Guide to the French Buying Process
1. Signing the Agreement (Compris)
On finding a property you wish to purchase you will need to negotiate the terms, price and conditions of the sale with the owner. The next step, once you are in agreement, is to sign the preliminary contract (Compromis de Vente). This is a legal document and after ten days will be binding on both parties. Rules change frequently in France and it is best to consult with your notary about when this period starts. Generally the compris will be signed in France with the Agent. Variants can be included in the compris, for example an Acte (clause) can be added if the name or names to go on the title deed have not been finalised. If a mortgage will be required to purchase the property, the details for this, including the name of the mortgage company, must be on the compris.
2. Paying the Deposit
Generally the deposit will be 10% of the agreed purchase price. This will normally be paid to the notaire. There are exceptions to this, if the agent holds a carte professionelle, is bonded and fully registered then you may pay them, but do not hand over the deposit to anyone else. If for some reason the purchase does not go through, for example, if you write to the notaire and the agent that you do not wish to go continue with the purchase before the contract is binding (within seven days of signing the compris), then your deposit would be repaid. This would also apply if a condition had not been met, or the mayor or S.A.F.E.R. (a government agency that has the right of first purchase on most rural property that comes onto the market in France) could oblige the purchaser to give way. If you decide after the seven days 'cooling off' period that you do not wish to complete the purchase and pull out of the sale you would lose your deposit. If however the vendor pulls out of the sale then you will receive your deposit back plus the same amount from the vendor.
3. On Completion
Generally it will take around two or three months to complete the purchase. During this time the balance of the purchase money must be paid into the account of the notaire, this must be done well ahead of the completion date. The notaire will prepare the documents, check that the deed of sale (Acte de Vente) is in order and have the legal title ready to be signed over. It is possible to have someone sign on your behalf if you give them power of attorney. An interpreter may be of use at this point if your French is not very good and many Notaires will suggest (or insist) that an interpreter is with you.
IMPORTANT - Disclaimer :
All information provided is believed to be current and provided free of charge. No liability can be accepted for the reliability of the information and statements made as this is obtained from 3rd parties. We always recommend you take legal advice from a fully qualified Lawyer or Notary before buying a property overseas.
Beautiful 4 bedroom home set within stunning mature landscaped gardens of 15,000m2, with a swimming pool and magnificent trees including cedar trees, pine trees, fir trees, olive trees and various fru...
- Floor Size: 180 square metres
- Plot Size: 15,000 square metres (1.50 hectares / 3.71 acres)
- Bedrooms: 4
Situated near the centre of Lourmarin, this splendid totally renovated home has a total spacious living area of 250m2 and is set within a quiet and beautiful wooded and fenced park of 2 hectares. ...
- Floor Size: 250 square metres
- Plot Size: 20,000 square metres (2.00 hectares / 4.94 acres)
- Bedrooms: 6
Superb 4 bedroom villa with a total spacious and beautifully presented living area of 296m2, set within a magnificent wooded plot of 2,870m2 with a swimming pool and beautiful views over the Luberon a...
- Floor Size: 296 square metres
- Plot Size: 2,870 square metres (0.29 hectares / 0.71 acres)
- Bedrooms: 4
Superb estate set within a quiet an peaceful countryside setting with far reaching panoramic views, in an exceptional preserved area within a large plot of 3,140,000m2 with a swimming pool, large outb...
- Floor Size: 600 square metres
- Plot Size: 3,140,000 square metres (314.00 hectares / 775.93 acres)
- Bedrooms: 6
Lovely stone built farmhouse with a total living area of 220m2, which is full of character and charm, located in Ansouis, near Lourmarin, set within a large elevated plot on top of a hill, with lovely...
- Floor Size: 220 square metres
- Plot Size: 5,935 square metres (0.59 hectares / 1.47 acres)
- Bedrooms: 5
A lovely old farmhouse which dates back in part to the 17th century in a great location with views of the surrounding hills. This spacious and newly renovated property comes with 500m2 of l...
- Floor Size: 500 square metres
- Plot Size: 80,000 square metres (8.00 hectares / 19.77 acres)
- Bedrooms: 6
Delightful 3 bedroom villa with swimming pool close to Lourmarin in the South Luberon area of Provence. This property is in perfect condition and is in a peaceful location without being isolate...
- Floor Size: 110 square metres
- Plot Size: 4,822 square metres (0.48 hectares / 1.19 acres)
- Bedrooms: 3
A village house of 150m2 divided into 2 properties with landscaped garden of 680m2, with a pretty pool. Just 4 km from Lourmarin in the South of the Luberon, the property comes with views over ...
- Floor Size: 150 square metres
- Plot Size: 680 square metres (0.07 hectares / 0.17 acres)
- Bedrooms: 4