French Property Surveyors Frequently Asked Questions

 

I have found a property in a remote part of France. Will FPS be able to check it for me?

FPS has a nationwide network of qualified surveyors in France. FPS can survey and value a property and provide technical assistance to you wherever the property is.


Are FPS experts truly Independent and objective?


All FPS surveyors are registered with professional organisations such as RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) and/or CEIF (Chambre des Experts Immobilier). Members of these organisations have a legal obligation to provide you with information that is as accurate as possible. They must follow a strict code of conduct to make sure that you can rely on their independence and objectivity.


How do I know that the FPS report is a true reflection of the condition of a property?


Surveyors are highly qualified, very experienced and must respect the rules and procedures of the professional organisation of which they are a member.  The methodology they must follow when surveying or valuing a property is well defined and leaves little room for error.


Surveys are not cheap. Is FPS prepared to carry out an informal inspection for a lower fee?


FPS offers several types of services. Each of these services is carried out in accordance with the rules and procedures of the relevant professional organisations. Any deviation from these rules and procedures will invalidate the survey results or outcome of the valuation. This is not permitted and will jeopardise the surveyor’s membership of that organisation. It is important to emphasise that FPS considers such deviation unprofessional and will not provide informal inspections.


Will FPS help me make the purchase decision?


Yes, by providing you with all the technical information you need to make that decision. The FPS expert will answer your technical questions and deal with any worries that you may have that are related to the condition of the property. Ultimately it will be your decision however whether you want to purchase the property or not.


Can FPS give me legal advice?


No. but we know a man who can. Legal matters are outside the competency of FPS. However, FPS has a close working relationship with CompromisdeVente, a company based in the Netherlands who specialises in all types of contracts. You will be able to communicate with Wim van Teeffelen and his team in English.


Will the result of a valuation be recognised by a court of law?


The FPS surveyor follows either the procedures defined by RICS or by CEIF (both are very similar) and the outcome of the valuation is almost always recognised by the courts of law in France, the UK, and many other European countries.


Can I ask FPS questions about surveying and valuing a French property?


Yes, you can talk to FPS to get advice, at any time and without obligation.

Please call or write to FPS Head Office to arrange a date and time.


I would like FPS to take care of the renovation. Is that possible?


A surveyor can help you improve the technical and financial control of your project. He will not be your project manager but will give you objective and honest advice, carry out quality checks and produce the information that you need to effectively run the project. He will look after your interests which is particularly important when dealing with artisans.


Can FPS help me with the planning permission?


Yes. FPS can investigate which conditions must be met by contacting the local authorities, prior to submitting a request. We can assist further with the actual application, follow its progress, and may be able to deal with any delays.


Can FPS provide references?


Yes. If the client testimonials elsewhere on this website have not convinced you sufficiently that FPS delivers excellent and useful services, then we will be pleased to provide you with the contact details of clients who are happy to discuss our services with you.


How much does a survey cost?


FPS has surveyors throughout France. France is a big country however and the surveyor who will inspect the property may live some distance away. The cost of the survey depends on the time that is needed to inspect the property, the type of report, possibly the agreed aftercare, and last but not least the travel time and costs. You will find an indication of the fees that FPS would charge per type of service for a 3-4 bedroom property that has no outbuildings. Please note that these fees are excluding travel expenses.


  • Home Buyer Inspection 900 euros
  • Structural Survey 1300 euros
  • Structural survey and after-survey support 1600 euros
  • Technical support on request


How much does a valuation cost?


Fortunately, there are more qualified valuers in France than surveyors. The valuer still has to visit the property to carry out a valuation inspection but travel time and costs are likely to be less than for a survey.

An indication of the fee that FPS would charge for an Avis de Valeur valuation of a 3-4 bedroom property that has no outbuildings is 1100 euros, excluding travel expenses.


Will I get a discount on a subsequent  survey if I don’t buy the property first surveyed?


You will get 10% discount on the fee that FPS charges for a second survey and/or valuation.


Why does FPS want payment in advance?


A survey sometimes shows that the condition of a property is not as sound as the client expected it to be. The market value of a property may be higher than expected. This is often unpredictable and for the buyer almost always disappointing and costly. Some clients found it difficult to accept that they had to pay for the service when they were not going to purchase the property and refused to settle the bill. That is why FPS now always expects payment in advance.


About Estate Agents


The Estate Agent tells me the property is in excellent condition. Why does it need a survey?


Estate Agents represent their client, the seller. They may appear to look after the buyer’s interests but, due to the conflict of interest, they cannot be considered independent or objective.

Hardly any Estate Agents have the technical qualifications to make statements about the technical condition of a property. Buyers often do not realise that it is very difficult if not impossible to hold an Estate Agent accountable for incorrect information or even misrepresentation unless he has specified the technical condition of a property in a detailed written report. It is unlikely that you will find an Estate Agent who can or is prepared to produce such a report.


The Estate Agent tells me that he has already valued the property. Is that worth anything?


An Estate Agent who is a member of CEIF can value a property. You can trust this Estate Agent’s opinion of the market value of a property. It is important however that you note the date of the valuation.

If the Estate Agent is not a qualified valuer, you should not trust his market value of the property. It is often the owner who decides what the asking price will be and not many Estate Agents disagree with the owner for fear of losing him as a client.


About the owner


The owner refuses categorically to have his property surveyed. What should I do?


Tell the owner that you will not buy his property. Walk away from it. The risks of buying a property without knowing exactly what its condition is are too high. You may find it difficult at first but there are many properties for sale in France. It won’t take long before you find another one that you will fall in love with.


Will FPS inform the owner what the outcome of the survey and/or valuation is?


It is not uncommon that the owner of the property (or his estate agent) asks the surveyor for his opinion about the Property upon completion of the inspection or valuation. FPS assures you that the surveyor will only discuss their findings with you or your authorised representative.


About artisans


Why shouldn’t I ask a local builder to check the property?


Using a local builder is undoubtedly cheaper than instructing FPS to inspect the property. If the builder sees an opportunity to provide some services to you in the future, he may even be prepared to check the property free of charge. That makes his objectivity at least questionable. Unfortunately, you have no guarantee at all that the builder will not make recommendations that are superfluous and only serve his interests. Unless you are a true expert and have knowledge of local building regulations, you will not be able to establish which recommendations are true or false.


Can FPS make sure that an artisan delivers a quality service at a reasonable price?


Yes, but to be able to do that the surveyor must know your property. He can then check the quotes that you receive to make sure that the artisans have understood what they need to do, propose the correct materials, and do not overcharge you.

During the project, the surveyor can visit your property to carry out spot-checks. He will report his findings to you so that you can decide if payment should be made, or withheld until an issue has been resolved.


I have a dispute with an artisan. Can I use an FPS investigative report for legal proceedings?


Yes, reports by FPS surveyors can be used in court.