Before you search:
Take a long-term view based on your personal circumstances, the financing required, how much personal use to reserve and how much rental time to allow (if any) and whether you plan to pass the property on to your children.
If you decide to purchase property in France, you will first want to determine the amount of money you can borrow. You can do this by either visiting one or more banks that lend to Non-Residents, VINGT Paris can recommend the best one, based on your profile – if you are Self-Employed, you will need help to craft your dossier – and it may be best to work with a Mortgage Broker, again, VINGT paris can help you with this.
VINGT Paris also acts as a property acquisition specialist. In this case, we don’t work for the property seller. We work for you, the buyer. We only search to fulfil demand. What our clients want, we find. Our fee of 3% including tax is success based and only due when we obtain the property you desire and the final closing takes place. We do not charge a “dossier fee” for our service, which is illegal in France.
When the property is chosen we’d recommend a Surveyor visits, an additional budget of 500 euros plus tax.
When the pre-sale contract is signed, you’ll transmit 10% of the purchase price (minus agency fees) to the Notaire (Escrow). So technically this is part of the purchase price but it’s good to know the timelines for payment so you can be prepared.
When purchasing Parisian property, buyers are frequently misled by the average price per m2 which only gives a general idea but does not necessarily reflect the true value of a property, which can depend on several factors : address, level in the building, quality of common areas, services, etc. The table below gives an indication of how to evaluate, even though we all know, each property is a case apart.
Estate Agency fees if required are normally included in the purchase price of the property. In effect, both the buyer and the seller pay the agency commission because it is part of the sales price. Commission comprise (written as C/C) indicates that the price includes the agent’s commission. Beware. A price quoted as net vendeur excludes the selling agent’s fees.
The Loi Carrez (named, not for the unit of measurement, but for the minister of housing who introduced the law) is a protective measure for the buyer in France.
The sale agreement relating to the purchase of a property must state the surface area of the property, in square meters. In 1996, a law was passed establishing a standard way of measuring that size, defining what is and is not “livable” surface area.
Part of the Notaire’s job is to verify that the seller is really the owner of the property in question and any government mandates to take this building over by government control (only in rare cases when the building is considered to block some important government project see Droit de préemption).
The Promesse de Vente is the first formal and legally binding stage in the property purchase process in France. It is a written contract of sale agreement which legally binds together the seller and purchaser. The agreement can be drafted by the Estate Agency handling the sale (but this is not at all to be recommended) or more safely by the Notaire.
Voted December 13, 2000,the SRU law extends the buyer’s protection. This important text sets out nearly 200 articles and modifies no less than eight codes (the public health code, planning code, habitation and construction codes, general code of regional administrative units, rural code, general tax code, civil code and state code) with great ambition: to organize the development of French cities, towns and villages…
We are often asked this question and the language issue is naturally a very important one to address. Contracts and agreements must be drafted in French in order to be valid under French law. We work with bilingual Notaires and other experts and can arrange an English translation of any documents relating to the property purchase. We review the contracts in English so that clients are fully aware of their rights and obligations.
VINGT Paris attended an auction at the Palais de Justice (French High Court and also housing Sainte-Chapelle and the Conciergerie) on behalf of a client interested in an exceptional property.
The sale was one which comes up only once in a blue moon. It’s not often the descendants of the Orleans family are forced to parcel up their heritage and sell it off.
First and foremost we are very flexible to your needs – our clients have busy schedules. Those based overseas often ask us to liaise with them remotely after an earlier meeting in Paris, or by telephone to ascertain objectives.
Other clients are already resident in Paris and we arrange suitable times to view selected apartments either one-by-one or as a selection over a agreed period of time, based on work schedules and convenience.