Buying French Property

Buying a property in France

Whether you’re buying apartments in France, buying village houses in France or buying villas in France, the buying process itself is identical.

Once you’ve made an offer and a price has been agreed, the sales contract (“Compromis de vente”) is drawn up by either the Notaire or the selling agent. This contract will include the following;

1. The names, addresses, dates of birth and profession of all parties.

2. A brief description of the property including land and outbuildings. This will include all relevant land registry numbers.

3. The price

4. Any special conditions. These are called “Conditions Suspensive” and will include things such as a mortgage.

5. Further contract conditions. These are called “Conditions Particulières. This is where a move in date will be included if this is different from the completion date.

6. The deposit. This is normally ten percent of the purchase price and is held by the Notaire until completion.

7. The completion date. This is normally two months after the signing of the Compromis de Vente.

8. The name and address of the Notaire. The buyer has the right to choose the Notaire but is normal to use a Notaire local to the property.

Once the Compromis has been signed by both buyer and seller, the buyer has a seven day “Cooling off” period. During this time the buyer has the right to withdraw from the purchase for any reason. If this right is to be exercised, a registered letter must be received by the Notaire before the seven days has elapsed.

On the day of completion, all parties meet in the Notaire’s office to go through the formal completion process. This involves reading through the whole contract and finalising any outstanding issues. Be prepared, as the completion process can take over an hour.

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