|FURTHER INFORMATION ON BUYING A PROPERTY IN FRANCE|
Buying a house in France is somewhat different to buying in Britain. Whilst property purchases and estate agency are somewhat on the edge of our field of expertise we have of course been involved to some degree on many occasions and have introduced prospective buyers to reliable estate agents. Here are a few simple explanations to give you an idea what it's all about.
|These explanations are intended for guidance. You must thoroughly examine any contract before signing and seek legal advice for any areas that are unclear.|
L'Agent Immobilier (Estate Agent)
Most property transactions are handled by an Agent Immobilier. He is a registered professional who looks for buyers, on behalf of the seller, and vice-versa, and organises the sale transaction.
Notaire (equivalent of a Solicitor)
All sales are registered by a Notaire. He is an official of the state who's job is to ensure that the transaction meets all legal requirements and to collect the taxes due. Some Notaires offer property services in the same way as an Agent Immobilier. The buyer and seller can choose to use the same Notaire, or each party can designate their own (usually an unecessary complication).
Compromis de Vente (initial promise)
|L'Acte de Vente (final sale deed) This document confirms the details defined in the Compromis de Vente, defines all search results and legal aspects. Once signed by both parties, the sale becomes definitive and the property has changed hands. This usually takes place 2 - 3 months after the Compromis de Vente. The balance together with the taxes and charges are paid at this moment.|
Frais (the taxes and charges)
Frais d'Agence: Prices are often quoted with the agency fees included -
marked as "FAI". Frais de Notaire: These are calculated by the
Notaire, in strict accordance with the law, and are based on the value of
the property together with his remuneration (typically 5 to 8% of the price
before agency fees). Different rates may apply to part of the property if
this part is regarded as agricultural or commercial.
|Expertise (survey) A survey is not normally undertaken in France prior to purchase, except for mandatory termite/insect, lead and asbestos surveys (paid for by the seller). The property is purchased "as seen". However the buyer is free to engage Un Expert to do a survey or to consult other building professionals for their opinion. In cases where land is not clearly marked out, a Geométre (land surveyor) will be called in to the mark the boundaries.|
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