Some useful buyers information

The buying procedure: buying in France is, and probably always will be, quite an adventure but one which can be very pleasant if well organised and using the right people.


First things first decide where you want to be – what region, what sort of environment – town, village, country, isolated...
What sort of property are you looking for? In what condition and with how many bedrooms or m²? How old and what size gardens?
What budget are you prepared to consecrate to this purchase? Is this realistic for the market where you are looking and is this, plus the Notaires fees and any works that need to be done, reasonable for you to finance?
Finally, does the house that you have your heart set on actually exist in the region that you are considering i.e that Provencal mass that you fell in love with last year doesn't feature, no matter how hard you look, on the Brittany coast!

For those special purchases, we are launching a Bespoke Buyers Guide to both save you time (countless round trips) and money (we will help you negociate the true value of the property). This sevice is fee paying and is designed to cover all aspects of the purchasing process from A-Z.



Offer & Notaire

Now that you have found the house we will help you to make an offer that is coherent with the said property in the current market and will give you an idea of the chance of its' success. All offers need to be made in writing and once signed by the buyers and countersigned by the sellers are definitive.

At this stage you need to have a good Notaire. This can be the same Notaire for buyer and seller which is convenient if the sale is straightforward, or we can help you choose your own Notaire if it seems to be a little more complicated. In either case the fees are the same (allow 7.5/8.0%) and are entirely at the charge of the buyer.

It will take the Notaires about two weeks to prepare the Initial contracts – Compromis or Promesse de vente. This is the most important document in the buying procedure as all conditions and details need to be noted here. If it's not noted here it can be extremely difficult to get things added to the Completion Act. Agents can write their own Initial Contracts but if you take this option make sure that everything is added.

All the obligatory “Diagnostic” tests must be completed and present for inspection at this time but ask for a copy before the meeting. N.B these tests are for information purposes only and the seller has no obligations to do anything to correct any problems. The buyer can however if needs be walk away from the deal or renegociate the price.



Other important things to check are the presence of a loan clause, if needed, and of a substitution clause if there is any possibility that you may wish to buy the property in another form than you and /or you and your partner at 50% each.
Cool off period – the buyer has an automatic and legal right to pull out of the deal within 14 days of the signature of the initial contract.

Who pays what? A small charge may be levied at this time from the buyer to cover initial administrative costs.

If you are buying a property with over 5000m² of land you will almost certainly require to pass this by The SAFER who have the right to buy the property, under the same conditions, and to put the land back into production. This rarely happens where there is a house involved.

The deposit – this is the moment when the buyer will be asked to provide a deposit, normally of between 5-10%. If the sale goes through then the deposit will go towards the purchase and if the sale does not go through the funds are either returned to the buyer or handed over to the seller, depending on who, if anyone, is at fault.

The penalty clause – normally set at 10% and payable by both buyer and seller in the case where there is contractual failiure to complete the transaction on one side or the other.
We look after all of this in close collaboration with the Notaires to make sure all angles are covered.



If you are looking for a mortgage now is the time to rapidly get the ball rolling and once again we can help you to find the best loan at competitive rates.

Acte Authentique – allow two to three months for the administrative side of things to be done and for the Completion act where the sale will be formalised and, assuming that the full purchase price has been received in the Notaires account prior to the signature, the keys will be handed over.

As the seller you may have to pay Capital Gains Tax if the property sold is not your Pincipal residence. Please consult us, or read the official site for the latest developments as this is something which changes regularly

Agency Comission – is always included in the advertised agency price. This is normally between 5-7 % and is usually at the charge of the buyer. Whilst this may seem bizarre it is financially beneficial to the buyer as Notaires fees are calculated on the net price before commission if paid by the buyer and on the total price if paid by the seller.


Organising works post completion. Please consult us.

Looking for a long let whilst house hunting. Please contact us.