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Beginners' guides to buying a real estate in France
These guidelines have been designed to give you a general, step-by-step guide to the buying of real estate. Actually, the buying procedure in France is very simple and well organized. Each year, many thousand overseas shoppers shop in France without any problem or complication. Like any real estate buying, there may be issues, but most of them are found because purchasers have not fully grasped what they need to do in advance and how the transaction works, especially if they do not know how to do it.
So if you allow enough uninterrupted travel during your tour, you can efficiently safeguard a home you've seen on your journey and get it back to your home because you know nobody else can buy it - gasumping is generally not a big deal. Real estates in France are marketed in various ways: private, through notaries (public notaries) or through real estates brokers (real estates).
Most foreign purchasers in France buy through real estates brokers as this is a better known procedure and you are more likely to meet someone who can speak English. FranceEntrée has meticulously chosen a number of realty brokers throughout France, our Premier Partners, who will be pleased to help you find your ideal home.
If you select a realty broker, make sure he is a member of a member organisation such as FAIM, SNPI or UNPI. Don't use a real actor without going to his own offices and looking at the furnishings - don't just make an appointment in a parking lot somewhere. Often an agency will ask you to subscribe to a "bon de visite" - this will confirm to the seller that he, the agency, is the one who showed you a particular realty.
Prizes shown in a francisson or on the web should contain the agent's fee (between 4 and 10 per cent of the real value). In this case, the letter FAI should follow the word FAI. If you are considering a realty, always ask what the offered rate is.
Don't be shy about making an offer for a home like you would in your home state. When you can find out how long the real estate has been for sale or the seller's position, you can get an impression of the seller's readiness to pay less than the offer value.
Of course you can talk this over with the operative. In France, polls are generally not carried out because the expert occupation does not coexist in the same way as in Great Britain, for example. When you are worried about certain aspect of the real estate that you are buying or renovating, you can turn to one of the increasing number of English-speaking experts working in France, consult our FrenchEntrée directory of experts in France or you can go to the real estate with a locals to get advice and estimates.
It is better if you plan to do this before you arrange a quote and signing a deal, especially if you plan to do many renovations. When you need a poll but don't have enough free space to do it before you make a deal, you should ask the notary to add a "suspensive clause" to the Compromis de Vente to make sure your sale is subjected to a satisfying poll.
You can find more information in our articles on real estate survey in France. Ensure that you see the blueprints of the real estate and its plot before signing anything (ask for the agent's or your municipality's zoning plans) - see if there are any personal or community blueprints for the construction of other real estate, offices or farmhouses near your home.
As soon as you have found a real estate and agreed on a rate, the real contractual procedure is carried out by a notary, as he is the only person authorised by French legislation to carry out the transfer of land. Two important papers need to be signed in order to buy a home in France. There is a charge by the notary - usually between 2 and 8 percent of the "net" ownership cost (the lower the cost, the higher the percentage).
It can be factored into the purchase if you buy through a real property broker. A notary is legally obliged to act in an impartial manner and to act for both the purchaser and the vendor. It may seem odd to British purchasers, but the overwhelming bulk of French deals are conducted in this way by a notary.
A broker should be able to refer to a notary public. When you are not sure, you have the right to designate your own notary. There is no charge for this as the two notaries divide the fees between them, but it can be a less effective way of processing the sale.
In addition, if you wish, you can obtain free professional assistance in France or the UK (e.g. from a non-French lawyer) to help you make the sale, but you are responsible for their charges and notary charges. For more information, see our articles on the notary' s part.
Though you may find a notary who can speak some English, it is important to know that the juridical documentation will be in French and often contain unusual notions. A number of real estates brokers provide Compromis de Vente translation services, but this is not their main task or liability.
When you are unsure about any aspect of the agreement, you can get a freelance Spanish language service either within France or in your home state. In France there are official certified interpreters who are certified to interpret juridical deeds. Contact the agency to ask if they can refer an independant interpreter or if they use the FrenchEntrée index to find a native speaker and consider adding the cost of translating.
Compromise is usually the first step you will take to get your signature on the documents and defines the most important conditions of the deal between the purchaser and the vendor. Usually the purchaser pays a 10% down payment when he signs the deed, which is in the notary's possession. Compromise includes a date on which signature of the Acte Authentique (main treaty - see below) is foreseen.
In order for the notary to be able to work out the arrangement, you must present your pass, wedding certificates and certificates of separation. Please also see our FAQ for our France real estate purchasing procedures. Under certain conditions,'suspensives' terms allow you to cancel the sale, so it is important to think about this before signing the Compromis de Vente.
Suppose the supplier is willing to agree to any of the terms in the agreement. When you receive a home loan, the notary will incorporate this fact into your agreement in the form of a term - this means that if your home loan company rejects or declines to loan you the home, you are not required to make the sale.
It is important that you talk about these terms very thoroughly with your agents and the notary at the moment of bid preparation. A notary ensures that the rule of law is observed. The termite reporting depends on the area of France. Real estate sellers with open-air baths are required to order a security feature survey of the open-air bath.
After expiration of the cooling-off time, the agreement becomes legally effective for both contracting partners. It is therefore important that you do not carelessly endorse the compromise. To buy Euro, please go to our currency zone. As a rule, your down payment amounts to 10 percent of the net purchasing amount. Description of the Resell Property purchasing procedure.
Leasing back and new construction objects can have different payment plans and contractual conditions. If you would like more information on mortgage loans in France, please check out our mortgage loans in the real estate area of France, where our FrenchEntrée Mortgage Brokers will be pleased to assist you. As soon as the compromise is reached, the notary begins the court proceedings involving the search of the plot, which includes the title of the real estate office, the borders and the right of way.
Please be aware that in France raids do not involve personal building permits that may be available near your home. In order to make sure that your neighbor is not about to construct a new home next to your border, please go to the nearest Mairie and ask for the "plan communale" (a current request for planning) or ask the agents to obtain this information.
It should take three or four month from the tender to the signature of the definitive agreement. In addition to the sales agreements, you may have doubts about your position in relation to successions, residence matters, taxes on earnings and investment or other matters of justice and taxation, in which case you may wish to seek the advice of an English-speaking lawyer specialising in real estate in France.
Please consult our section for more information on taxation and judicial issues in France. Eventually your representative or the notary will inform you of the date suggested for the signature of the complete agreement - Acte Authentique or Acte de Vente. Order the inspection of the real estate on the date of signature.
There is a provision in the definitive agreement that says "sold as seen on the day of signing" so you need to know that the flat is exactly as you expected and not without it! It is necessary to make an advance planning in order to pay the amount of your payment to the notary's bank accounts in due course before the signature.
You will not own the property until all the necessary means (including mortgages ) to buy the property have been transferred to the notary's account, together with all related charges. In our currency zone you will find useful advices and hints for buying Euro. As soon as you have completed the signing of the agreement, go to the next pub and drink a cup of Campagne!
When buying a vacation home or other real estate for investments such as a buy-to-let in France, please check out our France Real Estate Area. There is a lot of information about the ownership of a vacation home in France. Browse our FrenchEntrée real estate data base to find your ideal home for rent in France.
Exclusion of liability: This document is for general information only and is not meant to replace the provision of expert guidance on all aspects of the acquisition of a realty in France. In case of doubts, you should contact your realty broker, lawyer or accountant. The FrenchEntrée cannot be made liable for the results of any decision or action you may take in connection with viewing or buying realty.