By/Par Edith LAVAL, french lawyer, avocat & guest blogger, rédacteur invité
May be some of you ended up reading De Lege Lata
because they were looking for independent advice as regards the legal process of
buying property in France.
For your information, I outline below general rules
that may help you out.
Buying a property in France is usually a two time
Once the seller and the buyer have agreed on the price
and other terms, they enter into a preliminary sale agreement ordinarily called compromis de vente.
The buyer then has a period of seven
days granted by French law to withdraw from the agreement for no reason. It is
called délai de rétractation.
There are a number of elements that must
appear in the preliminary agreement such as certifications related to asbestos,
lead poisoning or the state of gas and electricity installations.
Beside, the agreement usually lists some preconditions
called conditions suspensives that
have to be fulfilled in order for the sale to be finalized.
These conditions may concern for example the obtaining
of a mortgage loan or of a building permit…
Once all these conditions are fulfilled, French law
requires the deed that finalizes the transaction, called acte authentique de vente,
to be completed before a French notaire.
A notaire is
a public official appointed by the French government. The notaire has a neutral role and ensures the legality and
authenticity of the sale.
The fees charged by notaires for their services are fixed by the French government and depend
on the transaction price.
As some tricky situation may appear throughout the property transaction process, it is recommended to foreigners to be assisted by an English speaking French lawyer at every stage of the deal.