Purchase Procedure


The property purchase procedure here in France is methodical but somewhat long-winded, and usually takes between two and three months from acceptance and offer and final completion. It goes through the following stages:


This is the most intensive period of the deal, when we will negotiate the deal on your behalf to include (where applicable) any items of furniture and equipment etc that it is to form part of the deal and any special clauses and conditions. During this period we will also arrange to the obligatory survey (the ‘Etude Diagnostique’) that is carried out at the vendor’s expense.A raft of considerations are detailed in the section 'Making your Offer'.

The Compromis de Vente

Once the deal as been confirmed, both parties are ready to sign the Compromis de Vente. Drafted by a Notaire, this is the legal contract that details every aspect of the deal. Ideally the signing takes place here in France, but where buyers and / or vendors are remote, it is possible to do it by email and / or mail. At this stage, a deposit is due –normally 10% of the purchase price – to be paid by the intending buyer to the Notaire who holds it in a client account until completion.

The Cooling Off Period

Once both parties have signed the contract, the Seven Day Cooling Off Period starts. If, for whatever reason, the buyer has second thoughts about the purchase during this time, he is able to withdraw without penalty and receives his deposit back in full.

Local Searches

Once the Cooling Off Period has expired, the Notaire will undertake all local searches, ascertain clear title, and essentially look to satisfy all the terms and conditions of the Compromis. Once this has been done, usually after a couple of months or so, we are ready to complete.

The Acte de Vente

In a similar process to signing the Compromis de Vente, the Acte de Vente is signed by both parties and the deal is completed. Needless-to-say, by this time the buyer must have transferred the remaining funds to the Notaire in anticipation.