For a foreigner : the offer to buy a property in France

You are a foreigner and you want to make a real estate purchase in France? The acquisition of a property requires the knowledge of certain rules and the taking into account of some elements. In this article, we explain everything you need to know about the offer to buy a property in order not to make mistakes!

What is an offer to buy a real estate ?

The offer to buy or purchase proposal, is a way for the buyer to affirm his desire to buy real estate and offer a price at a time T. This offer to buy is offered by the potential buyer to the owner of the property, with conditions set by the purchaser himself.

It can be oral, but it is necessary to favor a written / digital offer to allow justifying the anteriority especially in case of multiple offers at the same time.

Commitments and risks of the offer to buy 

The purpose of a written offer is to have it approved by the seller which allows to note the agreement of the parties on the thing and on the price: there then sale!!!

The seller cannot then go back on his agreement. Only the buyer has a withdrawal period of 10 days when he acquires a residential building or mixed housing.

If the offer is not accepted because of lower than the proposed price, the seller can make a counter-proposal, until the agreement of the parties.

The seller who has mandated an intermediary at a certain price is obliged to accept the offer that would be made to that price.

The particulars which must be contained with an offer to buy 

The offer to purchase must include the identity of the buyer at least the description of the property and the price. It is customary to specify whether the purchase is subject to a loan suspense condition and, if so, the loan amount, the expected duration and the maximum rate accepted. It is advisable to limit the offer in time which encourages the seller to position quickly.

From the purchase offer to the compromise or promise of sale 

Buying real estate is a complex contract involving many formalities. It is therefore not possible to go directly to the deed of sale with a notary.

It is advisable to sign a pre-contract and then two to three months later the deed of sale with payment of the price and delivery of the keys to the notary. Depending on the region and the habits of the professionals, the pre-contract is called a compromise, a private contract or a promise of sale. It sets all the conditions and guarantees attached to the specificity of the property sold (co-ownership, construction of less than ten years). This is the essential contract where everything is decided. All diagnoses are included as well as all information useful for the future owner: condominium fees, information of a specification of subdivision, particular area…

The compromise is usually written by the notary. By exception some agencies also write it. This compromise will be given to the bank or broker to mount the financing file.

It will be notified to the purchaser to serve the withdrawal period.

 Suspence conditions

The offer to purchase and the compromise that follows include conditions precedent. Generally, there is a loan suspense condition. You can also put a condition precedent for obtaining a building permit or a declaration of work. The purchaser may propose a suspense condition of resale of his own property provided he has already signed a pre-contract. It is not possible to provide a condition precedent for the sale of a good when no compromise is already signed.

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