Starting on January 1, 2011 all ads for houses for sale or rent (long-term, not vacation rentals) in France must post the DPE results for the property unless the house has no heating source. A wood burning insert counts as heating.
Since 2006 the energy report – DPE – has been one of the required inspections done before a house is sold. Until now vendors have waited until they have a firm offer to purchase before having the inspections – expertises – done.
The new law means that vendors have to have at least the DPE done before they sign a mandat with an agent to sell their house. At least if they want it advertised!
As a seller you will need to decide whether to have all the inspections done at once or to do the DPE when you list and do the rest when you have a firm offer. The thing that usually holds people back is the termite inspection which is only valid for 6 months. Speak to your estate agent or to the company doing the inspections, many of them will redo the diagnostic termites at no charge when you sell the house. They also offer a discount if you have all the inspections done at one time.
The DPE probably won’t make any difference to a buying decision. It’s good information to have but it is what it is. If you’re planning a renovation you’ll certainly want to insulate and possibly add some kind of heating system. The DPE gives you a baseline.
On an ad there are supposed to be both DPE results and they are to be displayed on coloured bar graphs.
Now you’ll know what those graphs on French real estate ads mean. Not that all French property sites have them yet. It’s going to take a while to gather the information and get it on to the sites.
We’re working on it at Aude France Property.