DOS & DON’TS
Do ask to see an estate agent’s carte professionnelle, which they must hold in order to work as an estate agent in France.
Do check the records of the property and land before making an offer; be clear about boundaries, rights of way and access.
Do take legal advice on tax matters and inheritance law.
Do view the property on the day of completion before signing the acte de vente, which specifies that the purchase is ‘sold as seen’.
Do shop around in advance for the best currency exchange rate deals.
Do remember to open a French bank account and make your mortgage application in good time.
Do visit the Notaires de France website. It has lots of helpful information in English. notaires.fr
Don’t be tempted to sign a sales contract unless you are sure; once the cooling-off period is over, it is legally binding and if you pull out you will lose your deposit.
Don’t forget that the notaire will make a charge of 6.5-10% in addition to the purchase price of the property (this amount is different for newbuilds). The cheaper the property, the higher the percentage charged; this amount consists of the notaire’s fixed fees and tax.
Don’t forget to allow for the expense of an interpreter being present if your French language skills are poor; ask your agent or notaire about this as they may be able to help.
Don’t forget that surveys are not commonplace in France but you can still arrange one.