If you are looking to sell your property in France in 2016, but don’t know how the process works, then you will find the detailed instructions given here very useful. As of now, the property market in France couldn’t be in a healthier state. Property prices are still relatively low compared to the UK, but growing steadily.
Mortgage rates are at their lowest in decades and the weakness of the Euro couple with the strength of the Pound (and USD) means that there are a lot of people from the UK (and the USA) who see this as an opportunity of a lifetime to buy the French property that they always wanted.
When selling a property in France, the first step is to get in touch with an estate agent, who are called as agents immobiliers in France and have the licence to practice. Or, you could get in touch with any of the estate agents in the UK who specialize in selling overseas property.
In France, you will need to have an agreement with your estate agent called as ‘mandat exclusif’ – if it is exclusive, or ‘mandat simple’, if it is non-exclusive. The fees for both exclusive and non-exclusive agreements are the same and amount to around 3 percent of the sale price.
It is an acceptable practice to try to sell the property by yourself. But you are advised to get the help of estate agents who are experienced at selling overseas property, as they make the whole process easier for you and are able to market the property more effectively to rich, high net worth buyers from emerging countries such as China, Russia, India and Brazil, who are very much interested in buying a second home in France.
Once a buyer for the property is found, both the buyer and seller should visit the notary, who is neutral and acts on behalf of both parties. The notary’s fees are equally divided between the buyer and the seller once an oral agreement to buy the property has been made.
This oral agreement is called the ‘compromis de vente’. A week is given to make sure that all the terms related to the transaction as according to the ‘compromis de vente’ are adhered to by the seller (you). The buyer will be given a cooling off period of 7 days during which they can get the property inspected by a professional and decide whether to carry on with the purchase or not.
If the buyer decides to purchase the property at the end of the 7 day cooling period, they will need to pay a deposit amounting to 10% of the purchase price, which is held either by the sales agent or by the notary.
The seller is required to stick to the terms stated in the ‘compromis de vente’. If he wishes to withdraw from the sale, then the 10 percent deposit has to be returned to the buyer. The seller cannot accept a better offer from another buyer later, if the ‘compromis de vente’ has already been signed and a deposit has been received.
A thorough inspection of the property will need to be done to check for termites, lead and asbestos and a report of the same is required to be submitted by the seller to the notary. The notary then completes the property transaction. All the paperwork related to the transaction will be in French, so you might need the assistance of a translator if you are not fluent in the language.