Planning on selling your Paris apartment? Then the expert advice revealed by 56Paris Real Estate’s own managing director, Kerstin Bachmann, in a recent interview for the popular French home and interior design online magazine Côté Maison will help. Here we share her interview adapted in English.

1. When are the best times to put my apartment on the market?

The best time to sell your Paris apartment is in the fall at the rentrée (the start of the new school year) or in the spring.

In France, there’s always a new burst of energy in September. It’s when people return from the long summer break. Fall is also a good time for sellers to take advantage of the lovely soft light to show off their home. It’s also a time when would-be buyers tend to feel inspired to commit so that they can move in before the end of the year.

Spring is the other prime selling season. The good weather helps to display your home at its best. Many buyers tend to be keen to wrap up a sale before the summer holidays.

2. How do you go about determining the asking price?

That is one of the most challenging aspects of the sale process. Sellers often have a less than objective perception of their property’s value. To make sure that your property is priced correctly in the current market, you should rely on your realtor’s knowledge. In setting a final figure, at 56Paris Real Estate we will consider several factors. These are:

- The key attributes of the property:During our inspection visit to your apartment, we assess the building type, its storey, its number of rooms, decorative state and potential for improvement, outlook and state of communal areas. We’ll also find out the details of the building’s management and any scheduled works.

- The context of the current real estate market:This involves three elements. First, we make a comparison of recent sales of similar properties, knowing that prices vary from one quartier (quarter or neighborhood) to another, from street to street and according to street position and aspect.

Second, we consider similar properties currently on the market as an indicator of value. We always bear in mind that these are asking prices, and not final selling prices.

Third, we factor in economic or political elements that could impact the property market. These might be boom or bust periods, the performance of other investment markets, changes in statute and forthcoming elections etc.

- Your expectations as the seller:Good realtors will listen to your views. They’ll know though that your expectations may be subjective. You’re likely to have an emotional connection to the property you’ve invested in or spent time and money restoring. They’ll also know that you might have heard of a neighboring sale that makes you think your property is worth a certain figure.

Your realtor’s role is to be realistic and accurate. He or she should assign the best possible asking price, without falling into the trap of setting this too high. This risks your apartment sitting on the market and become shop-worn.

3. How can we prepare for viewings?

People need to be able to envisage what your apartment would look like if they were living there. So think ‘blank canvas.’ Leave it fresh and tidy and decluttered of too many personal possessions.

4. What is the best way to behave with would-be buyers during viewings?

At 56Paris Real Estate, we recommend that you don’t have contact with buyers until completion.

This is because for most people, finding the right property is a lot about a place ‘feeling right.’ A misunderstood remark or gesture made by you on your own territory could be off putting.

Viewers need to feel comfortable to say what they think. They should ask what they want and even look inside your cupboards as they like.

So we think it is best to leave viewings to the realtor. It’s his or her job to know what to highlight and what to downplay.

If you do have to be at home when viewers arrive, try to remain in the background. Only answer questions put to you by the realtor.

5. Which are the best rooms to show off?

Typically, the living areas are the ones that get most visual coverage in realtors’ details. But, at 56Paris Real Estate, we find that most buyers like to have full details of every part of the property. This is especially so when the apartment is sold as fully renovated.

6. What paperwork should we have in hand?

All the following: your titre de propriété (property deed), a record of the last three years of the procès-verbal d’assemblée générale de la Syndic (records of the annual general meetings held by your building management company), your Dossier de Diagnostic Technique (DDT, technical survey) carried out in the last six months and a copy of your règlement de copropriété (apartment’s co-ownership agreement).

If you are thinking of selling your Paris property, please contact us for more information. We’ll be happy to discuss your project. Find out more about our range of services here: