There has always been a strong clamour for French properties, whether it is found in the countryside or one of its famous cities. If you are one of these dreamers, arm yourself with these tips on how to buy French property.
Who can help you buy property in France?
The notary public or “notaire” are qualified under the French system to advise people on French property, family, succession, and corporate laws. Aside from that, they’re also authorised to legalise property transactions.
Estate agents, on the other hand, don’t have the same authority like the notary public, but they can help you pick out which property to buy or pass on in your plans of concurring the French property market.
Things to remember
First and foremost, be aware that cash payments for property transactions are illegal in France!
While paying in cash is no big deal in this country, under French laws, it’s encouraged to make payments through established banks. Whenever a seller asks you to pay in cash, ignore their request and tell them that you’d rather do it through legal means.
In the UK, we’re all advised to dig up as much information as we can about a property we’re going to buy. This rule also applies in France, but you can’t search all the information you need on the internet. You’ll have to first write a specific enquiry addressed to a local agent or notary public to learn about any future projects that may affect the value of the house.
As added protection for your remote investment, it’s wise to schedule a full structural survey of the property before signing any contract. If you can’t schedule one before the signing, you can instead ask the seller to include a clause in your contract which allows you to terminate the contract if the results of the survey are not impressive.
Last but not least, property transactions in France are not like instant ramen. Buyers usually wait for 2
months from signing the contract before the entire transaction is completed. Remember that good things come to those who wait and one of those things is French properties.
Dealing with disputes
The first step you need to take in case of unresolvable issues with the seller is to contact an English speaking lawyer. This way, they’ll be able to explain how French laws work in the language you understand and you’ll also be able to explain your side of the case clearly.
Disputes regarding property are also resolved through local French courts, that’s why getting an English speaking lawyer to represent your case is highly advised in this instance.
However, in case of falsified signatures written on the contract, the remedy is not to go to a lawyer immediately. The situation falls under fraud, so the first step is to report the fraudulent activity to French authorities. You can search online for the local hotline on reporting cases of fraud and save them on your phone right now.