3 sim­ple steps to French prop­erty own­er­ship

French Property News - - Property Showcase -

1 Prop­erty view­ings The prop­erty mar­ket is strictly reg­u­lated in France and es­tate agents must hold a carte pro­fes­sion­nelle – you can ask to see it if it’s not on dis­play. Agents tend to ac­com­pany house­hunters on view­ings.

2 Ini­tial con­tracts Once an of­fer has been ac­cepted, the buyer/s and seller/s sign a le­gally bind­ing sales con­tract, usu­ally called the com­pro­mis de vente. There then fol­lows a 10-day cooling-off pe­riod, dur­ing which time the buyer can pull out for any rea­son with­out penalty.

A de­posit (usu­ally 10%) is paid at this stage, to the no­taire or into the agent’s es­crow ac­count (never di­rectly to the ven­dor).

3 Com­ple­tion The con­veyanc­ing process usu­ally takes around three months and is car­ried out by the no­taire. It is fol­lowed by the sign­ing (by the buyer/s and seller/s) of the deed of sale or acte de vente, usu­ally in the no­taire’s of­fice. If the buyer can’t at­tend, they can ap­point power of at­tor­ney to some­one else to sign on their be­half.

The bal­ance of pay­ment is made to the no­taire at com­ple­tion, along with agency and no­taire’s fees. The no­taire gives the new owner/s an at­tes­ta­tion de vente and fi­nal own­er­ship pa­pers are posted around six months later.

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