Finding existing properties for sale on the French Riviera Côte d’Azur can be a tough journey for many reasons. There are many listings to be found on the Internet and maybe, even more, smaller agents that are local experts in that district. On top of that, every individual can offer an existing apartment or villa for sale on real estate websites like leboncoin.fr and pap.fr.
This approach might work out for you if you know the language, you are aware of the local laws, and you know your way around in the French cadastral system. But if you want to buy with the help of a local broker or a regional service agent like us, we can advise you to be prudent about the details. Did the notary check the sizes of the plot and are you sure there are no debts on the property? Was there a certificate on asbestos and termites in the house and garage or annex?
Existing properties for sale on the French Riviera Côte d’Azur
If you want to buy an existing apartment or property on the French Riviera WITHOUT a real-estate agent, you are taking some risk. Did the owner tell you the truth about the property? The owner might save some money for the agent, but in the end, you will be better of if you buy a property that is officially for sale with a French Riviera real estate agent.
Existing properties for sale on the French Riviera Côte d’Azur
On first glance, you would think there are almost as many French Riviera real estate agents as properties for sale. About 80% of the properties are with several agents, making it difficult for you to choose the right agent for the same property! That is why having your own real estate consultant has many benefits. You don’t pay for the advisory services in helping you choose from existing properties. Plus, in France, the costs of selling are for the selling party. The new owner only pays the notary fees and taxes for the new ownership. In France, this is about 8% of the total purchasing price.
The right price for existing properties
Real estate in France has suffered from the economic crisis that started in 2008. Many people bought their existing properties in the days that prices were high. And if they want to sell after 8-10 years, they for sure would like to have the same price back plus some profit for made investments. Once the property owner has sold it, the French tax office will hit them with an extra tax called Plus Value.
This profit tax starts with 20%, and the longer you own property, the lower ‘Plus Value’ you pay. But for you, being a buyer, the market is open, and everybody is free to negotiate. To get an average idea about the costs per square meter in the South of France, you could use a website like this for an indication, based upon the square meters of the house and the terrain. It does not include the value of a heated infinity pool, a Master Chef kitchen, or a jacuzzi with endless sea views. But it will help you to understand the pricing.
Renovation or renovated existing properties
Every individual has a unique style, and your home only feels like home, if it matches your style. Maybe you are lucky, and you will find something that is so utterly magnificent, you won’t need to renovate as the property was already wholly renovated in the style you love. You could find existing properties that need to be finished or refreshed.
Ask before you buy some quotes about renovation and construction work on the Côte d’Azur that needs to be done. We can help you with that, so there will be no surprises afterwards. Wouldn’t it be nice to enter your existing property with all the work done?
Buying existing properties
When you buy an existing apartment in a residential building, you will take over the rights and obligations of the previous owner. In the residential association, co-owners look after the construction and its maintenance. Check with the owner about the work that was done and what needs to be done shortly. If the roof or sewer canals must be renewed, you could face extra costs.
Bear also in mind that the insulation rules changed; apartments must comply with new regulations and single glass windows are not today’s standard, not even in the South of France. So if you buy a gorgeous art-deco apartment in its original state, make a list of what needs to be done before you can sign the sales contract.
Buying a villa with Offre d’achat, Promesse de vente or Compromis de vente
Once you are happy with the final price, the selling real estate agent will propose a ‘Compromis de vente’ for the existing property. The main aspects of the property are in this paper described, such as an address, layout, size, and separately made agreements. This information is signed by both parties and then the notary will use this info to make a provisional purchase agreement.
The Compromis de Vente is a purchase agreement between the two parties. The seller agrees to sell his property, while the buyer agrees to buy the property for an agreed price. After signing the initial purchase agreement, you always have a right to withdrawal 7 days as a buyer. In addition, it has suspensive terms, which means that the purchase will not continue under certain conditions such as not obtaining a loan.
Buying an existing villa on the French Riviera
Offre d’achat is a unilateral promise from the buyer to the seller. The potential buyer indicates that he wants to purchase the specified property within a specified period. However, it does not guarantee that the house must also be sold to the buyer. The ‘offre d’achat’ largely describes what you wish to buy. If the term expires and the buyer and seller do not agree, then the offer will expire.
La Promesse de Vente is a unilateral promise by the seller. Seller agrees with this “Promise of Sale” that he agrees to sell the property at a certain price for a given period. The buyer pays 10% and gets a period of 7 days to rethink the decision and stop the buying process. If the notarial deed is on for signing, your 10% of the purchase amount will be deducted and you will pay the remaining amount. If you do not provide timely notice of cancellation and you have no decisive reasons (such as reserve funding) then you will be in default and the seller may retain your 10% deposit. Source
We can help you in finding your home
If you want to choose from quality existing properties, you can work with Living on the Côte d’Azur. We’ve been active in French Riviera real estate since 2006 and only work with professionals. Our services connect you with 500 real estate agents, so we have a powerful network to find suitable existing properties.
We also have access to off-market properties in France. Once found, we’ll help you to negotiate a fair price, and find a notary that talks English. Call or WhatsApp with Ab and Jo on +33770186203 or mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org We are open seven days a week to give you the best service available.