Notaire & Fees:

The notaire is the lawyer who usually works on behalf of both parties of the sale in order to draw up appropriate deeds and to collect any taxes realized on the deal. The notaire should organize the suitable searches and checks on the property and often draw up the first contract which is signed by both parties at the same time (the “compromis de vente”). There could be only one notaire involved, representing either parties, or one notaire for each party.
The total cost will be the same for you whether there is 1 or 2 notaires involved.
The notaire fees are around 7.5%- 8% of the purchase price. They are made for the major fee to assign the bank’s warranty on the property.

Compromis de Vente:

This is the preliminary contract stating your firm and definitive intention of buying/selling a property at an agreed price, under certain conditions (mostly under the condition you will obtain a mortgage – this is the clause suspensive à l’obtention d’un prêt). The transfer of the property will happen once the final deed of sale is signed, roughly 3 months after the compromis is signed.
The compromis can be prepared by either the notaire or the estate agent and needs to include all the details of the property.
A deposit of 5 to 10% of the purchase price will be held on the notary’s account until the completion of the purchase.
Note that once you have signed the compromis, a 7 days cooling off period will start (from the day you receive a certified letter by post notifying you of the sale). During this time, you can withdraw from the sale without penalty.
The duration of the compromis can be extended, upon the approval of both parties.

French Mortgage Glossary


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