THE completion of the sale of a property in France is undertaken by the notaire using an Acte de Vente, or deed of sale.
The signing of this important document will take place in the notaire's office, but first you should make sure of a few things.
First be happy that all the clauses/conditions suspensives have been satisfied from your Compromis de Vente.
Plus if you can visit the property make sure it is still in the condition you expect and that the owners have not ripped fixtures and fittings out.
If you are buying kitchen appliances with the property check they are still working and that they have not be exchanged for inferior items.
Should something be incorrect make a note and insist on either immediate restitution or a reduction in the amount paid.
If you need to go to the notaire to receive any redress then they will hold money from the vendor's proceeds.
Do not wait until after you have signed the Acte de Vente, as any redress will be difficult to obtain and make sure you consult your own lawyer.
Also ensure you receive a draft of the deed of sale so that your lawyer is able to look over it and ensure everything is as required.
Should it be fine you will have a date from the notarie for the signing of the deed of sale.
If you are unable to make the date you can set up a power of attorney which should be arranged well in advance.
It is also important that you have the necessary funds available in France because you will be expected to pay the outstanding monies.
The vendor will also be present at the signing of the Acte de Vente and each individual condition and section will be studied.
These will include the date that ownership will be transferred, the stated price with a receipt issued for the payment and that no one has pre-emptive rights over the property.
Again this can be a time consuming process and will involve complex legal terms, so if your French is not good make sure you have someone there to advise you.
The price for the property will be clear but the sticky question of fees and taxes can raise its head.
Notaire's fees are fixed by law, but you also need to take into account stamp duty and registration fees - which will amount to approximately 6.5% of the purchase price.
The notarie's fees will be subject to VAT (TVA) of 19.6% but also make sure that the price of the property is not subject to TVA.
If not it could come as a nasty surprise.
If you are selling to a person with the same foreign nationality as yourself then the payment can be undertaken in another currency, for example £sterling.
This has to be agreed by the notaire handling the sale.
But it would allow you to advertise your property for sale in the UK and possible find a buyer closer to home - and who speaks your own language.
Once the Acte de Vente is signed the registration of the property is carried out. You should receive a certificate from the land registry via the notaire together with his final statement outlining where your money went.
Once the deed is signed you also need to remember that it is important to register services, insurances and local details in your name.
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