Once you’ve found the house of your dreams, it is advised to sign a “pre
sale contract”. Once this "compromis de vente"
or "sous seign privé" is signed, the sale is closed.
The signing of this contract can be done at the agency or with the notary. Agencies
have special authorisation, and this can be carried out at distance. You don’t
need to be present; it all can go through email or post.
As information towards the buyer, there are obliged survey
reports to be carried out. In this region, depending on the type of the
property, asbestos, lead in paint, termites, energy performance and inspection
of the gas and electrical installation, together with
a status informing about the technical and natural
risks of the property. You will also be informed whether a house is located
in a ‘risk zone’, like risk for earthquake or flood. These survey
need to be paid by the owner. An additional survey, ex when you doubt on the
condition of a house like humidity problems etc is possible, but it's on the
After signing of the "compromis" you, as a buyer, still have, according
to the law S.R.U., 10 days to change your mind and
you can cancel the buy through recommended letter, without additional costs.
In general people think over there decision before signing so this rarely happens.
This law doesn’t apply for a building plot, also the seller doesn’t
have this right. During this period you need to transfer a deposit,
in general 10%, on a special account used only for this purpose. This is completely
save with registered agencies (ask for the carte professionelle
to make sure).
The contract can contain special conditions, ex acceptance of a mortgage (when
you ask a mortgage at a French bank) or a building permission. If these conditions
are not fulfilled, you will get your deposit back and the sale is cancelled
without additional costs.
A contract is an agreement between buyer and seller and obliges both parties.
When you, or the seller, for one reason or another want to cancel, a compensation
needs to be paid at the other partie, notary and agency fees are due too.
In general it takes about 2 months between the signing of the compromis and
the final sale (deed). This period is needed by the notary to check the necessary
documents. This period can be extended if buyer and seller agree. A few days
before signing of the final deed or ”acte the vente” the notary
needs the total amount of purchase on his account.
Once the “acte” is signed you are officially owner
and need to take a fire insurance. Also as from that date you need to
pay annual taxes. In France there are 2 taxes: "taxe
foncière" and "taxe d'habitation", these are based
on the size of the building, location, comfort (we mention this on our detail
files). The taxe foncière is fixed, the taxe d'habitation is personal
and can depend on your income, family situation etc.