Buying a house in France


An apartment in St Tropez at the riviera or a house in a charming little village in Provence is a dream for many. Here we will give you some information about the buying process and the things to consider if you want to realize yourdream of a vacationhome.

Buying Process

Normally a bidding process is not used. Houses and apartments are offered for sale at a given price. Often a property is available for sale at several agencies. The price shown is to be regarded as a maximum price and usually it is possible to negotiate the price.

Views are generally organized by the broker, and it is mainly individual views. It is common to sign a document called “bon de visite” with the broker in connection with the view. This document confirms that you have been to view at a property with a broker. Then you have no opportunity to buy this property through another broker for 2 years.

If you place a bid for the quoted price the seller is not allowed to reject the bid.

If you place a bid that is lower than the price the seller can refuse your bid. In practice, it is common with a round of negotiations where one decides a price, with the help of the broker. Then you sign a preliminary contract. When this is signed, the buyer has 7 days thinking time and still has the option to withdraw from the deal. Contract, offer and deposit are given to a notary.

Approx. 3 months thereafter everything will be in place. The notary has then gone through some paperwork to the French authorities and you must be prepared to sign the purchase documents. These documents must be signed by the appropriate authority.

In addition to the price for the home, comes a notary fee of 7-8%.

Property condition

You buy the house as it is. If the seller knows of any property damage, he is required to inform about theese. It is possible to bring professionals on the view to go through the technical condition of the house. There are companies that specialize in just this.


Buying a property in a foreign country might be difficult, and it does not make it easier if you do not speak the language fluently. Fortunately, there are several companies and brokers who specialize in this and that will make the process to go smoothly.

Things to consider when searching for housing

You should visit the town/city a few times before you decide, to be sure before you decide.

Travel Route – it is far to travel from the nearest airport? If so, you may not use the apartment as much.

Maintenance – a home needs of some maintenance, how do you feel about this? In particular, you need to consider this in relation to the garden, it can be difficult to maintain when you are not there yourself.

Rental – Many rent out their holiday homes when they are not using them. This involves some administrative work, but is a nice way to pay for maintenance and other costs related to the property. If you want to rent out your home, you may want to think about how attractive it will be for others to rent this property.

The text above is intended to be informative and we will not take responsibility for any mistakes we’ve written here. If you are buying a property in France and are unsure about anything, we recommend contacting a broker in France.