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.
Magnificent 5 bedroom villa with gorgeous infinity pool and tennis court set in over an acre of beautiful landscaped gardens, enjoying breathtaking sea views from its privileged location near the beac...
- Floor Size: 350 square metres
- Plot Size: 4,594 square metres (0.46 hectares / 1.14 acres)
- Bedrooms: 5
Recently built 3 bedroom contemporary villa ideally situated just 100m from Pampelonne beach and the famous Club 55, right in the heart of a very exclusive and secure gated estate. With a tota...
- Floor Size: 200 square metres
- Plot Size: 985 square metres (0.10 hectares / 0.24 acres)
- Bedrooms: 3
Modern and spacious 4 bedroom villa located in Ramatuelle, set within lovely mature gardens of 1,550m2 with a swimming pool and lovely sea views. Located just a few steps from Pampelonne beache...
- Floor Size: 210 square metres
- Plot Size: 1,550 square metres (0.16 hectares / 0.38 acres)
- Bedrooms: 4
Fabulous and spacious Provencal villa close to the famous Pampelonne beach in Ramatuelle, with generous accommodation and providing luxury living in a desirable location. This imposing 590m2 pr...
- Floor Size: 590 square metres
- Plot Size: 5,693 square metres (0.57 hectares / 1.41 acres)
- Bedrooms: 7
Full of character and charm, this beautifully presented 8 bedroom stone built Bastide, with a total living area of 300m2, is set within a large plot of over 1.5 hectares with a swimming pool and beaut...
- Floor Size: 300 square metres
- Plot Size: 15,000 square metres (1.50 hectares / 3.71 acres)
- Bedrooms: 9
Grand, spacious and immaculately presented 8 bedroom villa, ideally situated within a quiet and private area with magnificent panoramic views of the bay of Pampelonne. With a total living area ...
- Floor Size: 380 square metres
- Plot Size: 2,850 square metres (0.29 hectares / 0.70 acres)
- Bedrooms: 8
Superb 6 bedroom villa, with a splendid total living area of 270m2, set within a beautifully landscaped garden of 6,900m2 with a swimming pool, ideally situated right in the heart of a private domain ...
- Floor Size: 270 square metres
- Plot Size: 6,900 square metres (0.69 hectares / 1.71 acres)
- Bedrooms: 6
Grand, spacious and immaculately presented 6 bedroom villa, with a total living area of 420m2, set within a beautiful manicured plot of 4,036m2 with a swimming pool, situated right in the heart of a c...
- Floor Size: 420 square metres
- Plot Size: 4,036 square metres (0.40 hectares / 1.00 acres)
- Bedrooms: 7
Bright, spacious and beautifully presented 3 bedroom ground floor apartment, ideally located in a quiet setting in Ramatuelle and with the added advantage with having a private swimming pool and lovel...
- Floor Size: 100 square metres
- Bedrooms: 3
Contemporary newly built 5 bedroom villa, with a total spacious living area of 292m2, ideally located in a quiet and private setting within a large landscaped plot of 1,912m2 with a heated swimming po...
- Floor Size: 292 square metres
- Plot Size: 1,912 square metres (0.19 hectares / 0.47 acres)
- Bedrooms: 5