evolution of the average price of properties for sale in Dordogne.

Some properties for sale in Dordogne we found for our buyers

Initial seller’s asking price: 520,000 €

Thanks to our negotiation: 470,000 €

Savings: 50,000 € (9,5% off)

Initial seller’s asking price: 680,000 €

Thanks to our negotiation: 635,000 €

Savings: 45,000 € (7% off)

Initial seller’s asking price: 689,000 €

Thanks to our negotiation: 620,000 €

Savings: 69,000 € (10% off)

Initial seller’s asking price: 475,000 €

Thanks to our negotiation: 445,000 €

Savings: 30,000 € (7% off)

Negotiating properties for sale in Dordogne

Be aware that in Dordogne, 88% of properties are sold for less than the price originally requested by the seller. Based on these statistics, it would be a shame not to start a negotiation! A discount of at least 6% is in most cases possible. 

There are, however, no predefined rules and any potential discount depends greatly on the initial price assessment made by the vendor. It can happen that some sellers set a fixed price and refuse to reduce it. Nevertheless, this scenario is quite rare. If you present strong arguments, you will usually force the seller to revise his price down. 

To save money at this stage, it is better to know how to drive a negotiation. You need to present strong arguments to make the vendor cave in and turn the negotiation in your favour. Properties for sale  in a good condition priced below the market price and new on the market are not easily negotiable. On the other hand, you can get a reduction on an overpriced properties that have been marketed for years!

You must put in place a strategic negotiation plan to buy at a lower price. You also need to understand that if the property is correctly priced and new on the market, it would be at risk to negotiate the price. Indeed, you could lose the house you are interested in. You will rarely be the only interested party in such a good deal. It is essential to negotiate cleverly, by fully preparing the negotiation. You will need to present solid arguments that the vendor cannot turn down.

Analysis of properties on offer in the same segment The first action to undertake, possibly the most important one. This is always the starting point of a negotiation plan. Consolidate and analyse the properties on the market similar to the property you are interested in. The market defines the fair price of a product. This saying is not only valid for real estate. Indeed, it is in fact valid for most sectors of activity. This is the best way to get an idea of the value of properties. It allows you to obtain a basis to undertake a negotiation. Thanks to this action, you get an idea of the value of the property for sale in Dordogne on the market at the time.

Date when the property went on the market. As previously mentioned, the properties on the market for many months or even years will be easily negotiable. As time passes, a seller becomes more and more impatient and ready to make concessions. Do not hesitate to offer an amount much lower than expected by the vendor if the Dordogne property has been for sale for more than 6 months. Be more restrained for a property in Dordogne newly for sale. Indeed, the vendor could potentially not take you seriously and may no longer want to negotiate with you.

Offers to purchase history. Third key point of interest, the history of the offers to purchase previously sent to the seller by potential buyers. This point will allow you to know the seller’s capacity to negotiate. A vendor who has received multiple offers close to the asking price (less than 5% below the asking price) and turned them all down is clearly not opened to negotiations. It may be dangerous to start negotiating too hard. But the situation two months ago may be different from the situation now. The time always eventually beats the vendor!

Highlighting the defects of the property. Let’s be honest about something: it is unlikely that the property you will buy in Dordogne is defect-free. And this is precisely what will allow you to purchase it at a better price! Paradoxically, while you really want to acquire this house, you are going to put together a list of its faults to negotiate its cost down. Listing the defects of the house and presenting them to the seller has a clear goal. Indeed, you will place him in an awkward position. Importantly, make sure you also include the property faults which are not really bothering you. This may include the lack of a garage even though you do not have a car. It may also include the distance from public transport even though you do not plan to use them.

A vendor holds his house in high esteem because he has probably lived in it for many years. He will certainly have forgotten all the defects in the property. You have to force him to look at his property from an outsider’s point of view. By acting this way, you will force him to rethink. The seller will convince himself that ultimately his house for sale in Dordogne may not be worth the amount he is asking for. He may lower the price, which may bring on an agreement on the sale.

Analyse the personal situation of the vendor. Information is priceless but often difficult to obtain! Use your interpersonal skills, talk, use your charm! Use anything to make him talk. You need this information at all costs to judge the negotiation margin. When undertaking this action, you will find out if the seller is in a hurry to sell or not. The seller will be in a hurry to sell if they are in one of these following situations:

In the case of an inheritance. Indeed, the proceeds of the sale of the house must be shared between several people of the same family. There are often disagreements among family members. A very quick sale is usually what family member are hoping for.

An owner moving away to take on a new job.

Result of a divorce.

In contrast, a couple selling a holiday house in Dordogne will have more time. So, they will be more demanding on the selling price.

Some vendors will be smarter than others. Indeed, some will not easily divulge the reason for the sale while some will be more talkative! So, take the time to analyse the situation and act accordingly if you are in a position of strength. Whatever it is, adapt your offer using this criterion.

Put forward your financial position. A cash purchase is always a huge advantage to turn the negotiation to your benefit. Indeed, a seller will consistently prefer to sell his Dordogne property for less for a cash-paying customer rather than to wait for a buyer to reach a financial agreement with the French banks. In most cases, buyers will actually need finance. Sellers may sometimes sound distrustful. Actually, it is often due to repeated unsuccessful negotiations and particularly due to buyers who did not obtain the finance necessary to purchase.

