On Choosing your French Property
Probably after many hours of deliberation and over many fine French courses you will want to know exactly what the French buying process is so that there are no nasty surprises round the corner and so you can plan for the future. Here we try to explain the different steps to be taken, what role everyone plays and what is expected from each person. This article covers negotiation, the survey, the signing of the “Compromis de vente” (preliminary contract), the period between this and the signing of the “Acte de vente” (final deed), and also the role of the notary and his fees. It is important to take tax and legal advice before this preliminary contract is signed on how best to arrange your finances and ownership of the property to minimise tax expenditure and in the future inheritance tax issues.
We are here to guide and assist you through the entire buying process and this includes helping you get the best deal possible on the price of your property. The agent in France may well hint at the lowest price acceptable to the vendor, as they do in England. It is wise to follow what they say as they will know roughly what price will clinch the deal and what would simply annoy the French vendor. In order to be sure about what you are doing, help with negotiation and have any queries answered you ought to speak with us before making an offer but there is nothing wrong with letting the agent know how interested you are. It is a fast paced market out there and you don’t want to lose a fantastic property because you spent too long dithering or trying to obtain a better deal by playing it cool and not making your interests clear.
Unlike in England the French do not tend to have surveys done to their houses and a French chartered surveyor does not exist. The options available to you are: a British chartered surveyor based in France or a local established builder. It is wise to have someone check the property over and check for any expensive repairs which you can sometimes use to negotiate the price and forecast upcoming expenditure. Leapfrog Properties or the agent in France can help organise this survey for you.