The Compromis de Vente.
So, you have found a property, What is your next step?
You will make an offer, in much the same way as you would in the U.K. There are no hard and fast rules about what level of offer is acceptable, as much will depend on the seller’s circumstances, and the market conditions at the time. The agent will be able to give some guidance on this, as to what might be acceptable to the vendor.
Once you have agreed a price, and whether or not certain fixtures and fittings are to be included, the initial contract, the Compromis de Vente, is drawn up. Either the notaire or the agent will prepare this document. It is at this point that any suspensive clauses (clauses suspensives) will be entered in to the contract. These can include such items as the completion of building work, mortgage approval or planning permissions being in place. The contract will also indicate a possible completion date, but this date is flexible as the notaire will have to undertake searches on the property, and the final signing date is arranged so that all interested parties can attend.
This intial contract will also detail the cost of buying the property, including a breakdown of the cost of the purchase including the deposit due (usually 10%), the net vendor price, the notaire’s fees and the agency fee, thus providing you with the total amount due to be paid as cleared funds into the notaire’s account prior to final signing day (Acte de Vente or Acte Authentique). A feature of the French purchase process is the seven-day cooling off period. The time runs from when you receive your signed copy of the Compromis de Vente and allows you to back out from the sale without penalty. Once the seven days are over, the rest of the sale will take approximately 8-12 weeks to complete.
It is at the Compromis de Vente stage that you will pay your 10% deposit. The payment is made to the notaire. The deposit will only be refunded if strict conditions are met, so if you do withdraw after the 7 day cooling off period you will lose the money.
It is our job, along with our partner agents, to keep you informed throughout this process, and to assist with the progressing of the sale through to completion.
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