AGENCE FRANCO - ALLEMANDE INTERNATIONALE
Your French Riviera Real Estate Specialist since 1988
The handling of the purchase of real estate in France runs along strict legal guidelines.
From the initial offer to the final entry into the Land Register, certain official regulations will have to be fulfilled. Each sale must be handled therefore by a notary.
As of June 1, 2001 all agreements between private persons regarding the acquisition of a property for housing are subject to a right to withdraw by the purchaser within seven days and no one is enabled to receive funds before this legal delay expires with the exception of a professional agent or notary having received a sales mandat and holding a financial guarantee regarding the repayment of the funds. The signed contract is delivered to the purchaser by registered mail or equivalent. The delay of withdrawal starts on the following day after the first presentation of this letter.
If you choose to buy, a legal preliminary agreement is arranged taking into consideration the above conditions. This can be made by a notary or an officially certified broker. In this preliminary agreement, the main points of the contract are determined These form the basis of the notary contract later. This preliminary agreement is absolutely binding. Non-compliance, and refusal to sign the notary contract, incurs a penalty, usually 10% of the purchase price, to be paid to other party.
If you require financing, indicate this when making the preliminary agreement. If the other party agrees with it, this financing requirement can be included as a safeguard, or get-out, clause.
The preliminary agreement is passed on to the notary, who creates the final notary contract within a period of 2-3 months. This period is relatively long, since the notary must collect various documents from the Mairie, the Land Register and the Revenue offices. The notary vouches for the legal passage of title with his signature, and for the new Land Register entry which can then take place.
After the purchase price, the buyer must also pay the notary costs. This amount includes the tax on real estate transactions, all fees and the notary fee. The size of the amount depends on the type and the age of the property. In general, the notary costs with properties which are not older than 5 years are about 3% of purchase price. With older properties the cost is about 6 % of the purchase price.
AFA International can advise, guide and assist at any and all stages in this process. We have over 10-years experience in this specialized field, and can help in German or English for those whose French may be insufficient. Try us - we have a good reputation!
For more in-depth information about the process of acquiring real estate in France and its legal, tax and financial implications, please visit frenchnotaire.com and learn how to make the best use of the French "NOTAIRE"