Compromis de vente

In general, what are you likely to encounter when buying real estate in France?
 
As soon as you have reached an agreement with the vendor, (preferably) a French notaire will make up a “compromis de vente” (sale and purchase contract), with which the ownership is already transferred to you, provided a number of conditional clauses (conditions suspensives) have been met. The conditions can refer to financing, the “certificat d’urbanisme” (CU), pre-emption rights and obtaining a building permit (permis de construire).

For financing by means of a mortgage with a French bank I can refer you to renowned mortgage brokers.
You can precede a “compromis” by an “offre d’achat”, a written statement of the basic agreements, in order to prevent the seller to negotiate with another party.

In general, French sale contracts are made up mostly with the vendor’s interests in mind, which means it is sensible to complement them with a number of guarantees.
These could be guarantees, to be delivered by the seller, concerning the state of the building, the easements (servitudes), as well as concerning renovations that have taken place in the past.
The seller has a legal obligation to provide you with a number of surveys (diagnostics) about possible presence of termites, lead-containing paint and asbestos. You also need to receive surveys regarding the gas and electricity installations and the energy usage.
You need to have received these surveys before signing the “compromis de vente”.

In the “compromis” you can stipulate that the property will accrue to the surviving partner upon the other person’s demise.
Have you not reached a decision about in who’s name the property will be registered?
In the period of time between signing the sale and purchase contract and the definitive “acte authentique” you can still think about this, provided the seller offers you that opportunity.

What to do in case you decided a bit too hastily?
In France you have a cooling-off period of 7 days, starting the day after receipt of the registered letter containing a copy of the compromis signed by all parties. During this period you as buyer can withdraw from the contract without specifying a reason why.

We can guide you through the entire process in order to protect you from any pitfalls.


 

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