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.
Superb and completely restored stone built former 18th Century winery, with a vast total living area of 750m2, set within a large plot of 100,400m2 with a swimming pool, lake, independent house and a ...
- Floor Size: 750 square metres
- Plot Size: 100,400 square metres (10.04 hectares / 24.81 acres)
- Bedrooms: 11
Grand, spacious and superbly renovated 16th Century 5 bedroom French Chateau, with a tower, with a total living area of 250m2 with 5 bedrooms, office, outbuildings, garages, 3 hectares of land with wo...
- Floor Size: 250 square metres
- Plot Size: 31,140 square metres (3.11 hectares / 7.70 acres)
- Bedrooms: 5
Very nicely renovated barn with 4 bedrooms and a swimming pool within walking distance to amenities close to Pezenas, in a quiet setting in the Languedoc Roussillon area of Southern France. R...
- Floor Size: 160 square metres
- Plot Size: 414 square metres (0.04 hectares / 0.10 acres)
- Bedrooms: 4
Full of character and charm, this former wine estate has a total living area of 500m2, which includes the main house, a staff house, 2 studios and a superb wine cellar, set within a large private and ...
- Floor Size: 500 square metres
- Plot Size: 2,832 square metres (0.28 hectares / 0.70 acres)
- Bedrooms: 8
Superb winery set in over 16 hectares including 12 hectares of vines in the area of Pezenas in the South of France, including an impressive 6 bedroom house and swimming pool. This exception...
- Floor Size: 470 square metres
- Plot Size: 167,100 square metres (16.71 hectares / 41.29 acres)
- Bedrooms: 6
Spacious and completely modernised 3 bedroom stone built barn, which has been sympathetically restored whilst retaining much of its character and charm, with a total living area of 215m2, 3 bedrooms, ...
- Floor Size: 215 square metres
- Plot Size: 280 square metres (0.03 hectares / 0.07 acres)
- Bedrooms: 3
Full of character and authentic charm, this spacious and elegant 19th Century Maison de Maitre with a 3 bedroom gite, is ideally situated right in the heart of Pezenas, which is a lively village with ...
- Floor Size: 320 square metres
- Plot Size: 771 square metres (0.08 hectares / 0.19 acres)
- Bedrooms: 7
Elegant, spacious and beautifully maintained 19th Century chateau and guest house with a total combined living area of 650m2, set within a large plot of 9,460m2 with a swimming pool and garage, locate...
- Floor Size: 650 square metres
- Plot Size: 9,460 square metres (0.95 hectares / 2.34 acres)
- Bedrooms: 9
Superbly and completely renovated 7 bedroom stone built house with a total spacious living area of 416m2, set within a plot of 785m2 with a swimming pool, located close to Pezenas. Ideal proper...
- Floor Size: 416 square metres
- Plot Size: 785 square metres (0.08 hectares / 0.19 acres)
- Bedrooms: 7
Delightful and newly renovated village property with 6 bedrooms in the region of Pezenas with an adjoining house to be renovated, along with courtyard, terrace, summer kitchen and garage, set in t...
- Floor Size: 250 square metres
- Plot Size: 574 square metres (0.06 hectares / 0.14 acres)
- Bedrooms: 6