Every French property sale must be processed through a notaire, a government legal official specialising in property transactions. All monies are paid direct to the notaire who does not release them to the vendor until he is sure that the property transaction is legal, above board and completed. For this reason the property process in France is extremely safe compared to almost all other countries.
The notaire in France can act on behalf of the vendor and the purchaser which is quite often the case with property transactions.
The notary fees are based on the purchase price and will vary depending upon several factors. For example for new build properties add around 3% and 7% for resale properties. This will vary depending on whether the purchaser is obtaining a loan which will attract additional fees.
As with everything in life, things don’t always go to plan. With new build properties there can be delays, and changes to building plans - both favourable and unfavourable, there can be snags and small rectification work required after you take possession. With existing property you buy 'as seen' and structural surveys are not mandatory or even common in France and need to be done at the buyer's expense.
There are also major differences between the tax and inheritance systems in France and Britain. It is important to understand these differences up front and make decisions about the way you buy your property that reflect your personal circumstances and wishes.
Maison Individuelle aims to minimise the risk of anything going wrong by only working with highly reputable developers and well established and trustworthy Agences Immobilieres (French Estate Agents). We are also highly familiar with aspects of the French property purchase process and have extensive contacts with numerous notaires to assist with any issues that may arise or any advice you may need.
Buying a French property is a major financial commitment and you may want to receive fully independent legal advice from a UK solicitor specialising in French property transactions. Maison Individuelle always supports this decision and is happy to work with whatever legal advisors you may decide to appoint.