Compromis de Vente

First Stage - Exchange

Once you have made an offer and a price has been agreed, the sales contract (“Compromis de Vente”) is drawn up by the Notaire. The Compromis is like the first draft of the final contract. It sets out the details of the purchase (what you are buying) and those involved in it (the seller and the buyer) as well as showing how much you are paying (including the fees). It has to be signed by both buyer and seller. This is the time to raise any conditions you require that would enable you to withdraw from the sale, for instance: your failure to obtain a mortgage, negative results from termite surveys, or failing to receive planning permission to convert outbuildings.

Further information concerning these ‘Clauses Suspensives’ can be found under ‘Making your Offer’.

Paperwork Required

In order to have the Compromis drawn up, you will need to provide your passport and relevant marriage and divorce papers. If you're borrowing money to purchase the property, you'll need paperwork with details of the loan. Ideally, you should take this documentation with you on your search trip, as that will allow the process of drawing up the Compromis to begin immediately. You should expect the Compromis to take 2-3 weeks to prepare.

In summary, this contract will include the following;

1. The names, addresses, dates of birth and profession of all parties.

2. A brief description of the property including land and outbuildings. This will include all relevant land registry numbers.

3. The price

4. Any special conditions. These are called “Conditions Suspensive” and will include things such as a mortgage.

5. Further contract conditions. These are called “Conditions Particulières. This is where a move in date will be included if this   is different from the completion date.

6. The deposit. This is normally ten percent of the purchase price and is held by the Notaire until completion.

7. The completion date. This is normally two/three months after the signing of the Compromis de Vente.

8. The name and address of the Notaire. The buyer has the right to choose the Notaire but is normal to use a Notaire local to the property.


Fulfilling the terms of the Contract

The contract is now also conditional on reports being provided in most areas for termites, asbestos and lead. The vendor must provide these before the Compromis is signed, and forms part of the contract documents. In certain instances you may make the contract conditional on obtaining permission to convert outbuildings to living accommodation, permission for a pool etc. The first contract is always conditional on local searches, checking of ownership, etc which is completed by the Notaire.