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Buying Property in France

In France, there are no restrictions on the foreign ownership of property, unlike other nations and it commonly takes approximately 2 months to complete all the procedures involved. It is often a local, legal Notaire who oversees the process, which typically takes place in the following way:

Buying property in France -

The process

Currency required to purchase: Euros (EUR)

Overview of Costs
Incurred by
Registration / Transfer Fees
1 - 5%
Legal Fees
3 - 10%
Buyer & Seller
Estate Agent's Fees
2 - 5%
Buyer & Seller
Once the buyer and seller have agreed on the sale price, a preliminary contract agreement is drawn up, often referred to as the ‘Compromis de Vente’, which both parties are required to sign. The Compromis de Vente typically contains an agreement for the buyer to place a 5% - 10% deposit, held by the Notaire.
There is a 7-day cooling-off period, within which the buyer can pull out of the deal and it is during this period that many agents advise that a structural survey should take place.
If a property is being financed with a mortgage, the Compromise de Vente must contain a clause citing that mortgage financing is being arranged, in the event that if the mortgage isn’t approved, the buyer will not lose their deposit.
Once the Compromis de Vente is has been exchanged, there are pre-completion searches; for example land registry, local authority searches, planning permission, etc.
On the day of completion, the buyer and seller sign the ‘Acte de Vente’ at the Notaire's office. The notaire will confirm that the settlement payment has been received and that all outstanding fees have been paid and the transaction can be concluded.

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