Buying processBuying a property is made through several steps. This is a protection for the seller and the buyer.
Agree upon price (l’offre d’achat)
The “offre d’achat” can be used for proposing a lower price (of the property you want to buy). There is first the “offre d’achat” and then either the “promesse de vente” or “the compromise”. If the seller agrees with your proposal, you cannot go back on the promise.
Before the contract (l’avant-contrat)
Agreement should be written down before signing the sale (acte de vente). The “avant-contrat” guarantees the good deal of the transaction and clarifies the role of each part. It also gives time for the buyer to find a financing and for the notary to gather the necessary documents.
Suspensive clauses can be inserted, such as obtaining a loan.
The “avant contrat” can be either a “promesse de vente” or a “compromis de vente”:
Promesse de vente (or promesse unilatérale de vente)
The seller must sell the property at a date and price defined.
The seller (called promettant) makes the “promesse de vente” to sell the buyer his property, to a price determined, in return for an indemnity of 10% of the price (this amount is credited on a depository account and debited from your account). If the sale materializes, this indemnity will be deducted from the price of the sale. However if you do not want to buy the property (for a reason different from a suspensive clause), you will lost this deposit.
If the promise is not noticed by a notary, it must be registered by the buyer, within 10 days, at “recette des impôts” otherwise the nullity of the promise will be declared. If you buy through a real estate agency, this procedure will be made by the agency. It costs 75 € (fixed) and 6 € in addition per page recto verso.
Compromis de vente (or promesse synallagmatique)
The seller commits to selling the property. You also commit to buying the property at the price defined.
It is a commitment from both parts. You give an account of 10% for the signature. If one of the part do not respect the contract, there are penalties of payment.
The SRU law (December 2000) allows a period of 7 days- reflection for the buyer without any penalty. No payment must be given before the end of this period, except to a professional having a financial guarantee.
Closing the deal: the 'acte de vente'Before signing the “acte de vente” carefully check if there are: - The address of the property - Its surface, comments on all rooms - The aim of the property (professional or accommodation use) - Services or not (EDF, France Telecom, telephone …) - Mortgage or not on the property sold - Your complete address and the one of the seller - The name of the penultimate owner and the notary who made the sale - The date of entering the property - Prices and modalities of payment and the fees of agency - The amount of sums that have already been paid
Notary feesGoing to the notary is indispensable for acquiring an accommodation. Notary fees are composed of several elements : - the paympent of the notary, which is regulated by decree. Thus, every notary will invoice you the same fee (0.825% of the amount of the acquisition) - the fees registration, taxes, stamps... on behalf of the Treasury - other fees that the notary may have invest for you : wages of the registrar of mortgages, certificate of town planning, fees of geometrician, forwarding costs... … The notary may ask for a deposit, for the expenses that he may invest for you. The notary fees are more expensive if you buy an existing accommodation (7 to 8%) than if you have it built (approximately 3%).
Real estate agency fees
Agency fees are not regulated and can varied from an agency to an other.
They are generally calculated on a percentage of the transaction, but they can also be a fixed price. They always need to be clearly displayed in the agency.
The agency fees are included in the price displayed.
Fees of loan
The negotiation of the interest rates is important, but do not forget the real global rate (called taux effectif global or TEG in French), which represents the real cost of the loan.
Fees of the loan include :
- fees of opening and investigation of the file: These fees are freely fixed.
- fees of insurance which are obligatory (death, disability for working) and optional (loss of work)
- fees for a mortgage that guarantee your lender.
On arrival (before you establish a French bank account), you should have few problems in paying with your ‘home’ credit card if it is one of the major operators like Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Diners.
There are 24-hour cash dispensers, or teller machines, easily accessible all over France, and in cities and towns. They are called “distributeurs automatiques de billets”, and are always situated on the premises of a bank or at large post offices. If you are an active resident in France, opening a French bank account will allow you to pay and to gain access to essential services which require your bank details as a guarantee of payment.
Opening a French bank account
It is best to choose a major bank with widespread national network of branches to take full advantage of whatever needs may arise during your travels. To open an account, you will need to produce personal identification (a residence permit or passport), proof of your home address in France (this can be a phone or electricity bill) and in most cases some written proof of earnings (pay slip or other).
Most basic French bank accounts debit credit card payments at the end of each month.
French credit cards in France carry a chip, which requires to type in a PIN.
When paying by cheque, you may be asked for proof of identity, which can be provided by a residence permit, a passport or a French driving licence.
Any long-term transaction such as a mobile phone account, cable,is debited toyour account. Therefore the particulars of your bank account (called “relevé d’identité bancaire” or RIB in French) will be required.
For facilitating the opening of a French bank account, PARISIAN HOME has selected for you Paris Direct Int., a distance banking branch of Crédit Agricole d’Ile-de-France.
Their staff are specially trained to respond quickly to your inquiries and are specialized in finding solutions for foreign clients:
- Opening a French bank account
- Invest in new property transactions …
English and bilingual staff of Paris Direct Int. are available from Monday to Friday, 9am to 7pm, and on Saturday from 9am to 2pm, to answer questions and manage your accounts at a distance.
You may also have an access banking 24/24, 7/7, thanks to Internet and wherever you are.
More information on their website: Paris Direct International
(If you want to have the website in English, click on the English flag, at the right on the bottom)
The credit institutions propose a broad range of loans, so that you could find the best one…
Loan with a fixed interest rate
As its name reveals, it is an interest rate which does not undergo any variation throughout loan. The amount of repayments remains constant.
Loan with adjustable interest rate
This rate takes into account short-term rates, revisable each year, that are often less expensive.
It is revisable because it can revised downwards and upwards.
You can benefit from a maximum rate/ it is called in French a «prêt capé ».
Loan with adjustable payments
The creation of this loan is based on the professional life, as it is not always constant.
With these loans you can adapt your payment. You can reduce the repayment of your monthly instalments or increase them. Consequently, the period and cost of the loan can also be reduced or increased.
...ris Direct International