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What are steps to buy a property in France ?

Real Estate agencies in France do not operate in the same way than in Anglo-Saxon countries, there is no centralization of properties for sale.
Each estate agency has properties for sale, and the sales policies are specific to each of them.
However, the steps involved in buying a property in France are all the same:

Buying a property in France, what are the steps?


1/ Offer to purchase. What is an Offre d’achat ou promesse de vente ?

Are you excited about the property you have visited?
You need to make an offer to purchase as soon as possible. “Une offre d’achat” is a legal document that commits a buyer to a seller. This offer must be made in writing and must include your contact details and the price you want to propose for this property. This “offre d’achat” is essential to formally initiate the transaction process.
See in detail the article What should an offer to purchase or promise to sell contain? See article How to redact an offer ?

2/ Signing the preliminary sales agreement. What is a compromis de vente?

The preliminary sales agreement is a preliminary contract that sets out a unilateral commitment by a seller to a buyer. In this case, the seller undertakes to reserve the property for the future buyer for a period of between 2 and 3 months.
At the time of the preliminary sale agreement, the future buyer must pay an indemnity for the immobilisation of the property, the amount of which is generally equal to 10% of the total amount of the transaction (excluding notary fees).

3/ 10-day withdrawal period.

The seller remains free to withdraw as long as the buyer does not validate his purchase during the term of the promise to sell. In the same way, the buyer is free to cancel the sale and has a 10-day cooling-off period to do so, starting from the day after receipt of the promise to sell. The seller must then return the deposit paid at the time of signing.

4/Application for a loan.

5/Signing of “acte définitif” at the notary’s office.

Finally, here we are. After a period of 2 to 3 months following the signing of the compromis, it is time to go to the notary to sign “l’acte authentique de vente” which will make you the owner. At the time of the deed you will pay the balance (final price minus the deposit). Notaire de France