This is it! You have turned over every stone in the country and at last found the French gem you were looking for, writes Guillaume Barlet .
However, there is a lot of money at stake and you are determined to keep your feet on the ground until you can hook your hammock between the old trees you spotted at the end of the jardin.
Once you have agreed a price, a first contract, or compromis de vente, should be signed and this is the most important part of that transaction.
In particular, it is at this point that conditional clauses, known as clauses suspensives, can be inserted in the contract.
Only once these conditions have been met can the agreement be binding on you. If they are not, you are allowed to withdraw from the contract and have your deposit refunded.
It is widely known that some of these let-out clauses are compulsory and, by law, cannot be removed.
They protect the buyer when a mortgage is required (with the right let-out clause the contract will only be binding for the buyer if they obtain a mortgage allowing them to pull out should the bank reject the mortgage application), if any mortgage has been taken out by previous owners on the property, or against the possibility of compulsory purchase of the property by local authorities.
It is less known that in addition to these, it is possible to 'personalise' your agreement with more specific clauses. But these conditions cannot be linked to an outcome that only you control.
So forget about any agreement that is binding under the condition that your property in the UK is sold.
Although an estate agent or a notary may accept such a clause, it will actually put you at a disadvantage if anything goes wrong as it will probably not be legally enforceable.
On the other hand, any condition where the outcome can depend on you and the vendor, or on any independent third party is acceptable.
Do you want to agree on the sale price on condition that you can beat the vendor playing pétanque? Be my guest (but I would not take on the locals!).
Do you want to agree to a purchase only if you can build an extension to the property? You may wish to insert a clause regarding planning permission.
As long as you stay within the legal guidelines, there is no limit provided the seller is prepared to accept them. So if you push it too far you could be saying au revoir to your dream home.
What let-out clauses are needed and allowed is a complex matter and specialist legal advice should always be sought.
But if your clauses are also agreed by the vendor, it bodes well for your position (in the hammock) and prospects (of long naps in the shade).