You have to show that you are serious. Make sure to have spoken with your bank to know your borrowing capacity. Also, do not hesitate to show figures illustrating the calculations for your potential borrowing. You can also use online tools to simulate mortgage figures. You do not need to show the details to the seller. The objective is simply to prove that you are a serious buyer and build confidence with the vendor. Try to demonstrate a strong financial position and show good faith. You will see that the seller will not hesitate to wait until you get your funding in place to continue the efforts to finalise the transaction with you.

These are the keys to turn the negotiation to your advantage. By using this advice, you may get a significant reduction in the price of the property for sale in Dordogne you’re interested in. Even more so if this house has initially been priced above the market price. 

Once you have reached an agreement with the vendor, you must confirm your commitment in writing and send an offer to purchase.

Offer to buy a house for sale in Dordogne

The previous step dedicated to the negotiation of the purchase price of the Dordogne property allowed you to find a verbal agreement with the vendor. However, this verbal agreement has no legal value! You now need to confirm your intention to buy by sending a written offer to purchase to the seller. It allows you to demonstrate your willingness to buy the house for sale in Dordogne at an agreed price.

The objective of this document is to create a link between both parties. That link will remain until the signing of the deed of sale at the Notaire. This deed will mark the transfer of ownership between you and the seller. To ensure that your offer is legal, it must contain specific elements.

Elements to include in your offer to buy

You must include specific elements for your document to be valid. Be thorough, forgetting a single element can make your offer null and void. It may cost you the initiative on a quality property for sale in Dordogne. By inserting all the following elements, you are sure that your purchase offer is perfectly legal and therefore acceptable by the seller.

First name and surname of both you and the vendor

Location and full address of the property in Dordogne that you want to buy

A precise description of the house to which your proposal refers to: type of property, surface, number of rooms

The price you are willing to pay for the acquisition of this property for sale

The period of validity of your offer. Usually between 5 and 10 days. This period is the time that you give to the vendor to give an answer to your proposal. Do not forget to mention that past this deadline, your document will no longer be valid

How you are planning to finance the purchase (mortgage if applicable + personal deposit)

The date and your signature

This way, you are sure not to leave any essential elements out of your written proposal. This allows you to save time against potential competitors. A competition between buyers can indeed exist. By quickly sending your offer, especially if it is close to the amount expected by the seller, you may be one step ahead of other interested parties.

After your offer to purchase submission

Once you have sent this document in French to the seller, he has the time you mentioned in your proposal to give you an answer. Generally, the vendor has 8 days to think about the offer. After this period, you are free to cancel your offer.

When your proposal matches the initial asking price, the seller is under obligation to immediately accept your offer. When your bid is below the initial asking price, there are three possible outcomes.

The vendor rejects your proposal. Unfortunately for you, the seller does not appear to be open to negotiation. You can increase your price to make him change his mind.

The seller refuses your bid but makes a counteroffer. The seller indicates that he refuses to sell his property to you for the amount in your first written proposal. Nevertheless, he is not opposed to negotiations. Indeed, he has made you a counteroffer. It includes an amount between what he originally was looking for and the sum that you offered. The ball is now in your side. If you accept, the transaction advances to the next step. If you refuse, you can also make another counteroffer. Otherwise, if you do not wish to meet the demands of the vendor, the deal is off.

The seller accepts your proposal. In this case, you have legally reached an agreement with the vendor. You are both now legally bound. You can now search for and select a Notaire in France to draw up a preliminary sales contract.

The seller cannot ask you to pay a deposit at the time of the acceptance of your proposal. This practice is strictly prohibited by Law and may result in invalidating the transaction. Only the establishment of the preliminary contract can result in the payment of a deposit; usually represents 10% of the amount of the transaction and must go through the Notaire.

The commitments of both parts

Be careful, as a buyer, your commitments are quite high when you transmit a written offer to purchase. In fact, in France, this document constitutes a genuine legal act. It commits you to buy the property in Dordogne as soon as the seller accepts his proposal. In case of a change of mind, the buyer is exposed to the payment of substantial damages.

On the other hand, your offer to buy is unilateral. Therefore, it does not commit the vendor if you make a proposal below the price he asked for. In fact, in this case, the vendor has no obligations towards you. Nevertheless, if you send an offer matching the asking price, the seller has no other choice but to accept. 

In case of rejection, the vendor is not respecting the Law. Therefore, he is exposing himself to being forced to sell his property in Dordogne to you by the French Justice. He may also have to pay damages and interest as compensation for the damage suffered.

Your rights of withdrawal

Once the vendor has received your written offer to buy the property in Dordogne, you can withdraw under certain conditions. In the following cases, you are able to backtrack without having to pay financial compensation.

First case. The seller has not responded to your offer

Second case. The vendor has not accepted your offer within the time limits that you have mentioned in your written proposal

Third case. The vendor comes back to you with a counteroffer, the initial document that you sent him becomes obsolete