For the buyers

Buying real estate process in France


First step in buying property process in France is make an offer or letter of interest for the property.

This document  confirms a seriousness of your  intention to buy the property and allows to real estate agent to negotiate the price for you.

The offer has to include the main conditions which will be repeated in the preliminary contract: the  price, the agency fees, a particularly conditions and date of final signature .

Second step is the preliminary contract  where there are mentioned the main points of the deal which were precedently discussed: the price, the agency fees, the date of the final agreement and the handing over the keys.

The preliminary contract mentions also if there is loan condition for the buyer.

There are 2 types of the preliminary contracts in France currently used by the French notary: compromis de vente and promesse de vente.

For example, for the sellers we advice to chose a promesse de vente, this type of contract allows you easily to cancel your contract in case of the deficient buyer.

The preliminary contract is prepared and signed by the notary who is your sollicitor and legal adviser in France. He is also a public officer who legalise real estate transaction and it’s related documents.

In France the buyer and the seller can take both an independent notary for the sale but also they can be assisted by the same notary.

The notary in France provide you with a legal advice about type of ownership (individual or through the company), the taxes and inheritance law.

The real estate  acquisition (property transfer) taxes  in France are around 7% of the property price and  the furniture and the agency fees are deducted from the price.

Signing a preliminary contract the buyer has to pay a deposit 10 % of the price or another  amount discussed between the parties.
After the signature there is 10 days cooling period when the buyer can renounce to the property purchase.

Usually the final deal (the completion) is supposed to be not later than in 2-3 months after the preliminary contract is signed .
However the notary could be ready to sign early or the parties could discuss a longer period of time for the completion if necessary.

You can sign preliminary and final deal on distance providing your notary or another person with a power of attorney or via an electronic signature available since the pandemie in 2020.

By the  day of final agreement the buyer has to sent a total amount to the notary’s amount.

The day of completion the buyer receive a certificate of property as a new owner and the keys from the property.
He has to ensure the property and transfer all contract (electricity, gaz, water, internet) on his name.

The buying property process in France is very secure for the buyer and all payments are made by the notary’s account who guarantee the security of the deal as a public officer.

There is no restrictions for purchasing  a property in France by non residents and foreigners.

I help you on all steps of this buying process. I also recommend  English speaking competent  notary offering a personalised approach.


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