In these pages we give you an introduction to what is involved in buying a property in France.
The french purchase process explained in simple terms by France4u
Buying in France information explained by France4u estate agent
In general, once you have found the house and have agreed a price the process is quite simple. A sales contract (compromis de vente) is drawn up where the agreements of the purchase are laid out. This sales contract is only valid once all parties have signed, and all obligatory technical reports are available.
France4u does this with a bilingual template French on one side and English on the other for your understanding.
Purpose is to clarify the agreement between the two parties before the transfer of ownership via de acte de vente. The acte de vente is when the Notary actually writes out the new sales deed and moneys are exchanged between vendor and buyer.
The whole process takes usually two to three months, usually less if there is no loan involved.
French laws allow purchasers a 10-day cooling off period. This period starts when the sales contract is complete and is delivered by registered post to each of the purchasers.
By the end of the cooling off period you are expected to have paid the deposit. Usually a bank money transfer to the notary’s escrow account preparing the sales deed. The notary then starts his searches in preparation of the deed of sale.
The sales contract is also the starting point for the official demand of a loan. The bank will demand this, along with a lot of other personal documents. French law allows you minimum 30 days to secure a firm offer of loan from the bank, as conditional purchase commitment.
Before the signature of the acte de vente, you should have done the following:
• Make sure that all funds are with the escrow’s account of the notary in time
• Inspected the property to ensure all is as agreed at time of sales contract,
• read the meters to change the utility contracts to your name
• Have Insured the property, especially needed if you have a mortgage. The Notary will demand this proof of insurance.