Buying real estate in France
An agreement to buy is negotiated between the buyer and seller and an initial contract is drawn up by the Real Estate Agent or a Notary and signed by the buyer and seller which legally binds both parties.
You would now pay a deposit of about 10% of the purchase price which remains held in a special account by the Notary or selling agent until completion of the sale when the property will no longer be open to offers from other parties. This contract is known as a bilateral agreement, compromis de vente in French, and the most popular type of contract. You would lose the deposit if you do not proceed with the purchase.
The final contract is signed at the Notary’s office and the deeds pass to the buyer and the land registered. You must then pay the balance of the purchase price to the Notary who will then pay the vendor. You will also need to provide the Notary a copy of your birth certificate translated into French and, if applicable, a copy of a Marriage Certificate, also translated.
Solicitor / Lawyer
France new property purchases attract Vat of 19.6%, but this can
be avoided through the leaseback scheme. Leaseback restricts the
number of weeks per year that the buyer can use their property,
so that it can be rented out as holiday accommodation. Popular
in ski resorts and coastal areas with developers quoting an average
of 5-6% gross annual rental income. In some cases the buying price
you are quoted is with the tax already recovered by the contractor. Leaseback
For more information on France Property and to arrange your viewing visit:
Allen & Overy
Denton Sales Vincent & Thomas
French Property Lawyers, London & Nice
Harris & Harris
Pierre Hourcade, International