The Buying Process
Buying a house in France is actually pretty straight forward. It is far less prone to going wrong than in the UK and the law doesn’t allow either buyer or seller to withdraw or try to gazzump.

We will work with you right though the negotiation process, from making the offer right through to the final signing

Once you offer is accepted, the seller and buyer will then sign the first formal contract known as the Compromis de Vente Apart from a 7 day “cooling off period” you are committed to buy. Any conditoionns about the condition of the property, the planning status, getting a mortgage etc are subject to conditional clauses ("clauses suspensives").
We will also advise you on any items of furniture etc that are to be either included in the sale or available for a secondary purchase.

If you withdraw for any other reason than one specified in the "clauses suspensives", you will be liable to a penalty of 10% of the price
The seller is also be bound by similar terms. The compromis will be drawn up either by a Notaire, or as a registered French estate agent, by Agence Francois Labadie.
On signing, an agreed deposit (10% of the price) will be payable. This is normally payable to the notaire, though some agents maintain special secure accounts to hold deposits. You will also be required to have any survey such as the now mandatory Asbestos inspection carried out before the purchase is completed. We will advise and assist with arranging such surveys.

After this, the notaire begins the legal processes. he will make sure that the various conditions agreed such as a Certificate of Habitation ( essential if you wish to use the property for any form of habitaiton) or any planning permits are in place. You will be agree a date, usually at least 12 weeks ahead (though expericence shows this can on occasions be much less if really required), for signing the final Acte de Vente. ( similar to “Completion” in a UK transaction. Athough the Notaire can arrange to give somebody else power of attorney we are recommend that you do this in person and we believe it’s an important part of the purchase experience.
The balance of the price, including legal fees etc, will be paid on or before the signing date, and after signing you will receive the keys and the French property is yours!

The Notaire’s fees are fixed by the government and are based on the purchase price. It is not uncommon to receive a small rebate some while after the signing.
The deeds are normally sent form the French equivalent of the Land Registry around 6 months after you take ownership.