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Negotiations for your French Riviera property
Property guide sales agreement
Ten days cooling down period
An important part of the property guide is the technical state of the property. When selling real estate, the seller is required to provide the buyer with a technical diagnosis including various diagnoses:
• Asbestos: Report on the presence or absence of products or materials containing asbestos.
• Lead (observation of the risks of exposure to lead – CREP): Report on the presence or absence of products or materials containing lead
• Termites: Report on the presence or absence of products or materials containing termites.
• Diagnosis of energy performance – DPE: Report on the energy performance of housing. It gives the future buyer some idea of the level of energy consumption, as well as the rate of greenhouse gas emissions.
• Diagnosis of natural and technological risks (ERNT): Report on all-natural or industrial risks to which the property may be subject. (Earthquake, floods, forest fire …)
• Gas installations: Report on the condition of the gas installation of the property
• Electricity: Report on the state of the electrical installation of the property
A notary is required by law to provide you with full and detailed information about the nature of the agreement you are signing. The notary has indemnity insurance, which provides a financial guarantee to the client. The notary is completely independent, so only one notary can act on behalf of the seller and the buyer.The advantage is that the process is generally much faster. You have, of course, the right to hire your own notary if you wish. Whether one uses one or two notaries, the cost remains the same, as the fees are shared between the two notaries.
The notary has a legal obligation to make sure you understand what you are signing and will review all of the terms of the contract with you. If you don’t understand French, the notary will arrange a local translator in your own language to explain the contract. The costs for this are mostly about 300 euro.
Final signature of the sales deed
Transfer of funds
Before proceeding with the sale of a French property, the notary must have all the funds to purchase. This can be done by transfer from your account to the notary’s account. If you take out a mortgage, the lender will make arrangements to transfer the funds to the notary. If you make a transfer outside the European Union, your bank will charge you a high provision. We can help you with our Foreign Exchange partner. You can save thousands of euros with your banktransfer.
The sales contract will always contain a clause stipulating a completion date, ie the date of signing of the deed of sale. However, if the contract is not signed by this date, the contract is still valid unless it indicates a deadline of extraordinary nature, but it is exceptional that this clause is added.
Inspection of the property on the date of the final deed signing
The seller is obligated to sell the property in the state in which you visited it (Unless agreed otherwise). In the event of significant deterioration of the property between the visit and the authentic instrument, the buyer is entitled to demand that the property be returned to its original condition at the seller’s expense. This is why we encourage you to visit the property the day before completion to make sure everything is as it should be.
Signature of the final deed
Now it’s almost time to open the champagne! When all inquiries have been made and the funds are in place, you will be invited to sign the deed of sale at the notarial office. It is not necessary for the buyer (or even the seller) to be present to complete the formalities. So, if you are unable to attend the final settlement meeting, a relative, friend, or solicitor can obtain a power of attorney to sign on your behalf.
In case you want to give a Power of Attorney, you have to do this at a French notary. So best is to do this in the week that you have decided to buy the property. You can then have someone else do the paperwork for you. That can be an employee of the notary’s office, or Living on the Côte d’Azur.
When you have signed the deed of sale, the notary will provide you with the purchase certificate (called ‘attestation’). You receive several copies with stamp and signature, one with the price and one without the price. The one without a price can be used to open a contract with an Internet provider. The attestation is your proof of residence. Later, you will receive a copy of the bill of sale.
Time to enjoy the French Riviera lifestyle!