Are you interested in buying a property in France? Here we explain how the buying process for existing and new constructed real estate properties in France works. Let’s start with the
buying process for existing real estate in France
If you are buying a property in France, you might feel overwhelmed by the paperwork. Your heart says ‘This is my dream house’ but your logical sense whispers ‘Watch your back, they’re all French…’ Luckily, we are in Europe and the buying process has become very transparent, especially in France to protect the buyer. The notary even insists that a translator is present so you understand everything in the sales contract.
You will find on our portal the best properties available. Our team will help you with the process from the visit to the actual purchase. If you are unable to visit France due to COVID restrictions, you can still buy a property from a distance. Contact us for a video visit and how to use DocuSign to sign the first documents.
Let’s explain the differences between the different types of sale agreements. There is Offre d’achat, Promesse de Vente and Compromis de Vente. The last one is the most common.
What is an Offre d’achat?
Once you are happy with the final price, the selling real estate agent will propose an ‘offre d’achat’ 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. This agreement should be signed within 30 days of the ‘offre d’achat’.
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.
What is La Promesse de Vente?
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.
What is a Compromis de Vente?
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 for 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. Source (http://www.urbis.fr/quelle-est-la-difference-entre-une-offre-dachat-un-compromis-de-vente-et-une-promesse-de-vente.html)
Houses and apartments real estate for sale
France has a lot of houses and apartments for sale; in fact, everyone could find something to live here, it’s just a matter of budget and priorities. Are you happy with just being in France, and riding a bike or taking a tram to go to the beach is perfect to start your day? Pricing in real estate starts as low as 130.000 euro. It will be a simple studio, but it’s a good start to create a whole new way of living in a place that offers 300 days of sunshine!
Reading tip> More about French Riviera luxury real estate for sale.
And the more you desire like a large terrace, sea view, double space parking, a free view, a residential swimming pool, a rooftop garden, the higher the price. A one separate bedroom apartment or a discrete six-bedroom villa in a stunning bay, there are properties for every taste and budget.
If you’ve found a property that needs some TLC, you can contact us for a solid home renovation on the Côte d’Azur. And if you need some inspiration for your French Riviera interior design or how to create the best rooftop terrace, we are also at your service with a team of professionals.
If you are able to work remotely, living on the Côte d’Azur is the best environment to free your mind, be creative and get inspired by colours and the lifestyle of people that enjoy life. Did you know that some of the world largest enterprises have their Research & Development on the French Riviera? Sophia Antipolis is the Silicon Valley of the Côte d’Azur, where creative people come up with bright new ideas.
If you need Internet on the French Riviera, be aware that there is fast fibre, but only in the larger cities. If you want to live on a mountain top to have a spectacular view, you might have to deal with a 1-3 Megabyte download speed. Of course, Internet by satellite can fix that little problem. Luckily, more and more cities are connected to the fibre internet with a 1-gigabyte download speed.
Discover the French Riviera
Searching to buy ‘something under the French Riviera sun’ but not sure of the precise area yet? Discover the small towns, medieval villages and buzzing hot spots here. Discover the characteristics of the most popular villages in the South of France
There are thousands of websites online offering you houses and apartments for sale, but most of them are generated by robots with smart scripts. It could be that the information is out of date, because removing the information about all houses and apartments for sale, would take so much time. These websites are non-personal listing websites, only here to be found, hoping to be able to drag you into another property from the total houses and apartments for sale.
You will also find portals, an advertising website where local real estate agents pay to advertise their goods. You fill in a form and then you will be contacted by the selling agency. Our portal displays the listings we like most, from the point of view of a foreign buyer. We are the only real estate portal that comes with a personal service. Have a look at what our clients say about us.
The new construction real estate buying procedure
The entire procedure for new construction is also buyer-friendly and protects buyers to a maximum. The procedure is a bit slow but very secured for the buyer. That’s why the buyer should first sign the contract to start the procedure. The buyer has then plenty of time to think about it and to get his financing settled.
When you have decided to buy, you will receive from the project developer the IBAN and SWIFT bank details of the notary plus payment instructions. Your ID and address will be with the developer that waits for the arrival of your down payment; mostly 3-5% of the purchase amount. Once the money is received, a dossier is opened and a contract will be made.
This is sent to you by UPS or DHL. You have to sign the contract first (often 5 copies) and send it back. Then the developer will sign it and send it back to you. Now the ten days period to think over your real estate purchase becomes active.
Ten days withdraw
This period starts from the day you receive your copy of the reservation contract signed by both parties by registered mail – you will receive the contract by courier services like DHL or UPS. Within ten days you can still withdraw the purchase without any reason given.
30 days withdraw
After the 10th day, a new period starts; the 30-working days (about 45 days) period to obtain a loan starts. In case you get a loan refusal, you can then withdraw from the purchase without any financial punishment or costs.
New constructed apartments or villas require some guts to buy off the plan. However, if you are familiar with the area, you can v visit the street virtually to discover shops and other houses nearby. If you buy off-plan, you will have to wait about two years before you get the key. But the reward will be great; you are the first owner and by the time the property gets delivered, the price will have risen by 10-15%.
COVID 19 update for buying real estate
Some projects can be reserved digitally because of COVID. Fill in a form that you send to us by email with your passport. The notary prepares the digital documents that you can sign from your computer, using a code sent by SMS. Because it is temporarily more difficult for foreign buyers to fly in, all notaries work flexibly to find a solution. A later moment of final signing is no problem.